Going, going, gone! Fancy a nearly new printing press, an articulated lorry or a Laura Ashley dress? Online trade auctions are booming as firms go bust

Pic: The Guardian

Going, going, gone! Fancy a nearly new printing press, an articulated lorry or a Laura Ashley dress? Online trade auctions are booming as firms go bust

As the recession starts to bite some businesses have been busier. Ocado, Amazon, PPE manufacturers and online conference organisers. Another sector that is booming are online auctioneers with hundreds of washing machines, score or lorries and Laura Ashley dresses by the thousand as companies crash and someone has to pick up the pieces.

Opportunity for survivors

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit has seen it all before having survived four recessions in the last 40 or more years. “It’s a pretty bleak time when customers go bust or stopping buying,” he said, “but if you can survive a downturn in business there are opportunities. Fewer competitors, a chance to increase prices and plenty of bankruptcy stock that you can buy for a song.”

Whole Sale Scout currently list on their website shop loads of Laura Ashley dresses for a little over a £1,000, Hugo Boss suits by the thousand and more computers than you can imagine as the bankruptcy stock flows in.

Clothes and washing machines

Mark Hutchings for the BBC’s Radio 5 Live reported this week on the nation’s largest auction house network where business has never been busier. He said: “John Pye Auctions, which specialises in stock from liquidated firms, says this could just be the tip of an iceberg with many more companies facing collapse when government-backed support schemes come to an end. The auction firm has seen a surge in products from failed retailers. Since re-opening after lockdown, the Nottingham-based firm, which has 16 sites across the country, says its staff have cleared out more than 240 stores, with the numbers of bidders per auction nearly doubling in that time.”

The firm has unlimited numbers of washing machines and fridge freezers along with furniture, Christmas trees and garden equipment from a failed online supplier along with trucks, cars and vans.

Printing presses

PressXchange are one of many firms specialising in the sale of used or bankrupt stock of printing presses. For the last few years business has been brisk as there has been a decline in print although the business is far from dead. They said that used Heidelberg presses dominate the searches made by potential customers mainly due to their durability.

Ian Carrotte said there is still plenty of life left in the print industry which still ranks in the top ten sectors of the UK manufacturing industries.

“A lot of used presses go abroad to emerging economies,” he said, “but if you are a UK print firm and have been pondering over buying a press, this is obviously a good time as there are bargains to be had. The key points are how well a press has been serviced and maintained.”

Trucks to go

CVA Auctions of Hemel Hempstead, Doncaster and Scotland have regular auctions of used trucks, vans and associated plant. Some are from firms wanting upgrade their fleet and some are firms that have gone bust with the administrators dealing with liquidations. Motor Transport regularly reports on logistic firms who have gone to wall and every month ICSM Credit charts couriers and logistic companies that have ceased trading.

“A surprising number of start-ups take place during recessions,” said Ian Carrotte, “and I suspect this one will be no different as the type of kit needed to set up a business is available at knocked down prices. Offices are empty across the country, there’s plenty of available staff due to all the redundancies and if you find a niche market now is the time to set up a business. My only piece of advice is to keep a tight credit control and join us at ICSM Credit to guard against potential bad debts.”

About ICSM Credit

ICSM Credit has more than four decades of experience as a credit intelligence group whose members gain inside information about firms in trouble allowing them to avoid bad debts and rogue traders. To join costs less than a tank of fuel - while at the moment there's a special free temporary membership offer during the Covid-19 crisis which gives access to free legal letters. ICSM also has an effective debt collecting service which has a global reach - ask for details from Paul.

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website www.icsmcredit.com or email Ian at Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

To keep up to date subscribe to the FREE ICSM Credit Newsletter to hear all the latest insolvency news and to see who has gone out of business click on the orange panel on the top left of the home page of the website www.icsmcredit.com or send an email to Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com

For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk

Tel 0844 854 1850 ___ Fax 01454 327 355
Privacy Policy   © ICSM All Rights Reserved