MMforty was a company setup to deal with the closure and sale of the plant and machinery from a major New Zealand fabricator who sold up their operations and closed their Dunedin factory. They had an impressive factory formerly making machinery for use in the meat processing industry. Their equipment included a Kinetic 1200 plasma profile cutter, a 225 ton press brake and several presses of various types, radial arm, drill mills and drill presses, a machine shop with three conventional and one CNC lathe, three conventional mills, a huge number of workbenches, MIG, TIG and ARC welders, power tools, hand tools and machine tooling along with a complete office setup.

The Challenge

Skylarc were asked to value the Dunedin based plant and machinery and provide a proposal for it’s sale. An onsite Trade Me event would provide the largest possible audience so an event was proposed at the premises in Dunedin. Having the plant and machinery displayed in its working environment gives buyers confidence around the condition of the machines and saves decommissioning and transport costs.

The Process

Several of the major machines were not currently operational and Skylarc organised the agents technicians for these machines to visit the site and get them operational for the sale. Temporary labour was recruited to clean all of the machinery and bring it up to the highest possible standard in preparation for photographing. Once cleaned and tested, machinery was photographed, tested and detailed descriptions outlining condition and specifications were created. The auction set up took four weeks; 1744 lots were photographed and described. Video footage of machinery operating was included for all workshop machinery were demonstrated and their videos uploaded to YouTube for inclusion in the Trade Me listings. Computers and I.T. assets were relocated back to our Christchurch facility for wiping and operating system installation to be sold through our inhouse auctions.


A comprehensive plan to sell all assets via an online Trade Me event was produced backed by a detailed marketing plan incorporating display advertising on Trade Me, a targeted Facebook campaign reaching over 78,000 New Zealanders, industry email outs, display advertising in Engineering magazines and advertising in the major Dunedin papers.


The auction ran for 12 days with 433 lots closing each night for four nights, a total of 1744 lots were sold. Total sales exceeded the valuation by in excess of 100% with turnover significantly above expectations. The large number of high quality lots bought the biggest auction audience seen so far and as a result some impressive financial results. Total individual people who watched at least one lot in the auction: 9,951; total unique bidders 2,433; total unique buyers 531. Decommissioning and removal was a major task with three weeks of machinery removals. To see a map of showing our audience and buyer base click here.