5 January 2001

Dotcom enters used market

A NEW dotcom business has gone online offering dealer advertising of second-hand farm machinery and internet-based dealer-to-manufacturer communications.

Farmec.com aims to roll out its service in several European countries but is starting in Britain. It aims not only to provide mouse-click access to an extensive database of used equipment but to back that up with credit check and shipping facilities.

"Farmers or dealers using the Farmec web-site will find a description and up to five expandable images of each machine offered for sale," says director Richard Pile. "There are also direct links to sellers and to specialists able to help with independent inspections, credit checks and shipping."

Cannily, only registered users of the site can see prices; the company needs to monitor usage because postings are free and for income relies on a 3.5% sales commission.

Although Mr Pile believes international trade has most to gain from such web-sites, buyers looking for second-hand buys in the domestic market will increasingly turn to the internet.

"It can save a lot of individual phone calls," he suggests.

Farmec.coms more pioneering service is an internet-based communications system for machinery manufacturers and dealers. This is aimed at companies without the resources to set up their own system.

"At present, communications between dealers and manufacturers take many different forms, including telephone, mail, fax and email," says Mr Pile. "Our internet system will simplify things." &#42