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Bahri Tonbulel

Exploring the forklift range on TradeMachines

LECTURA Press questioned Bahri Tonbulel, Managing Director of TradeMachines, about the company's business strategy and current forklift range on the company's website.

Where does the idea of TradeMachines come from and what service do you provide?

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Our aim is to give buyers the best overview of used machinery available on the market and to provide the best access to find a limited amount of perfectly fitting machines by attribute, location and price.

The company’s logo is made of a cogwheel and a globe. Does it symbolize the machinery world or something else?

Yes, our approach is global since used machinery asset streams are global. Of course, the dealers sell small standard machines in a local area, but the continental exchanges of complex machinery represent 40% of the business. The current range, as well as visibility, was not given in the past. That's why we believe the market will develop proportionally well in this segment.

If you look at our buyer base, we have the most forklift requests from countries in this order:

  1. Germany

  2. Italy

  3. USA

  4. France

  5. Austria

  6. Switzerland

  7. Spain

At the beginning of your start-up in 2013, the competition was rather non-existent. How has the situation changed since then?

That is correct, the digitalization of the market was just beginning in 2013. You can see that nowadays a lot of sellers understand the need to act intensively online and you can see bankruptcies of those who have not adopted. Moreover, the budget for offline services is decreasing and the budget for online services is constantly growing as 90% of the buyers start their search online.

What changes are behind your Forklift World? Which benefits result for the user?

It is all about the market overview that we are used to as customers. It goes along with the situation of losing targeted access to the desired machine quite easily – we guarantee faster forklift finding and spending less time searching as a result. It is a category where the great and intelligent technology comes into place.

Therefore, our strategy is to combine the inventory amount with cutting-edge features for the buyer. This will be achieved by machines learning to extract forklift attributes and data to be used in industry-specific filters. These filters will not only help to find the data, but also enable buyers to sign up for new listing alerts. So, we target on purpose and do not take a shot gun marketing approach.

In a previous interview, you announced that sellers invest a larger percentage of their budget into the print promotion rather than into the digital advertising. Is this still the case?

I would say that it depends on the industry. The construction and agriculture traders are more advanced than other industries. Nevertheless, we can agree on the fact that it gradually changes over all domains. That is what you can see in all other business sectors which underwent the digitalization process. So, putting up with the digital world is an essential strategy to survive.

How do you make sure all the sellers and auctioneers can be trusted?

First of all, we have a rating system and follow every hint of a bad quality seller. However, we cannot guarantee that there are no unprofessional players around, since we work with partners all around the world.

What are the most popular models on your website right now?

The models we see being viewed the most are:

Which manufacturers are the most popular amongst the buyers?

Our top 5 requested manufacturers on TradeMachines are: 

How popular are forklifts compared with other types of machinery?

I would say forklifts have become a typical dealer business, while little forklifts change owners directly. This happens, because no forklift is perfect for the next owner “as it is”. You need to equip it with different tires, forks and attachments. That flexibility along with technical overhauling can only be done by a dealer. Forklift is an essential item for machine logistics, possessing a vital importance. This makes a forklift very different from a production machine.

In which countries can we expect the largest offer of used forklifts?

We are currently finishing our project in order to provide the best online product offer for forklifts this quarter. Our outreach efforts and commitment will kick in for the Western European countries. We are talking about Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Spain. Of course, there are more innovations coming, probably more toward the end of the year. There is also a huge US campaign in the pipeline.

Do the buyers prefer diesel or electric forklifts? Why is that so?

Our observation is that this totally depends on the application and whether it is outdoor or indoor forklift or how much lifting capacity is needed. So, for example, if you take heavy duty forklifts, they never feature the electric version, but they are traded frequently internationally. However, the type of forklift also differs from country to country. The diesel forklifts are more requested in Italy, whereas the electric versions are preferred in Germany. We have also found out a big demand for rough terrain forklifts in the USA and telescopic forklifts in France.

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Company overview

TradeMachines started as a start-up in 2013 and brings together buyers and sellers of used machinery via its search engine. The aim of the company is to provide buyers and customers with the best overview of used machinery that is available on the market regarding the attributes, location and price. All the heavy equipment sale information is based on industrial machinery auctions worldwide.

Source: LECTURA Verlag GmbH; Patrik Eder

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