Friday, March 16, 2012

Bertazzon Carousel, How I sold this amusement ride that no one else could

Hello; Today, is a big day here on the midway. I am proud to announce that I have completed the sale of the 1997 bertazzon Venetian style carousel. It is the largest sale to date for my company. It is especially sweet because this ride was listed by several other brokers before coming to me.
You see, I have only been selling amusement equipment full time for about five years and have only had a website for four. There are several other companies in this field that have been at it longer and as a result listings don't usually come to me unless they are either owned by a friend or relative or they have been for sale for a while with no real results.
This beautiful carousel had been removed from the Macon Mall in Macon, Georgia about two years ago. I found a listing for it on a competitors site and sent the owner an email asking them to also list it with me. I was contacted by Rosanna Shoemake, CSM Property/Marketing Manager Victoria Mall. She said that the mall in macon had recently been purchased by Hull Story Gibson Companies, LLC and was undergoing a major redevelopment. She explained that this company preferred a wide open uncluttered feel to their properties and would not have any need for the carousel. Rosanna was their representative in this process because she had previously helped with the sale of the carousel that had been at Victoria Mall in Victoria, Texas. She was a joy to work with. We started with a listing that included several nice photos and a description of the carousel. That was in November of last year. The plan was to add some video to the listing, but for some reason, the person that had the dvd never sent it. I had done my usual work on selling the ride by posting it to facebook, writing a blog post, mentioning it in my weekly emails. I replied to forum posts from anyone I thought might be interested. And nothing much happened until the new year.
On January 2nd, I asked Rosanna if we could solve the problem with the video by having it uploaded to youtube. She said of course, and a day later I had this link to a very nice short video to work with. I used the youtube embed feature to post a link to the video on my site. I started over promoting it telling people about the addition of the video. by this time i had added linkedin, and merchants circle to facebook in the social media arena. My networks on the social sites had also increased nicely. I had also been working to add more contact to my email lists. I wrote a second blog post updating the listing for the carousel. And thankfully, a few weeks later I was contacted by a gentleman from upstate New york. His name is Taz, and he told me that he was an entrepreneur who had received a contract to operate a carousel in their local city park. He said they were looking for a very nice if not elegant carousel for their purposes. He did have some basic questions which me and Rosanna worked to answer. Then just a few weeks later, he decided to buy the ride. He and the mall company agreed on a 30 day time table for payment. And everything looked great.
And yes there is a but coming here. The buyer wanted a manual to use in the installation of the carousel. I volunteered to help him find one. I contacted the manufacturer in Italy, and they promised to locate one. A week went by with no answer, so i wrote them again. They said they were looking and would get back to me when they knew something. At the same time, Taz had contacted the U S representative for Bertazzon Ital International asking them for the manual. They claimed that the serial number we were using was wrong. They were also unable or unwilling to help us with the manual. This is at least what the buyer told me. He said that he worried that the problems getting a manual from them had to do with the fact that they had listed the carousel for sale before I got involved in it. What the truth is, I don't really know. I started calling my contacts in hopes of finding a company to install the ride for Taz thus eliminating his need for the manual. I got him in contact with Joe from Ride Werks, and he worked it out with Taz to install the carousel on their location the first week of April. Joe was able to calm their fears, and the sale went through.
So, here it is just the middle of March, and I already have a major sale on my score board. It wasn't easy. It shows just how difficult it is to sell amusement, concessions, or confections equipment in this market. It also shows how hard work, determination, and using the full resources of the net can pay off. I'm going to celebrate with a nice steak dinner and then its on to the next challenge. I wonder who will be next. I'm always ready to put my talents and effort towards a new project. If you have some used items to sell or know someone who does, by all means let me know. And even if it isn't to list an item, I welcome calls or emails to discuss the amusement industry. Thanks, max
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