By Daxim Lucas/Biz Buzz
How does a company proceed forward when its business model is centered around having as many clients crowd into a venue to bid on the products it offers for sale?
In the case of Subic-based United Auctioneers Inc., the solution is to move its bimonthly auctions online. After the first such activity last June, the company now run by businessman Rommel Sytin (who took over from his late brother, Dominic) is set to have its second online auction next week.
Instead of having bidders flock to Subic for four-day auctions, potential buyers of thousands of remanufactured trucks and construction equipment from Japan can do it from the comfort of their homes. And they can do it on any device, too, whether they be desktop computers, tablets or mobile phones that can run videoconferencing apps.
Clients who are not yet tech savvy can also join the bidding by phone, just like in any auction house overseas that uses proxy bidders.
All an interested bidder has to do is to register online, put up the refundable P250,000 deposit, inspect the items for sale online (or in person in Subic, as long as they make an appointment first), and bid on the items during next week’s auction.
Just like United Auctioneers’ regular activities in the “old normal” days, the heavy equipment will be paraded in front of the cameras for the bidders to see them, while expert auction masters whip the crowd into a frenzy with their high tempo price barking.
Bidders simply have to raise their numbers in front of their device cameras to be acknowledged by the bid catchers.
Of course, during the old normal, United Auctioneers used to dispose of around 2,500 units of heavy equipment over four days. Nowadays, the figure is slightly lower than that, but it’s safe to say that business is still brisk by “new normal” standards.
After 20 years in business, over 150,000 units sold, over 60,000 registered buyers across the country and at least 129 successful auctions conducted, it seems this company won’t let the pandemic stop it.
SHOWN in file photo are Rommel Sytin (left) and brother Kenneth