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A Good Company: bidadoo

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Instead of a buyer beware marketplace, bidadoo wants to make the online equipment auction world a buyer -- and seller -- aware marketplace.

Founded 15 years ago by Howard Hawk and his brother, John, bidadoo offers online auction services for used construction equipment, rental fleets, trucks and capital assets.

“It used to be whoever had the equipment was in charge,” Hawk said recently. “If I have 100 pieces of equipment, then I’m kind of in charge because a lot of people didn’t have access to the outside world. They didn’t have the internet. But we saw the (internet) revolution and it’s now really the buyer is in charge. The buyer can go on the
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internet any day of the week and if he needs an excavator he has access to 10,000 units around the world every minute of every day. The buyer now has a lot better information, is a lot better informed; and they’re making smarter, more efficient buying decisions.”

 bidadoo has an exclusive partnership deal with eBay to sell used equipment.

“Every week we put equipment online on the world’s largest marketplace, which has 177 million registered users, and we are by far the largest seller of equipment on that marketplace so we get the top of the list when buyers are looking on Google or on Ebay,” Hawk explained.

Before a seller’s equipment makes it onto eBay through bidadoo’s service, it first goes through a thorough valuation and inspection process -- either at the seller’s site or at one of bidadoo’s 13 auction service centers throughout the U.S. and Canada. 

A bidadoo production manager inspects the machinery and puts together an appraisal so that the seller knows what to expect as far as selling price.

“We crunch the numbers,” Hawk said. “We do valuations and put a number on everything so that sellers can start making intelligent decisions.”

The seller then has the option of having bidadoo sell the machinery on consignment, buy it outright or offer a guaranteed sale price to the seller.

The bidadoo inspection process also includes a condition report on the equipment, which includes 50 to 100 high-resolution photos and a 3- to 5-minute video of the equipment in full operation. 

“You can hear the machine; you can see the machine in operation; you can see the computer screen; you can see all the components in operation,” Hawk said. “About all you can’t do with the video is smell the machine. That’s very, very different than other major auction companies. They do not bring that machine to life. They do not provide all that rich information through a video. That helps the buyer make a more intelligent decision on the other end.

"It’s a lot more transparent than you’d get from a live auction venue.” 

bidadoo’s customers can opt to have their equipment sold on no-reserve auctions or offered as buy-it now merchandise.

“While it’s on sale, then we add a lot of value to the sales process by doing a lot of marketing,” Hawk said. “We answer people’s questions. We facilitate logistics. … We give them estimates on transportation and rigging and logistics. We facilitate financing. We facilitate and answer all the questions so people can get pre-approved. We try to present the information very transparently.” 

bidadoo customers also benefit from eBay’s massive marketing efforts, including social media efforts and featured search results via Google.

“Our goal is to put more money into your pocket as the seller so we focus on adding value for that machine and selling that machine for more for our customers,” Hawk said. “I can guarantee you you’ll more than earn the commission we charge, and we’re going to sell your piece for a lot more than you can sell your piece for online.” 

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