When you picture large, heavy construction equipment—excavators, bulldozers, forklifts, and backhoes, for example—you probably don’t immediately think of eBay as the place to buy or sell it. But when bidadoo, a Washington-based heavy equipment auction company, wanted to change the way this type of equipment is bought and sold, eBay was a natural fit.
Says co-founder John Hawk, “We believed there was an ecommerce opportunity in the heavy equipment space. It’s an industry that had a lot of potential for efficiency gains, specifically compared to the way that used heavy equipment has been auctioned and traded over the last….well, forever. Live auctions are one of the oldest industries in the world, and that’s what we compete against—a traditional live auction where you get a critical mass of equipment and a critical mass of people in a dirt field and you have a live auction.”
So John and bidadoo’s co-founder and President Howard Hawk decided to bring that experience online with eBay. Fifteen years later, bidadoo has conducted more than 100,000 auctions and is the largest equipment and truck seller on eBay.
“As we got into the market, the internet was coming of age for larger transactions,” says John. “People were starting to not only do research but also transact online. One of our first customers was The Boeing Company. We said, we’ll sell your equipment, but the internet might not be ready for larger transactions; people might not be there yet.”
But, it turns out that bidadoo’s timing was perfect. “We quickly sold a $150,000 piece of equipment, sight unseen, from Seattle to Germany to a very informed buyer on the well-lit eBay marketplace,” John explains. “We found that this is the way people want to do business. You no longer have to take equipment to buyers to have an auction. You can leave the equipment where it sits and bring buyers to the equipment. It’s a much more efficient way of finding, researching, and buying—all without having to leave your office.”
Now, bidadoo conducts weekly no-reserve auctions that attract buyers from around the world. Says John, “Pricing a very high-value item at 99 cents and offering it to the highest bidder generates a lot of excitement and auction momentum.”
The auctions are open to all bidders, and more than 30% of bidadoo’s sales go to international buyers. “The heavy equipment marketplace is a global marketplace,” John says. “A 50-ton, wide-load excavator doesn't just go down the highway; it loads up on a ship, and then drives off at the port of a different country. We support buyers that want to do that around the world, and support our sellers who want the best possible return on their investment by reaching a truly global marketplace.”
Selling internationally has its challenges, but for bidadoo and its customers, it’s worth it. “International transactions are a lot more complex,” John says, “but we support these buyers with full logistic and export support. For our sellers, we do everything it takes to offer a global marketplace through eBay and conduct sales without borders.”
eBay enables bidadoo to do just that, and reach buyers all around the world who are looking for these niche items. As John explains, "With nearly 170 million users across the globe and a predominance of transactions moving to mobile, it would be a massive undertaking for a company like bidadoo to build and support that and keep pace with current mobile technologies. eBay has always been in the forefront in everything from mobile to search engine optimization to buyer protection, and the platform provides all that. Being on eBay and doing it right—providing a great buying experience on eBay—there’s a tremendous amount of value for our buyers and sellers that comes with that.”
Want to reach 170 million buyers in 190 markets around the world? Learn more about global selling on eBay.
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