Buyer Gives Thumbs Up to Online Marketplace

The idea sounds enticing. Place a bid on a piece of machinery on an Internet marketplace, the seller accepts the bid, you have yourself a packaging machine.

No searching, no haggling.

But is purchasing packaging equipment over the Web as simple and trouble-free as Internet marketplaces claim it is? After trying it, Tom Stratil, general manager at Acme Soap Co., says he won’t purchase used packaging equipment any other way. Last December, Stratil purchased a used six-head Simplex filler through iMark.com (www.imark.com), which bills itself as a used-equipment marketplace rather than an auction. That’s because it simply brings buyers and sellers together, similar to a classified ad in a magazine. After placing a bid, the buyer can pull out at any time before the bid is accepted, as can the seller. The seller determines the winning bid and pays iMark.com 5% of the winning bid upon completion of a successful transaction.

San Antonio, TX-based Acme Soap manufactures institutional cleaning chemicals. Stratil says he was looking for a machine that could fill quart and gallon plastic bottles when he encountered iMark.com. Although Stratil didn’t find anything that met his needs when he first logged on, iMark.com notified Stratil when a potentially suitable filler was listed. “I went online, found [the filler], put in a bid . . . and it was accepted,” he explains. Only a few minutes had elapsed before he found out the seller had accepted his bid.

Stratil inspected the filler first, driving to nearby Dallas where the seller’s company is located. “The understanding was this: Here’s my bid, if it meets my needs after I look at it,” he says. The filler looked fine to Stratil, so he hooked a trailer to his truck, loaded the filler inside and drove home the same day.

When it comes time to buy another piece of used packaging equipment, Statil says he will surely turn to iMark.com. “Just buying used equipment saves me money, but iMark.com saves me headaches,” he says. “I may have been able to talk another used-equipment dealer down to that price for the same type of machine. But it was just easier to put a bid in, and [the seller] can say yes or no.”

Editor’s note: Packaging World has launched a used-equipment marketplace in a joint venture with iMark.com. However, Net Sourcing is dedicated to providing impartial coverage of all used-equipment marketplaces.

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