In my (humble) opinion, the used equipment business in Europe is even more fragmented than the US was a few years ago when I decided to take the business on. At that time, a few websites were selling used gear that was being purchased at auctions and such. Not a bad business model, but I thought there was a whole other world. Companies who had inventory they needed to move, but no real plan to move it. Our initial plan was to work with Manufacturers and rental companies and establish a simple “disposal plan” for their used inventory. We’ve never really strayed from those initial goals.
Now, we are taking on a more difficult market, but also one fragmented with smaller web based guys who act as brokers. Many of these seem to have “flawed” the market for broker type business’. I have heard about deals where the broker mis-represented items, or basically screwed the client or vendor. At GearSource, we have been 100% careful to never mis represent items, and to back up everything we sell. In more than 3 years, we’ve really never had “issues”.
In opening our European base, we are bringing on a partner who is a respected industry person, and will base the business in the UK. His background not only brings us clients and vendors – but we will be able to have that same “trust” relationship we have in North and South America with our clients and vendors.
We will obviously deal with the different currencies (currently planning to work with Euro, Dollars and UK Pounds) and business cultures in each country. We will do more advertising and local marketing as well.
Our website for GearSource Europe will be very similar to the main site – and will have access to products from Europe, and also the main site listings.
Anyway, I wanted to give you a few bits of information concerning our upcoming move into Europe. We are very excited. It’s a big expansion for us, so we’re taking it very seriously. We should be announcing everything officially in the next couple of weeks then launching the site by October 1st (with any luck!).
More to say soon!