The slump in retail sales in Australia has a silver lining for shoppers. It’s an opportunity for smart buyers looking for unique and beautiful jewellery to pick up some amazing bargains. If your dream engagement ring or diamond earrings were out of your price range, a liquidation auction could be the answer.
When companies go into liquidation, the liquidator or secured creditor are frequently forced to sell off stock for whatever price they can at auction. This means a "fire sale" of hundreds of thousands of dollars of jewellery at amazingly low prices.
For buyers, it can mean the chance of getting incredible gems and gold jewellery for a fraction of the original retail price.
This year several major Australian jewellery retail brands have gone into liquidation with their stock going to First State Auctions, including Germani Sydney and Fraser Jewellers. Their jewels ended up being auctioned off at 65-85% less than the retail ticketed price (many of the items still had their original retail tickets on them). It included millions of dollars worth of fine jewellery from large diamonds to collectible watches and unique pieces by celebrated jewellers, Roberto Coin, Germani, Autore and Ole Lynggaard Copenhagen.
A Roberto Coin Diamond Cheval bangle with an original retail ticket price of $52,519.00 sold for $12,100.00 at auction, whilst a Germani Blue and Pink Sapphire ring originally ticketed at $66,500 in retail sold for $8000.00 at auction. A beautiful Germani Taihitian Pearl necklace originally priced at $26,000.00 in a retail store sold for $2700.00 through First State Auctions.
Insolvency experts expect to see more liquidations in the coming months. Despite the economy showing signs of improvement post the Federal election, business failure within the retail sector is still significant. Solvency specialist, Graeme Beattie, from Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants, says he’s seeing a lot of small to medium sized retailers struggling to maintain profitability.
"These retailers are making up a large part of the administrations coming across our desks. High rents, staff costs, the popularity of online shopping and the lack of business acumen of many directors and business owners are all factors contributing to the struggling sector," Mr Beattie says.
For savvy buyers, keeping an eye open for a liquidation auction could mean the bargain of a lifetime. These auctions offer excellent deals, because there’s an “everything must go” attitude.
Anyone can take advantage of a liquidation auction. First State Auctions online catalogue allows you to view detailed information, certificates and high quality images of each lot. You can take part in an online auction and bid from the comfort and convenience of your own home.
At First State Auctions, jewellery and collectible watches can go under the hammer at incredible prices. As well as liquidated assets, stock comes from jewellers with an oversupply, Australian Federal Police seizures, deceased estates and private collections.
All gemstones and other items for auction are examined and authenticated by gemmologists and diamond graders. You can register an account and take part in an online auction here.