Whether you deal in marine lumber or boat accessories, marine products comprise a highly competitive and unforgiving market. Overhead costs can be high, stock is expensive and you often have to sit on that stock for long periods. The Internet is a powerful tool, but online resources tend to favor the large companies and not small to mid-sized traders. One way to overcome these challenges is through automation, and with that in mind, let’s consider three ways through which you can automate trading in this industry whether you’re buying, selling or coordinating both kinds of transactions.
1. Hire a Broker
The term broker may conjure images of Wall Street or real estate, but there are all types of brokers, including in the marine industry. Like with a real estate agent, the benefit of hiring brokers is that they provide a lot of market coverage and have their hands in a lot of transactions. If you need to move many or niche products, a broker can help you do that faster and with little to no involvement from you. Sure, they charge a commission, but compare that expense against overhead, sitting on stock and other costs.
2. Automate with Software
A broker may be the traditional means of automation in the marine industry, but software automation is the future. There are desktop-based systems as well as mobile systems that you can carry around on your smartphone. As a buyer, you can set up triggers to make purchases when stock is low or when wholesale prices fall below a certain level. As a seller, you can automate the postings of items as well as have a system that changes prices on the fly as a reaction to market factors.
3. Trade via Auctions
Many small to mid-size sellers are reticent to use auctions because they fear losses from unpredictable sale prices. Small to mid-size buyers, on the other hand, fear wasting their time due to being unable to compete with the big companies. However, there are many auctions that let you trade in a hands-off fashion. You can set minimum prices, or set parameters and let the auction house make the decisions. In either case, auctions can streamline the trading of marine products that are often the most difficult to trade.
Understand the pros and cons of automated trading within the marine industry before taking that step. Know what you want to achieve, what you’ll gain and what you’ll lose in the process. Note also that the three approaches discussed above are the common means to automate when buying and selling marine products but not necessarily the only ways. Choose the approach that best maximizes returns for you.