Bond Wolfe Auctions sees 36% increase in sales despite move to online auctions
With a set of results no one could have predicted at the start of the year, Bond Wolfe Auctions has finished 2020 with a flourish.
Despite concerns over Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic, the Birmingham-based auction business finished its second year 36% up, offering 1,135 lots, raising £111.3 million in sales (2019 - £81.4 million) with an average success rate of 94%.
Chief executive Gurpreet Bassi said: “We started 2020 with real optimism following the success of our first year in which we raised over £81.4 million.
“In February, we held the largest-ever Midlands auction, raising over £20.25 million, with 203 lots sold and a 96% sale rate.
“We were also delighted to win the public tender to become the appointed auctioneer for Wolverhampton City Council, to add to contracts for Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Police and Walsall Council.
He said that when the first Covid lockdown was announced in March, his initial thought was that everyone would be at home for two to three weeks, return to work and Bond Wolfe Auctions would hold its May sale as scheduled.
“In the coming weeks it became very clear that we would not be returning to the ‘normal way’ of doing things for the foreseeable future. I made the decision to cancel the May auction.
“While we could have held live-streamed auctions via our website, it was more important to put the health of my staff before profits. I also felt it was ethically the best decision with potential purchasers not being able to view properties which would have had a detrimental effect on the prices we achieved.”
Senior management at Bond Wolfe Auctions used the time to prepare carefully for online auctions.
Mr Bassi said: “After lots of planning, hard work, early mornings and very late nights, we held our first ‘live streamed only’ auction on 24 June.”
There were lots of nerves in the build-up, but the team adapted incredibly well, selling 125 of the 128 properties on offer, representing a success rate of 98%, and raising over £17 million in sales.
Mr Bassi said: “Our 2020 results mean that we are still the leading auctioneer in the Midlands and the number 1 auctioneer outside of London. In fact, we haven’t held an auction with a sales success rate below 90% for 18 months!”
It has also been a multiple award winning year for Mr Bassi and Bond Wolfe Auctions, being named Newcomer of the Year at TheBusinessDesk.com Masters Awards with Gurpreet being named Entrepreneur of the Year in both the Signature Awards and the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce Awards.
Bond Wolfe Auctions’ next online auction will be livestreamed via the website at www.bondwolfeauctions.com from 9am on Wednesday 17 February 2021, with remote bidding by proxy, telephone and internet only.