Some friends and I visited Expat Auctions last weekend. I had never heard of it and as I love a bargain and the excitement of an auction, I had to take a peek.
This is such a great business idea, and there is nothing similar in Singapore. When you consider the numbers of expats moving in and out of Singapore every year, with each family having the issue of "what do we do with all this bulky furniture we've accumulated?", it makes total sense to try to sell it at auction. There are the notice boards at the supermarkets and you can try to have a garage sale, but if you have serious furniture you need to move, then this is ideal.
We visited on Friday for the Preview to have a good look around, and one friend spied some Chinese style bedside cabinets she liked. These were much nicer than the new ones she'd been looking at at teak furniture shops around Singapore, and she manages to get them for half of what the new ones were selling for.
One room at the warehouse is taken up by 'functional' furniture; exercise equipment, wardrobes, beds for both child and adult, lots of sofas, Ikea desks, chairs and shelves. The larger room is jam packed with more interesting items like Chinese cabinets, designer items, guilt mirrors, rugs, wall art, and lots more.
The actual auction started at 11am on Saturday and was expected to go for around 3 hours, with some 300 lots to go through. There were plenty of people sitting around on the 'for sale' sofas, and it was interesting to see who bid for what . A couple of bidding wars happened which of course is great for the seller, and nerve racking for the buyers.
Many of the earlier items didn't sell, which means they will stay until the next auction. There were a couple of Ikea children's beds which started bidding at $5 but there was no interest. There were also bunk beds which didn't sell, so there are definitely some bargains to be had if no one else is interested in what you want.
Next auction 26th September, 2009 11am, and the warehouse is open all day Friday the 15th for you to take a look around. Make sure you take a close look at any items you are interesting in because once you have made a winning bid, it's yours! You can also place an absentee bid or a phone bid if you can't make it to the auction itself. Be aware also that a "10% buyer's premium" is added to the winning bid, so you are actually paying a little more than you bid for. You will also have to organise delivery if the items are too big for car/taxi (Expat Auctions can help you with this).
For sellers, Expat Auctions charge 22% for total sales of S$500 or less, and 16% for sales of over S$500. They can organise delivery at a competitive rate.
Level 5, Unit 11, Citilink Warehouse Complex,
102F Pasir Panjang Road.
Auctions every second Saturday (next 26th September, 2009) at 11am
Open for Preview the Friday before the auction, 10am-6pm and the day of the auction from 10am.