direct public sales by bickenstaff & knowles

bickenstaff & knowles direct-to-the-public oriental carpet sale setup

A Parallel Market

With an impromptu public clearance sale of a disputed shipment of Persian & Eeastern rugs & carpets organised by Bickenstaff & Knowles in the early 1970s - held in the warehouse where the goods lay in the old East India Docks, East London - the company became overnight inventors of the warehouse clearance method of direct selling, since adopted in many different business fields as an effective strategy. The success of the East India Dock sale, and much more importantly its identification of an entirely new market sector which existed parallel to, but entirely uninterested in, our auction-centric disposal methods, has since made direct public sales an intrinsic part of our marketing philosophy. Today Bickenstaff & Knowles is among the most familiar and reassuringly permanent names in the fast-moving world of direct selling.

Innovative Scaleability

Our direct sale module offers a larger selection of items, or an entire stock, over a longer time-frame as compared to the compressed time and more concentrated buyer experience of an auction event.

At its most substantial level, the direct sale model presents an entire problem inventory of many thousands of items, usually in associated, or temporary, warehouse premises, taking place over a flexible period, until clearance of all or most of the merchandise is achieved. Such large scale, high profile direct sales are normally only appropriate, and ideally suited, to large metropolitan centres. Some of our most renowned multi-million-pound liquidations have been largely resolved with this approach, and finalised where necessary by a programme of clearance auctios.

Direct Sale events have also proved popular and successful in smaller regional centres, with carefully balanced portions of several hundred items - tailored to the known requirements of the local market - are offeredduring set hours over a week or weekend period. Such localised direct sale activities can be scheduled in tandem with a parallel auction series, thus bringing the opportunities and merchandise of a special situation to the broadest profile of the potential market.

Buyer Reassurance

While there is a degree of crossover, it has generally been found that auctions and direct sales attract different sections of the consumer market.

The more personal approach, relaxed decision window, and generally private transaction character of a direct sale, where every item is individually tagged with its discounted price and other details, provides a more reassuring acquisition experience for those clients who may be unfortable or intimidated in the more extravert, competitive qatmosphere of a public auction, where the chances of bargain purchases are generally greater, but bidders are consequently more dependant on their own value judgements.

Many customers of our local direct sale events also value the opportunity of arranging a home visit appointment (usually evening) where final decisions between a choice of items can be made with complete confidence by seeing them in situ.