Online auctioneering set to dominate during 2017

During 2016, the South African online auctioneering industry showed its most impressive growth


During 2016, the South African online auctioneering industry showed its most impressive growth yet, with the year far exceeding growth figures of previous years. One such example is that of South Africa’s leading online mining auctioneering company Clear Asset, who broke through the R1billion in asset sales mark. What makes this figure impressive is that the company is just four years old.

An even more significant figure however is that over 50% of their equipment sales are going to overseas buyers, which shows that South African online equipment auction platforms are becoming increasingly attractive to global businesses. A main attraction for international business is that such platforms present opportunities to purchase high quality assets at favourable exchange rates, and have them shipped anywhere in the world.

In 2016 alone, the company achieved sales of over R500 million and shipped assets to more than 20 countries, firmly establishing itself as the leading online destination for the purchase of heavy duty assets with dedicated verticals in mining, agriculture, scrap, maritime and aviation.

Clear Asset works solely with institutions and in addition to leading banks, counts the majority of major mining houses as their clients. More recently they expanded their maritime division notched up 5 container and bulk carrier vessel sales during the year, including two 80,000 ton bulk carriers which sold for a combined US$20 million and a 3rd one for $14.95 million. The company looks to expand this solution further during 2017, particularly across Africa.

The number of ship arrests around the world has risen drastically over recent months as banks and creditors seek compensations from ship owners who find themselves unable to pay up on outstanding loans and dry dock fees. SA has become a favourable jurisdiction and the skill set offered from both maritime attorneys as well as the likes of Clear Asset bode well for international instructions.

The key to the success of the online bidding solution has been sophisticated CRM systems which in addition to providing transparency and governance around the transaction ensure that significant user information matches the right asset to the right buyer globally. More recently, the company has also integrated their platform with Proxibid (USA) in a partnership to expose assets in Africa to North American buyers. Equipment listings on Clear Asset can now be seamlessly transferred to Proxibid a leading global marketplace selling $4 billion of inventory per annum. Owning their source code which has been locally developed by a seasoned team in Stellenbosch, has been a distinct advantage in being able to customise their requirements to clients needs and easily integrate with other online players for maximum global exposure and outreach.

“We are able to track who viewed, bid or bought our assets and use this information to target our global database to ensure that when appropriate assets come up they are matched proactively with a targeted audience” said Warren Schewitz CEO of Clear Asset.

“Our institutional focus has served us well as our buyers know they are getting access to quality pre-owned assets that have been thoroughly assessed and inspected by our qualified technical team.”

With the success of such online auction platforms seen during 2016, there is little doubt that the industry will see even more growth over the coming year. It’s about accessibility, ease of purchase and a transparent sales solution. Watch this space.


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