Dataflow set for online auction frenzy

Dataflow set for online auction frenzy

From tomorrow morning, Australia's first virtual IT auction begins as resellers outbid each other online for excess or run-out stock, Dataflow executive chairman Jeffery Tobias revealed in an exclusive interview with ARN.

Tobias claims it is the first business-to-business (B2B) auction site in Australia.

"Other Australian online auctions are run by media organisations for consumers selling to consumers. Our site is only for IT resellers looking for end-of-line, run-out, or surplus stock which they can use for loss leaders and special promotions," he said.

Tobias explained dealers and retailers can make healthy margins on these items and the online auction makes the transaction process faster and more convenient.

In addition, Tobias argued because Dataflow is already in the business of IT distribution, it can provide quick deliveries.

The software distributor intends to hold three auctions a week running for 24 hours each, and will notify its resellers of forthcoming auctions via e-mail.

Dataflow is auctioning its own excess warehouse stock to start the ball rolling -- in the future it plans to offer resellers, software vendors and other IT vendors a chance to auction their excess inventory.

Tobias was unable to reveal expected revenues from the site. He said no one knows what income auction sites will pull in because there's no local history and all other B2B sites in the US are closed communities.

He did reveal, however, that Dataflow has invested more than $500,000 in the venture.

The auction site is part of Dataflow's ongoing online strategy, an area Tobias identifies as having the highest growth.

Dataflow introduced online shopping for its 3500 dealers in April. Since then, revenue from the online shop has grown 300 per cent with around 1000 dealers regularly ordering through the site.

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