The Buyer’s Perspective: Surplus Asset Procurement

Asset management is a practice constructed from many smaller processes. While some organizations focus their time optimizing specific aspects of the supply chain, other enterprises place a high priority on the valuation of existing equipment and machinery. Despite the various benchmarks, asset disposition is the end goal more often than not. After all, keeping unused or unwanted capital assets on premises is a costly affair and can pose a challenge to many businesses.

It’s common for corporations to assign internal teams to manage surplus asset disposition. This isn’t a mistake, as a group of well-trained professionals can certainly be useful when valuing or disposing of equipment and machinery. Yet sometimes, these internal teams lack the global vision or industry knowledge required to tackle these processes. More importantly, by trying to dispose of capital assets without a trusted partner such as Liquidity Services, businesses cannot deliver optimal buyer experiences, and that is ultimately hurting their return on investment.

Simply put, the buyer experience plays a critical role in the sale of surplus assets. It’s well known in marketing sectors that without a seamless transaction processes, customers are unlikely to return to shop again. In fact, the opposite is also true. A recently completed survey by Liquidity Services of more than 1,500 surplus buyers determined that providing a good customer experience will actually drive more spending.

Survey results also indicated that 83 percent of buyers spend less than $50,000 annually on surplus asset purchases. This means there is an untapped market opportunity, especially considering that 96 percent of buyers agreed that their demand for surplus assets will increase in the next year or stay the same. Businesses have the potential to sell to these willing buyers, but consumers are going to remain loyal to organizations that deliver the best buyer experiences.

Buyers want as many details as possible about the item they are about to purchase.

Crafting the solution
How do you create an excellent buyer experience? In the age of the Internet, consumers have many options to choose from and they have high expectations. Therefore, pleasing the consumer will often require a partnership with a trusted asset management service provider. Below are three aspects of surplus asset purchasing that buyers demand.

1. End-to-end transparency
Buyers want visibility into every aspect of their surplus procurement processes. Forty-eight percent of buyers find a lack of product details to be a challenge when buying surplus assets. They want to know every detail about the item they are purchasing or bidding on, and they rely upon clear photos and exact product descriptions. Some surplus asset shoppers want information regarding how long equipment has been used and in what type of environments before they decide to purchase.

Buyers also want accurate prices, as 42 percent stated that unrealistic prices have led them away from purchasing surplus assets. They demand to know how numbers were determined, including what factors were taken into consideration when products were priced. If a buyer thinks that the cost of an item is unfair, they will have a negative experience and will not return.

Lastly, buyers want exact information regarding the shipping and receiving of their newly procured investments. Thirty-eight percent demand answers when it comes to removing, transporting, and shipping surplus assets. If a customer has to pay an unlisted amount for shipping, or if it takes too long to receive an asset, the order is likely to be cancelled and the buyer will not return.

Sustainability is a checkbox on every company’s CSR list.

2. Sustainability
Corporate social responsibility is a keyword in modern business, and the impact of this trend means that the sustainability of solutions could affect procurement. Executives and managers want to prove to their loyal customers that they, too, are concerned with sustainability when they purchase assets on the secondary market, such as refurbished electronics, equipment, and vehicles. In fact, a recent survey on refurbished electronics conducted by Liquidity Services found that 94 percent of respondents have purchased refurbished goods in the last three years.

Since buyers look for sustainable options when procuring surplus assets, sellers must turn to a trusted asset management partner that has access to a network of refurbished goods marketplaces. Additionally, partners such as Liquidity Services can help organizations improve the quality of their surplus assets through refurbishment. Then, with appropriately detailed descriptions and photos of these items, buyers will know exactly what they’re purchasing.

3. Customer service
Buyers want a more personal level of service than what many businesses can provide. According to the Liquidity Services survey on buyer experiences, overall satisfaction levels and willingness to recommend a seller are direct functions of customer service and website quality. Surplus asset customers want their questions answered in a timely manner, knowledgeable representatives, and responses from humans instead of technology.

Giving buyers high quality customer service is critical in delivering the best possible shopping experience.

However, many organizations don’t have time to dedicate to those aspects of asset disposition, as they need to focus on their core business models. That’s why working with a trusted asset management partner with experience and global reach is so valuable. A partner can provide multiple marketplaces where buyers can interact with easy-to-use websites. These online auctions ensure that consumers have complete visibility of any informative requirements. If any aspect of their buyer experience is lacking, asset management partners with a core business model built around surplus asset disposition can provide the appropriate support.

Finding the solution
The bottom line is that it’s important to have a vibrant robust marketplace. Enterprises can work with a partner like Liquidity Services whose core business is the reverse supply chain. A partner can improve the buyer experience throughout the entire surplus asset procurement process, from valuation to sale. With a top-tier level of customer service, multiple global marketplaces with millions of buyers, and professionals knowledgeable in a variety of industries, Liquidity Services can help any business deliver an optimal buyer experience when disposing of surplus assets.