PCAuction founder to start new business

PCAuction founder to start new business

PCAuction founder and managing director, Aaron Blackman, has resigned after an internal disagreement on the company’s future.

The company’s backer, Marshall Investments, has decided to focus wholly on PCAdvantage, an e-tailer of new IT products at fixed prices, abandoning the sale of refurbished and discontinued IT products.

In a statement, Marshall Investments said that it and Aaron Blackman had ‘amicably parted company’, and that Steven Spilly, the man Blackman hired to develop the fixed price business, had been appointed CEO of the fixed price PCAdvantage.

Blackman now plans to take the supply relationships he built up over several years of running PCAuction to establish a new business, PCSurplus.

He has employed four of the eight staff working for his old company to establish a new office in the Sydney suburb of Chatswood. Within three weeks, the new business will launch a Web site that offers refurbished and discontinued IT goods at fixed prices.

“We have moved away from the online auction model,” he said. “The auction model works well for the true bargain hunters but it deters a potentially wider customer base of people that want the product straight away. We will leave the auctions to eBay.”

Blackman intends to attract a wider variety of suppliers to the PC Surplus business by allowing suppliers to upload their catalogue via EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) or FTP (File Transfer Protocol). When a customer places an order on the Web site, the system sends the purchase order on to the supplier.

The new system allows products to be delivered to customers without much intervention from PC Surplus.

“There is a lot less risk for us - we don’t have to commit to the capital outlay to buy the stock upfront,” Blackman said.

He insisted that there was and still is far more revenue and profitability to be gained from sales of refurbished and discontinued products.

“Whether you are a street corner reseller or an e-tailer, your average margin will never be beyond 8 or 10 per cent selling new goods,” he said. “Selling liquidated and recently discontinued stock you can earn margins well in excess of 20 per cent.”

For the complete story on the PCAuction split, see this week's issue of ARN.

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