Ep. #986 - Online Auction Solutions
In today’s episode of Startup Hustle, we’re sharing online auction solutions for Midwest entrepreneurs. Matt DeCoursey and Andy O’Hanlon, CEO and founder of Equip-Bid, reveal clues on how to easily make extra cash by letting go of old items. Here’s a hint: online selling.
Covered In This Episode
Have you heard of Equip-Bid? It’s a company that offers easy online auction solutions for entrepreneurs. Learn more about how they can help you through Matt and Andy’s discussion.
Aside from that company meet-and-greet, the duo also talks about tech evolution throughout the years. And they also dive a little bit into transporting items and recycling assets.
Find out more online auction tips and tricks in this Startup Hustle episode.
- The backstory of Andy O’Hanlon (02:19)
- Tech evolution through the years (05:10)
- On overcoming distrust (07:49)
- Solutions for business owners to earn extra money (09:35)
- Solutions for sellers (10:45)
- What happens when a seller goes out of business? (14:32)
- All about recycling assets (15:41)
- On transporting oversized items (17:35)
- Being an affiliate of Equip-Bid (19:03)
- Challenges of starting an affiliate website (22:07)
- Treating your customers right (24:20)
- What is truckload-type merchandise? (26:09)
- Combining shipment (29:02)
- How to become an affiliate (31:58)
- What does Equip-Bid look for in a business? (33:42)
- Finding the value of items up for bidding (36:10)
- Strange things sold on the website (38:25)
- The most expensive item they were able to sell (40:26)
- On returning items (43:28)
- Understanding purchase from an auction (44:23)
They say a picture is worth 1000 words. What couldn’t be truer when you’re bidding and buying online because it’s amazing. Whether you’re buying an item that’s $10 or $10,000, most of the time, you, as a bidder, are buying based on the picture you see.– Andy O’Hanlon
I’ve been guilty of having the storage shed that the fees eventually outranked the value of all the things in it. And some of that stuff’s hard to sell and hard to move. And you guys have found some solutions that could help business owners create some extra money.– Matt DeCoursey
Different countries in the world look at returns differently than we do. In fact, in Japan, less than 1% of their purchases are actually returned. Actually, it’s frowned upon in their country to return an item because it looks like you’re almost shaming the vendor you’re buying from.– Andy O’Hanlon
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Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Matt DeCoursey 00:01
And we’re back! Back for another episode of Startup Hustle. Matt DeCoursey here to have another conversation I’m hoping helps your business grow. There are some interesting ways to help your business grow by getting rid of some of the stuff that your business has accumulated. And we’re going to talk all about online auction solutions and marketplaces and all kinds of great stuff today. Now, today’s episode of Startup Hustle is powered by FullScale.io. Because hiring software developers is difficult. Full Scale can help you build a team quickly and affordably. And we also have the platform to help you manage the team. Go to FullScale.io to learn more. With me today, I’ve got Andy O’Hanlon. And Andy is the CEO and founder of Equip-Bid, which I want to point out is a sponsor of Startup Hustle as well. So thank you for that end, and let’s hear more about that. If you want to learn more about what Equip-Bid does, go to equip-bid, that’s equip-bid.com. The easiest thing to do, though, scroll on down and click that link in the show notes. Let’s just get right into this. Andy, welcome to Startup Hustle.
Andy O’Hanlon 01:05
Thank you. I appreciate you inviting me today and being a part of this conversation that we’re having.
Matt DeCoursey 01:11
I appreciate the support you’ve given Startup Hustle as a sponsor. And if you want to see more about that and the other people that have supported the show, go to StartupHustle.XYZ. We have a sponsor and partner page there. You know, you and I have spent quite a bit of time before we hit record talking about the solution that you provide and what Equip-Bid does. But you know, I think the founders said it the best. So let’s hear a little bit more about the backstory for you and the site, and the business.
Andy O’Hanlon 01:40
Sounds great. So Equip-Bid Auctions has been around since 2009. You know, IT equipment has evolved into an online auction marketplace. Back in 2009, when I started equipment auctions, there was a need for auctions that were not necessarily online. They were still what you may have heard of or maybe you’ve even experienced. But they were live auctions, in-person auctions where there was a person standing in front of a crowd of people calling bids. And you’re out there, maybe on a Saturday afternoon, with a farm estate sale, maybe for an estate in your local community, or even a business bidding on those items raising your hand. And so, I was actually going to auctions back then, buying and selling. Back then, it was restaurant equipment. I was buying equipment, taking it back home, cleaning it up, and reselling it on online marketplaces, such as Craigslist, eBay, or other marketplaces that were popular, you know, 10-15 years ago. And so I could see the value in selling online because you open your marketplace, not just to your local community, but to people. Nationally, you could have a buyer from, you know, we’re in the US, from Miami to California and anywhere in between. We’re located here in the Midwest, but buyers can be anywhere. And so we started in 2009. Equip-Bid Auctions is an online-only auction marketplace. And what that means is all the bidding was done online. All the bidding for buying and selling is online. So you could technically sit there in your PJs and bid from the comfort of your own home in your own timeframe while you’re bidding. And so what this did, and what this does, is open that marketplace up to anybody and everybody. And it also allows us to do auctions in a lot of different situations that you might not normally have.
Matt DeCoursey 03:54
So I Googled this because you mentioned 2009. And I think it’s easy for a lot of people to look back, and you’re like, Oh, that was not that long ago. We were on iPhone three. I was like, people kind of go, oh, wow, that was a long time ago. And 2009 was a special year for me because that’s actually when I started a lot of my own businesses. I think it’s easy to maybe take for granted some technology and things that exist now. But that was kind of the Wild West, like eBay was still fairly new at that point. And, you know, with that, there’s a lot of things that don’t go well when you try to get or buy there. I mean, you guys have taken a more hands-on approach to help people sell stuff, right.
Andy O’Hanlon 04:42
Absolutely. And, you know, technology has evolved and changed over since 2009. But even in our business, there’s been efficiencies that we’ve been able to take advantage of, you know, within the last 1314 years that we’ve been in business, and you know one thing you Is, uh, how do you take a picture, you know, now you just reach into your pocket, grab your cell phone, it can do video, it can do pictures, you know, you have high-speed internet, anywhere, pretty much that you could dream of, you know, your, your cell phone itself, you know, now we have 5G out there.
Matt DeCoursey 05:21
However, back in 2009, you didn’t have that, like one megapixel.
Andy O’Hanlon 05:23
We were, you know, had digital cameras, you had to do that, you had to download the data, you had to upload the data, you had to figure out what pixel, you know, worked, you know, and all that.
Matt DeCoursey 05:41
What I felt like technology to a lot of people at the time, you know, like, how do I get this from my phone to my computer? Is it you? Did we take that for granted these days? Did you?
Andy O’Hanlon 05:51
I mean, some people back then were like, so do I take a picture with my 35-millimeter camera and scan the pictures in? Oh, my, I mean, that’s old technology. But that is what you know, that’s how you did pictures back in the day, I mean, years ago, but that was how it worked.
Matt DeCoursey 06:08
And really, God, we sound old talking about this, maybe, but you’re talking about grainy, terrible pictures that weren’t easy to share. So my co-founder here at Startup Hustle was the founder of event solutions, which helped people with auto listings. And that was a big one of the big problems they have, and they’re trying to, you know, you’re not going to buy a car that you can’t see a picture of, but trying to smooth that out and aggregate that data and put it in a lot of different places. And I never really hear and talk about how challenging that was to make universal, and you know, bandwidth slow. I mean, people in 2009 still had to dial up. That was the thing. And I think that a lot of people back then probably were pretty distrustful of some of it because you’re getting ripped off. I’ve never done this. So was that something you had to overcome?
Andy O’Hanlon 07:00
Was it? And you know, it’s amazing that when people bid online, what do they use to bid that that picture sells, you know, they say a picture’s worth 1000 words, well, it couldn’t be truer when you’re bidding in buying online, because it’s amazing, whether you’re buying an item that’s $10 or $10,000. Most of the time, those you as a bidder are buying based upon the picture you see, and you know, you’re talking about technology, in even incorporating video, you know, see seeing that, if you’re buying a vehicle, seeing it running, or something like that, you know, integrating video online and quality pictures, so you can see those items. And that’s what sells the items. You believe in what you see online. And it’s amazing, you know, with a click of a mouse, you might bid on a $10,000 car, and you haven’t ever seen that thing in person, but you’re willing to bid on it and win it online.
Matt DeCoursey 08:02
Yeah, the picture has so much to do with anything getting sold. And for those of you listening, I mean, I guarantee you, you have had a bad experience or a lame experience with product photos in general, and you didn’t buy it. And that’s how it goes. And one of the things I’d like to talk about is that I really like your rapidly growing business. He gives affiliate plans and people using your platform in a variety of different ways. But you know, Andy and I were talking before the show started about, you know, the end part of why the equipment being a partner and sponsor at Startup Hustle makes a lot of sense. As a US business owner, I’ve accumulated a whole lot of crap. And yeah, I’ve been guilty of having the storage shed that the fees eventually put our rank to the value of all the things in it. And some of that stuff is hard to sell and hard to move. And you guys have found some solutions that could help business owners create some extra money or whatever by helping provide some services or utility to people that can help you sell your stuff. Right?
Andy O’Hanlon 09:09
Absolutely. You know, what we really are, you know, we might look at our platform and say, Hey, we have items online, but from the perspective of a seller, we are a problem solver. You have items that you need to sell to turn back into cash, you know, whether it’s non-productive assets that are just sitting there, maybe your machine shop, and you have a drill press sitting in the back that you just don’t use anymore. Maybe you upgraded some items in your business that you don’t need the old items, or maybe you’re moving, and you just clearly don’t need some surplus assets that you have. And so, you know, we can provide those solutions to you to sell those products. And we have lots of different options for doing that. We can help you with the whole process from start to finish if you just want a hands-off approach, but we can also help you in a seller management situation, as well as you can actually help us by doing part of the labor that entails in the selling process, whether that be maybe helping out on taking the pictures or descriptions on your items, whether that be helping out on the loadout, after the auctions over and say, you know, I needed to sell my furniture, well, I can be there when the buyers pick it up and check them out. Those are other examples of how you, as a seller, could also be involved in this process of selling 100%.
Matt DeCoursey 10:44
Don’t sell stuff like that because it feels inconvenient. And I get busy doing other stuff. It’s often out of sight, out of mind, like it’s in the back of the warehouse or the basement or somewhere like that. And I love the whole idea of helping make that quick and easy. And you know, so any business owner is usually trying to focus on the stuff that they do. You know, we were talking about that before the hit record was that, you know, that’s you hear the term? Well, that’s not really what we do, or we’re not an expert in that. And you guys really specialize in a lot of cases in the things that aren’t shippable. And, there’s a, you know, I mean, I think that’s, that’s an interesting niche because you can go online and find things that are for sale, and you’re like looking at this, like a $600 item, and it’s another $600 to ship it. And now it’s not so cheap.
Andy O’Hanlon 11:39
Absolutely. And you know, what makes the auctions work, as far as the community goes, is we do open that marketplace up to anybody who can be a buyer on our site, but it still has to make sense to be able to pick that item up. And for each individual auction. Most of the buyers are within driving distance, for the reason that most items we sell on our site, it doesn’t make sense to ship, you know, whether you’re buying a table, you know, a couch, a piece of machinery, or something like that the cost of shipping can be prohibitive, but there is also a need to buy those items. And so part of the auction process is you’re selling the items, but what if you had an office building and the furniture was on the second floor, you as a buyer buy those items, you know, that buyers out there, they have to physically come to the location and pick those items up. And the seller, you know that you’re not having to pay for that labor? Because the buyers are helping facilitate the removal of those assets? And you know, that’s part of the equation. How do I solve my problem of getting my items out of my building, out of my house, or wherever they may be?
Matt DeCoursey 13:01
So back to that convenience thing, man, it’s I’ve spent so much time talking to people and giving the advice that if you want people to help you, then make it easy for them to help you. You know, like people want advice, and you get this person that’s like, Hey, will you come to meet me for coffee? Man, that’s a long way away. And they’re like, Kevin, I want to pick your brain about starting a business. I’m sitting here thinking I’m like, this two hours of my day is $3 cup of coffee. That’s not a good return on my time. It’s not convenient. And you know, so I think that there’s, I mean, I really do think there’s a lot to be said. There’s Now on the flip side of things. You know, as a business owner, not everything you need. Everything doesn’t have to be brand new in the box. So you can spend a hell lot of money on assets that really depreciate rapidly the moment you open them up, and there are other sellers like, so is it common? Or does it ever occur where sellers on your site like to have like, okay, their business went out? They’re done. And they’re like, we have it all? Like come get it all? Or is it only item by item?
Andy O’Hanlon 14:05
Not at all? A lot of auctions, we do our situations like that, you know, we just finished up a couple of weeks ago. You know, during COVID, a lot of people started working from home. And there was a 900 person call center here in Kansas City that all 900 employees now work at home. And so this huge two storey building has been sitting empty for, you know, the last two years. And this building will no longer be a call center. And we sold all the assets in the building, because it won’t be a call center. And so we sold all the assets it’s going to other use and part of what works for an auction is what do you do with these assets? Well, we solve that problem because we help recycle those assets and find another user forum. And so, you know, I know some of you out there might look at some of the stuff we sell and go, you know, is there a market for used items? Well used items have a market, there are buyers for those items. And if you can find another life for those items, that’s helping to bring another life to those. So they’re not going into the landfill. And there’s a call for a green solution, but mainly just a solution for reuse and recycling for those items. And we’re able to do that and find value in lots of items, not maybe not the value that you think the originally intended purpose of. But there are lots of items that somebody might use for a completely different purpose, but it does have a life.
Matt DeCoursey 15:50
Yeah. And for those of you trying to start anything, I mean, the whole concept of bootstrapping is trying to squeeze the maximum amount of value out of the limited amount of money that you might have to spend. So I know there’s a lot of that going on. One thing I think is fun here. So I’m going to equip-bid.com. There’s a link for that in the show notes. But in order to help deliver something you guys actually work with Bungie, who was their founder, Ben Jackson was one of the first 10 guests that we had on the show and you ever needed a friend with a truck? That’s what they do. It’s almost like Uber for pickup trucks. And I’ve watched them grow that business. And that’s another thing. I like that you incorporate that because sometimes you’re, you know, I’ve always had a truck until I didn’t have one. And then of course, I always needed a truck after that. I didn’t need one before. But sometimes you just need to move something. And that simplicity of being able to do has, has that been something that a lot of people have used just curious.
Andy O’Hanlon 16:55
Some have adopted that or, you know, obviously, they always call their friends when they buy something big. Hey, you’re the guy with the truck, but no bungee itself as a business. You know, I’ve known those guys for a while now. And we’ve used them over the years, especially on certain auctions. And, you know, it does help you know, if you buy large items, such as a couch, or something like that you don’t have that truck. I mean, you can only fit so much stuff in your convertible or the beauty of okay, please don’t be the person that calls the person with the truck for that reason, because I received that call too many times.
Matt DeCoursey 17:23
I’m like, Oh, man. But yeah, I thought that was a cool, cool concept. That’s another fun startup here in Kansas City, they really found a niche. You know, working like, you even talk about people that might buy something new and you just need literally like your friend with the truck. So okay, I want to talk a little bit about how you’ve expanded your platform and your marketplace through affiliate sellers. As a quick reminder, today’s episode, Startup Hustle is brought to you by FullScale.io. But askable questions, we’re gonna match up with developers, testers and leaders that fit your needs. And we specialize in long term teams that work only for you, you can learn more at FullScale.io. You know, one thing I found unique about your business, Andy is as the actual affiliate model, let’s talk about that for a second. So like, what does being an affiliate with a bed look like? or how’s that work?
Andy O’Hanlon 18:22
Okay, so So affiliates, you know, you might not be familiar with that word. But what an affiliate in our world is an independent seller that sells on the platform of Equip-Bid. And so you as a business owner, or even you as an individual can sell on our platform. But an affiliate is truly somebody that’s running their own business on our platform, and they have a source of product that they’re selling, we’re not looking for somebody that’s just a one time has something to sell. Because if that, you know, our current affiliates are our we can help you sell those items. But if if somebody has consistent assets to sell, then the affiliates you can become an affiliate and run your own auction business on our platform. And we’ve made it really simple. You know, we started doing the affiliate program in about 2015. And we’re currently up to almost 100 different business small businesses running they’re running their selves on our platform. And this is an exciting time because it really gives a lot of these small businesses an avenue to sell, and avenue to earn income and a lot of these people this is their full time job selling different products and on our site.
Matt DeCoursey 19:46
So what are some of the more popular items in general like is there one that just says like, is there one that’s king or queen?
Andy O’Hanlon 19:56
Lots of people you know, like different things, and we work with people, whether you’re male or female, on our website, we have lots of different things. But for example, tools are always popular with the guys. A lot of home interior type items, you know, I haven’t, I’ve talked to so many people that go, you know, I outfitted my entire patio with patio furniture, a grill, you know, a swing set for the backyard, those type of home good type items, you know, that have been on our website. You know, besides that, we also have a lot of business equipment online, too, for people that own their own businesses.
Matt DeCoursey 20:36
We, if you’ve listened to this show a lot, you’ve probably heard me talk about one of my failures. And you know, as many it was actually written not too long after you started the business. And I had been an affiliate or had some affiliate marketing sites, and part of how we were pushing traffic to that was placing online ads. And without placing too many of them the site’s ghost here, throw it off, or whatever. And I was like, Man, I don’t like that. So I decided I was going to build my own version of these classified sites. So I could have this unlimited posting ability. And I quickly learned that that market is a marketplace of sorts, it’s very challenging, because in our case, if you have, you can have all the ads in the world. But if you don’t have people to view the ads, that’s like having buyers and not sellers. And I learned pretty quickly that starting a marketplace business and managing and growing one, especially from the ground level up is a real challenge because like all buyers, no sellers, no transactions, all sellers, no buyers, no transactions, how did you get? You know, you talked about so you clearly started this from the ground level up, but how did you overcome that challenge of getting the whole thing populated in the beginning?
Andy O’Hanlon 21:55
You know, that is one of the hardest things for starting a website such as this, or any marketplace, is finding those buyers. But the key is you also have to find the sellers, if you don’t have something to sell, you’re not going to have buyers, and they kind of work hand in hand. And so when we first started, we started with one auction, we didn’t have a buyer base. But what we knew we did have was good customer service. And we wanted to treat, treat the customer just like we wanted to be treated. And so, you know, we hustled you know, just like the name of this show, the Startup Hustle, but we hustled and we got our name out there. And that is it didn’t happen overnight. But we started with one and then grew to two and then five and then 10. And one thing is we always reached out to our buyers, and made sure that we showed that we appreciated their business. But buyers, we sell stuff, that’s that’s what we sell. If you want to think of it in simple terms, and buyers become sellers, because you as a buyer, you come to our platform, you might buy one to five items, well, you have stuff at your house, your business or whatever it may be. And eventually, you’re gonna have some stuff you need to get rid of, you bought too many items, you know, or, or you upgraded items. And you need to sell your old items or whatever the case may be. And so some of the sellers might have had that experience buying experience on our website, but they become sellers, or the buyers become the sellers eventually, and you know, word of mouth, you know, you treat your customers, right, they’re going to tell their friends, and I guarantee that happens a lot, you know, auction, sometimes they think, Well, it’s a super secret, you know, if I want to get other if I tell everybody and my friends, they’re all going to outbid me on the items. But honestly, our website has enough items on there that you’re not competing against your friends, when you’re bidding on those items. You know, everybody has an opportunity for a deal. And ultimately, there are deals that are happening daily on the site.
Matt DeCoursey 24:27
So you mentioned that advice. And there’s so many things that fall into the marketplace designation. I mean, a lot of software platforms and different stuff. And yeah, as I mentioned, so many founders or soon to be founders have talked about what they’re really like, I’m like, what are you going to do to populate it on both sides? And realistically, like the best universal advice that I can give them is like you need to be prepared to maybe give it away, at first like not charge a fee or something like that, like no, I couldn’t do that. And I’m like, You got to figure out a way to get this going and it has to happen and in perpetuity. Now I’m at equipment.com. And I’m looking at some of this. And so, and hopefully this is okay. I see, for example, the KC market house on your homepage has an auction. So it does that, in that particular case. Is that an affiliate? Yes. So do they have their own presence inside your marketplace rather than just item by item?
Andy O’Hanlon 25:21
Yes. Okay. And so Casey market house is one of our affiliates, you know, and there, they sell what we call truckload type merchandise. And that merchandise comes in by the semi load from lots of different eCommerce companies. And then typically, it’s what you think of when you buy something online. You know, you buy something from Amazon or any other e-commerce company, and you might have bought a red one, and you wanted a blue one. So you return that to Amazon. And so we get that type of merchandise in. And a lot of it’s new, you know, the box might be blemished, because of the shipping process. But we resold those items. In fact, I was just reading an article the other day. They’re anticipating this Christmas season, for every $1 billion in sales, over 150. That’s $1 billion in sales. But for every $1 billion, over $150 million in those cells will be returned a lot.
Matt DeCoursey 26:28
And a lot of those platforms don’t. So I have a background before as an entrepreneur, like working as a manufacturer’s rep for Roland, one of the world’s largest makers of electronic musical instruments. And in some cases, the reason you know, so you talk about like, where does that stuff go? It’s actually more expensive to take the return back in some cases. So you get these liquidation centers and stuff like that. And then it can be like really viable stuff. It can be as simple as I got returned, because it was blue and red, or a number of different things. And, you know, there’s, there’s an interesting genre, I will admit that I’m a sucker for the like, the blind box opening thing, like I’ll see a reel or something. And, you know, they got the return box and looked at what’s in it. And like, I don’t know what’s in it. And yeah, I kind of sit around it. There’s some really interesting stuff floating around there. And that is the nature of where that comes from. So yeah, I think that’s cool. And so, and that utility with it, I bet a lot of this stuff really is brand new.
Andy O’Hanlon 27:29
It is, you know, on the return side, there are some things that might be blemished. But you’re buying it at a fraction of retail notes. And that’s part of the game, you know, and part of this site. All right. And another thing on the website is, auctions are fun, because you’re competing against other people to win the item.
Matt DeCoursey 27:51
You may or may not be getting a hell of a deal. You could be but the opportunity for that deal.
Andy O’Hanlon 27:55
Unlike a traditional e-commerce website where that item is, at that fixed price, buy it now, you can’t call the website and go. I’ll give you $49 For this $99 item that doesn’t work. Well, you can try.
Matt DeCoursey 28:11
But they might. The promo document.
Andy O’Hanlon 28:15
Yeah, probably not.
Matt DeCoursey 28:17
Jobs at the Customer Service Center at Walmart and offering 40% less than what the price set says to what happens.
Andy O’Hanlon 28:23
I’d like you to try that. I think it’d be a great idea to try to prove a point.
Matt DeCoursey 28:25
And I proved it. But now I am a big advocate of and a lot of situations like in my book balance me I talked about so many people just don’t ever say there’s nothing wrong with saying hey, can I get a better price. But there’s a lot of places that are rigid and don’t want to go go by that I did the whole thing of being able to go into the site and and so personally, mainly because I’m lazy or busy or who knows whatever you want to call it, I wouldn’t want to go to like nine different places and pick stuff up. But I think it’s pretty cool that I could participate in multiple auctions that are clearly from one place. So that means I just have to get one delivery then right? Yes, and not paid 10 delivery fees.
Andy O’Hanlon 29:09
Correct. And so you know, each auction or event that we call them on our website, there might be 235 100 items on that specific auction that’s ending on a Thursday night at 7pm. And so when you’re bidding, you might have one in that chair, or that table or that drill? Well while you’re bidding, you’ll be like there’s 200 other items that are on auction. And instead of just buying that drill, you might buy 235 other items that you need to and if you’re buying one, why not? You’re going there to pick it up. So go ahead and bid on some more.
Matt DeCoursey 29:46
That doesn’t one of the challenges with kind of eCommerce in general and I used to be a ticket broker and it was it stunk, because sometimes people would get a buyer that through like StubHub or wherever else And you know what, by like, all these, they makes for different transactions and you like kinda wish I combined the shipping. But they need to track that they need to have that delivery, confirmation and all these different things. And that’s what I think the thing that’s tough about a lot of shipping, you know, and especially big things, you know, and that’s why you get tools like bungee or whatever. And, I mean, there’s a lot of things to that, or it’s backed by history and kind of in the music industry. Like, if I’m gonna buy like a big recording console for a studio or something I don’t want I don’t know, if I want someone else to package that up, like, I might want to go pick that up and, and just, you know, or there’s a level of expertise that comes with that, or some of that stuff, I feel I’d feel a lot better about myself. So, okay, back to the affiliate thing. So what’s with the, if I want to be an affiliate? Like, what does that require?
Andy O’Hanlon 30:59
So on our website, there is a form that you can fill out if you are interested in being an affiliate to fill out, and then we’ll get that form and we can vet you, but what is an affiliate, you know, you’re running your own business. So we’re looking for people that are interested in being a full time seller on our website, you know that this is a job. And that doesn’t mean this has to be your only job or your only avenue of selling. But for a lot of businesses, this might be just another avenue for them to market their business and sell surplus assets that they have. Or you can have it as a full time job selling for other people selling merchandise. And so also the beauty with being an affiliate is, yes, we are based out of Kansas City, but we have buyers in all 50 states, and you can be an affiliate in all 50 states. We have buyers in multiple states, and there’s no reason for you all out there. If you’re interested in this, reach out to us, we’d be happy to have that conversation with you and see if you would be a good fit.
Matt DeCoursey 32:11
Yeah, I think that obviously selling US goods is massive. I mean, this has got to be like it’s got to be like a trillion or billion dollar thing worldwide. And you know, if you want to talk about having a side hustle or something like that, I mean, this seems like a good a good way to get that started, you know, just meaning like you reaching out and like there really are like i Okay, email me folks and I probably have something free I might give you this can pick it up in my house because like, you know, but a lot of this stuff has value like and I’ve given so my wife is getting better at giving that kind of stuff away but there’s like I could legitimately see someone with a little bit of hustle vibe about them being able to pick up a lot of stuff and and move it and I think that’s where that at ease ease of use and and a secure marketplace with the software and and the buyers is the main thing. Why not? Why not? When you talk with your affiliates, like what do they normally look like as a business? Are they more? Are they more along the lines of like, you know, I’m at the auctions page, and I see like, you know, a particular business that might have one of these has like 89 different things in there or something and like, what is a 222? All from one place, which once again, like that’s like convenience, you have to drive all over your Kansas City is a big geographic footprint, you know, and then like so what’s the best kind of business to be an affiliate, like who’s gonna make the best use of that?
Andy O’Hanlon 33:51
So, for example, on our website, you can see the different types of auctions we have in the three that really fit what we sell, or on site auctions for people that are looking to sell for other people. That would mean you don’t have to physically purchase the assets. You don’t have to physically come up with it, but you’re out there hustling to find assets to help other people sell their assets.
Matt DeCoursey 34:17
When you say on site, do you mean like they’re at their place?
Andy O’Hanlon 34:20
Yeah, that’s right, you’re not out there at the auction area.
Matt DeCoursey 34:27
Andy O’Hanlon 34:30
But no, what I really mean is on-site being those looks, the assets are physically staying on that location being sold through the online platform, but the buyers are actually buying them and then physically. I mean, the bidders are buying them where they sit and then they’ll go to that location and pick them up.
Matt DeCoursey 34:58
Facilitators are facilitating the really everything about this seems to be structured around the kind of seller or business that wants to make it easier for people like me that are like, Dude, this is inconvenient. And, you know, realistically, like, I’ve looked back at some of that stuff, and I’m like, maybe I shouldn’t look at it that way, because there’s like $7,000 worth of stuff over there. I mean, what seems like an inconvenient little item to sell, if you get the right kind of person that’s going to facilitate it. The problem is just the coordination of, I don’t like selling like 9000 different items myself, probably should like, but, you know, it’s, it’s a hustle.
Andy O’Hanlon 35:33
And it’s always, you know, finding new things and finding the value in the website finds those values, you know, the buyers come there, and you don’t determine the value the buyers do, you know, we put the starting bid at a nominal $10 or less per item in all items. 99% of everything that sells on the website sells without being reserved to the highest bidder. And so whether that sells for $10, or, you know, $10,000 is started at a low nominal starting bid there. And not a requirement. Yes, across the web. And so you know, whether you’re selling, you know, a big ticket item, a tractor or a skid loader, a car, is it all without reserve, all without reserve? Or you know, you might just be selling a computer monitor, a table or something smaller, but they all have value, what is that value? Well, when you get enough people looking at the website and competing with each other, you know, that market value that that value of those items, you know, it’s determined, and you know, you bid 10, the next person bids 20 3050. You know, it ultimately ends up selling for what the buyers are willing to pay for that item. And does that mean that that $50 sells that that item was worth $50? Well, at this given moment in time it is worth 15.
Matt DeCoursey 36:54
According to my dad growing up, I used to have a baseball card collection and I’d be like, imagine the eight year old Matt DeCoursey. And that would have been like Mark McGwire’s rookie card. I’m like, Dad, it’s worth $10 You have someone that’s gonna give you $10 for it. No, then it’s not worth $10 . Like, yeah, that’s our marketplace dynamics determine a lot of that. I think that there’s a lot of overvalued stuff. So alright, so as we’re almost out of time here. So you know, once again, I’m here with Andy O’Hanlon, the CEO and founder of Equip-Bid, go to equip-bid.com. There is a link in the show notes for that, go check out some of the stuff that’s for sale. There’s a lot of cool stuff, but I want to end on a lighter note. So a couple of just just what’s what’s one of the Stranger Things you’ve seen sell through your site? Just like what there’s got to be something that sex stands out are a couple of them?
Andy O’Hanlon 37:44
Absolutely. You know, people always ask that question. And we’ve sold literally 1000s of items over, you know, the past 13 years. And some of the really unique items that we’ve had is we sold assets out of a hospital. But we sold the cadaver racking, oh, it’s kind of a weird item. You know, not something you’re gonna take home to mama, but we sold that and guess what, we had a buyer. Another very, you know, just amazing item is here in Kansas City. Kemper Arena was remodeled and became a HyVee arena.
Matt DeCoursey 38:26
We did an episode about that if you want to go back and find buying a sports arena for $1 was absolutely.
Andy O’Hanlon 38:32
They got an amazing deal on it and turned it into a great facility. But in the middle of the arena was the massive Jumbotron.
Matt DeCoursey 38:43
This was once high technology and it was all it was all CRT screens and all that.
Andy O’Hanlon 38:46
But we sold that and had a buyer that had to take that entire thing down and that thing was massive. I mean, that had to come down on a semi. It wasn’t just something you put in the back of your pickup truck and haul it out a cadaver rack.
Matt DeCoursey 39:03
What is that? What do you put in a dead body?
Andy O’Hanlon 39:08
Absolutely not to display them at a hospital you know, unfortunately those things happen, and you know, they do have to store them there before they go to the morgue or something like that. And we were just selling some of their surplus items.
Matt DeCoursey 39:26
And ask why they were buying that.
Andy O’Hanlon 39:30
That’s up to you, or I mean it is close to Halloween so you never know.
Matt DeCoursey 39:34
Maybe what’s the most expensive item that’s been sold? Or in that roughly like we’ve sold you know, larger pieces of equipment, whether it be, you know, vehicles, collector items, something like that.
Andy O’Hanlon 39:39
Probably some of the most expensive would be farm equipment. You know whether it’s a big tractor so good? It’s our construction equipment, we just sold a couple pieces of construction equipment, a skid loader, a pretty late model, one that brought over 70,000 on our website the other day. So, you know, and there’s lots of little things, too, you might think, you know, 70,000, that’s a lot of money. Well, there are lots of items on our website to sell for $10, too. And so, you know, really, it’s a fit for everybody.
Matt DeCoursey 40:25
Well, that old equipment is, you know, that’s me. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert, but I did have a buddy that worked for Caterpillar at one point. And I mean, it isn’t like, you know, four or $500,000 machines, and in many cases now, like, well over a million for some of it. So all that farm equipment is pretty useful. And that’s another good example of where a more geo-specific marketplace would be useful because you’re probably not going to ship the $70,000 tractor too far. Right? Or figuring, I mean, yeah, so bridging that gap.
Andy O’Hanlon 41:04
But you’d be surprised that, you know, somebody on the side, they might be 510 hours away, and they’re willing to deliver, and they’re willing to drive to come to pick that up. Because if that tractor has value, what’s a tank of gas to grow, say, $5,000 on an item.
Matt DeCoursey 41:22
And then that’s, you know, there’s a lot of hustle with. That’s the thing. I’m obsessed with, like, the gold mining shows. So like the gold rush, I’ve definitely seen, like, way too many seasons of it. But one of the guys that semester, one of the most successful miners there, is consistently using sites and auctions and stuff, like what you do to find really valuable stuff. He’s like, I don’t need this. It’s gonna get dirty and scratched up and halfway ruined on the first day. I’m using it. So I don’t need it to be shiny and brand new. And, you know, there’s a lot of utility and all that, you know, one thing I do want to say, I think it’s awesome as I do like the whole approach of what was it? Did Jack Johnson say in the Curious George movie, I think it was like, learn to reduce, reuse, and recycle? I’ve gained a lot of appreciation for that because as I traveled to foreign countries a lot, I noticed that they’re way better than that. And we are here, like, I was in the Philippines earlier this year, and we were on a boat ride, and it was an old fishing boat. And they had literally taken an engine out of an old diesel truck. And that’s what was, you know, running the boat. And it was just like, you know, putting things together. And then there are a lot of really clever people. I think that we throw too much stuff away.
Andy O’Hanlon 42:39
Absolutely. And, you know, just an aside for that different country in the world, they look at returns differently than we do. In fact, in Japan, less than 1% of their purchases are actually returned. They actually frowned on in their country to return an item because it looks like you’re almost shaming the vendor that you’re buying from, or here in the US, you know, we might five turn anything, we’ve returned anything. I mean, it’s almost like, you don’t even think twice about it, you know, it’s like, oh, I bought it, I’ll go buy, I’ll go buy five outfits to try them on. And I’ll return four because I didn’t like them. You know, it’s art. Our culture has made it so easy to return items that that is a massive problem that we’re helping solve part of it,
Matt DeCoursey 43:35
You know, if you’re going to equip-bid.com and buying those returns, no, you can buy just, but also, you know, you are on auction.
Andy O’Hanlon 43:40
So you know, it is yours. You know you’re buying it as is. And that’s also part of it, too, if you know, understanding the product you’re buying and, you know, the opportunity for the deal, but it’s yours to take home with you too.
Matt DeCoursey 43:59
Well, Andy, thank you so much for joining me and helping our listeners find some solutions for hopefully liquidating the things that your business has been accumulating or being a buyer on the other side and picking up what someone else is getting rid of. You know, we’ve gone through this transition period over the last couple of years with COVID, where a lot of businesses have changed. And there are a lot of clever ways to get the things that you might want. Maybe you’re returning to the office, maybe you’re not returning to the office, or you mentioned a whole call center. I’m in that group. I’ve got 20,000 square feet of space that we don’t even use in the Philippines. It’s got like, I have like hundreds of desks, monitors like all this stuff. And I’m like, you know, trying to figure that out myself. Thanks again for your support of Startup Hustle. And for those of you listening, go down and click that link in the show notes.