Analyst Intel

4 October 2019

ACROSS THE RAILS | Bidr online platform wins over farmers

By Suz Bremner

In this modern age it was only a matter of time before selling livestock online became the norm and it is something that has grown in capacity over the years, stemming from Trademe through to the latest online auction platform, bidr. Bidr was launched by PGG Wrightson at Fieldays in June though is a stand-alone company and stock agencies register to sell stock via the system. It is essentially a virtual sale yard and operates in much the same capacity as the yards. The beauty of bidr is that buying can be done from the comfort of home and access to livestock for sale stretches the length of the country.

PGG Wrightson livestock general manager Peter Moore is also bidr chairman and reflected on a successful four months of trading. “It has been a big investment with a large focus on customer satisfaction. We strongly believe it will be a key part of selling livestock in the future. We are starting to see it gain more traction now as people get used to the idea and uptake has been at expected levels. Stock agents have to be involved and to date six agencies are signed up”.

Bidr general manager Tania Smith said there are 900 registered users, of which half have agency accounts so they can bid and buy. That is increasing all the time, which is fantastic as it is a concept that is turning 150 years of trading stock on its head as the industry seeks more e-commerce and online transacting platforms, she says. About 60% of the buyers are independent, with the balance agents buying on behalf. To the end of September 4470 cattle were offered, with 3463 sold. The South Island is leading the charge with greater throughput and $1.74 million in sales compared to the North Island at $1.28m. Combined with sheep and deer the total value to date is $3.2m so there is certainly a place for it.

While cattle are the main focus, Smith said the standout sale has been of Red deer in Southland, where 40 hinds were offered. The auction attracted 29 buyers plus 25 viewers and 1000 bids were made on the 40 lots. Prices ranged from $1250 to $6000, with a quarter of the yarding heading to the North Island.