During the reconstruction of the Christchurch Convention Centre after the earthquakes of 2011, a large amount of ringlock scaffolding suffered accidental contamination with black paint. Although otherwise undamaged the scaffolding was subject to an insurance claim leaving the insurer with a significant volume of scaffolding with minor paint damage to dispose of. Skylarc were contacted by an industry leading loss adjuster in early 2020 to provide a rough estimation as to the salvage value of the scaffolding and to present a pathway to maximise the return on it once the Convention Centre project was completed.

The Challenge

Skylarc were contacted in early October 2020, the scaffolding had been taken down and relocated to a yard in Middleton Christchurch. In the middle of the Covid-19 crisis it was impossible to assess how the scaffolding would sell given the dramatic changes seen in markets both domestically and internationally. Ensuring the scaffolding was sold in a timely manner to minimise costs while maximising the return to the insurer was the primary concern.

The Process

Relocating the large volume of product to Skylarc’s warehouse would have been an expensive exercise, so rather than transporting the goods, Skylarc organised a month long lease of the yard where the Scaffolding was currently stored. This also enabled the goods to be displayed to their best advantage with a large open space. 

Enabling end users to purchase the scaffolding was the best opportunity to maximise the financial return on it. The scaffolding was sorted into lots that would enable potential bidders to use it for small projects, so each lot had an even number of platforms, uprights and ledgers. In total 32 lots were created, with the contents of each lot inventoried in the auction description including a replacement financial cost to provide guidance to buyers.

The auction was listed for 10 days closing on a Sunday night with lots evenly spread between 6pm and 10pm, Trade Me’s busiest time. This enabled potential buyers to bid on multiple lots without having significant overlap between each lot.


Facebook advertising directed at the construction and DIY industry provided a broad brush approach to getting potential buyers viewing the scaffolding listings once they were live on Trade Me. A targeted phone and email campaign directly contacted every scaffolding company in New Zealand to ensure everyone in the trade who used the product was informed of the sale.

The Result

All lots were sold with a net sale value of approximately 65% of the new replacement value, significantly exceeding earlier estimates. Skylarc’s Facebook marketing reached in excess of 100,000 New Zealanders and attracted over 5000 engagements. All lots were sold and the site cleared by the end of October. Scaffolding lots were purchased by buyers as far away as Hastings and nearly 600 individual New Zealanders were watching one or more of the auction listings and nearly 100 individuals were bidding.