BidCow Auction site opens to sell surplus home furnishings
Staff Staff -- Casual Living, September 2, 2009
A group of industry veterans has launched an online auction site designed to enable suppliers and retailers to buy and sell surplus home furnishings inventories, wholesale lots and related goods.
Called BidCow (COW is an acronym for closeouts, overstocks and whatever), the site is at www.bidcow.com.
It offers opportunistic buys of all major furniture categories including living room, dining room, bedroom, youth and more, as well as mattresses, lighting and decorative accessories. Longtime industry consultant Ed Borowsky is CEO of BidCow.
"Up until now, everyone knew that the economy has resulted in lots of excess inventory, but there wasn't an effective and efficient way to make those goods available to interested parties both nationally and globally," said Borowsky.
"Nobody profits from inventory sitting unsold in a warehouse," he said. "Even worse, due to the glut of finished goods, when a seller's utilizing the service of wholesale buyers, he may only recoup 10 to 20 cents on the dollar."
Borowsky said he believes that with its competitive online auction model, BidCow will help sellers get maximum bids on their goods, in part via the platform's global reach.
While there is no charge to sellers posting on the BidCow site, there is a nominal fee charged at the conclusion of a successful action.
Sellers looking to offer goods on the site can post listings via a template that provides simple step-by-step instructions, including how-to video tutorials. In addition, the site offers a help line with instructional support.
BidCow offers users a variety of selling options, including minimum bids, buy-it-now, quantity options, payment requirements and more.
Borowsky said the combination of a global audience coupled with the excitement and competitive nature of an auction will allow sellers to realize the greatest possible return from their surplus goods.
"And BidCow has an equal number of benefits for buyers," he said. Knowing that the biggest challenge most retailers face today is getting shoppers into the store, "smart buyers will take advantage of the values offered on the BidCow site as a means of driving today's value-driven consumers through their doors," he said.
He said BidCow will be rolled out in a three phases.
Phase one, underway now, involves the advertising and marketing of BidCow.com. "Our goal is to present this innovative concept to the home furnishings industry via a campaign designed to educate buyers and sellers on the features and benefits of the site," Borowsky said.
As part of phase two, which kicks off on Aug. 31, the site will provide a two-week window to allow sellers to list their inventories and upload product pictures and related information pertaining to the merchandise listed for sale. Also, during this phase, buyers and sellers will be invited to register on the site.
Upon the successful conclusion of an auction transaction, sellers will be able to arrange for payment through their existing financial providers.
However, sellers can also set up through the Retailers Processing Network, a division of the Michigan Retailers Assn., which has offered credit card and ACH Internet transaction programs at competitive rates since 1962. The programs will be available through the bidcow.com site.
During phase three, BidCow will celebrate a grand opening when an auction bell will ring at noon (EST) on Sept. 14.