PITTSBURGH, Oct. 21 2013 /CNW/ - A group of heavy equipment dealers announced today the launch of a new online exchange for material handling and construction machinery that is unlike any marketplace on the Internet. The exchange, MachineryStreet.com, is part of a subscription-based website showroom service that combines equipment listings from dozens of dealers into a searchable public database. The marketplace, which first opened in July, is free to shoppers and equipment buyers.
Rich Celaschi, a representative of the new exchange, said Machinery Street is designed to eliminate the guesswork and the risk from the process of shopping for large vehicles and equipment.
"Machinery Street is a joint effort from dealers who want to clean up the online market for very heavy equipment," Celaschi said. "By working together we were able to streamline the process of connecting customers to well-established dealers. It's a different, cooperative approach that adapts to changing trends in the industry."
Machinery Street functions through a network of interconnected online showrooms. Each dealer is given private access to a secure space that is attached to their business's website.
Dealers can then add, remove or modify media-rich vehicle information through a dashboard interface. Once a vehicle is posted to their showroom it becomes instantly available on both the dealer's own website and MachineryStreet.com.
The technology behind the showroom is managed entirely through Machinery Street, Celaschi said, which means there are no installation or programming costs for dealers who join. The dealer's showroom is connected to their website via a simple web link.
"Once a dealer signs up they get instant access to the system to start uploading and using tools," said Jay Marshall, Machinery Street's lead programmer and architect. "Usually within 24 hours our branding team has a complete custom showroom built that matches their website, and customers won't feel like they ever left."
Marshall, who originally developed the software, said his focus has always been on finding ways to work with equipment dealers. "At first we were looking for a way to help busy dealers post inventory on their websites," Marshall said. "Soon we were coming up with tools that let our customers share info and even whole listings with one another. Then we started talking to dealers about more beneficial ways they could work together. Machinery Street came out of those discussions."
Shoppers browsing Machinery Street can search equipment listings by manufacturer, year, stock number, category or other filtering options. The category lists can be further broken down into sub-categories, making it easy to find specific classes of machines. Each search triggers a listings page with availability, pricing, and photos that can be clicked for detailed information on a specific vehicle.
Vehicles are purchased directly from the dealer who posted the listing rather than through the exchange or an intermediary. Celaschi said this feature eliminates brokerage fees and makes the overall buying process more efficient.
"We don't collect a commission and all of our members have a well-earned reputation for customer service. We are totally confident that customers are being matched with the right dealer every time," Celaschi said. "There's no need for a middleman so you end up paying the same as if you had walked into that dealer's own physical store."
Although Machinery Street is open to the public and is free for buyers to shop without a membership, Celaschi noted there is a very strict background check for any new dealer hoping to sell or rent equipment through the service. Registration and the first month of dealer access are free, but each dealer is closely reviewed by an industry expert before being permitted to subscribe.
Richard Rich, a consultant for Machinery Street, said the focus on vetting is what inspired his company, H&K Equipment, to join the network as a pilot dealer.
"We were tired of the faulty listings and flimsy information and scams that plague a lot of these other exchanges," Rich said. "On Machinery Street they know who every person selling there is and their reputation in the industry. It brings trust to the online market."
Rich added, "What makes Machinery Street work is it's curated. Every listing is attached to someone's website so you don't run into out-of-date junk listings that languish for months or years. The overall number of vehicles listed may be smaller than some sites, but everything you see is actually available from a known, reputable dealer."
Thirty-one dealers currently comprise the Machinery Street network, which now has over 2,500 vehicles for sale or rent. At the moment all dealers are located in the United States and Canada, but Celaschi said Machinery Street's reach and functionality are global.
"We have a currency converter already built into the site and are constantly working on enhancements to make Machinery Street more convenient for international business," Marshall noted. "We'll never stop refining it to better meet the needs of our dealers."
"All the infrastructure is there for us to build a global network," Celaschi said, "and that's exactly what we hope to do. We want an exchange where anyone, anywhere in the world can find the right equipment from a dealer they know they can trust, and where dealers can compete as well as collaborate globally."
"That's what an equipment marketplace should be," Rich said.
Dealers interested in joining the marketplace can register for free on the Machinery Street website by visiting apps.machinerystreet.com. Once approved following a background check, new dealers will be given access to a branded showroom and a free one-month trial. After the 30-day trial period, member dealers pay $99.00 per month for their continuing subscription. There is no contract required for service and no limit to the number of listings a dealer may post.
SOURCE: Machinery Street
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