Booster readying for province-wide online auction

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Everyone loves an auction.

With that in mind, Transcontinental’s Saskatchewan Media Group -- which includes the Southwest Booster -- is teaming up with the company’s 10 other newspapers in this province to stage a massive online auction next month.

“We’re happy to be bringing this to Saskatchewan for the first time ever,” Southwest Booster Sales Manager Mark Soper said. “Our sister papers in the Maritimes have been doing this successfully for years. We’re taking their model and bringing it here to Saskatchewan for what we hope is an annual event for years to come.”

The concept is simple. Each of the company’s papers, which include the Moose Jaw Times Herald, Prince Albert Daily Herald, Oxbow Herald, Radville/Deep South Star, Coronach Triangle News, Grenfell Sun/Broadview Express, Southern Life, Rural Roots and FYI, are approaching their local retailers about adding items.

The auction will run from 8 a.m. on June 15 until 8 p.m. on June 24, with an advance viewing period starting on June 10 at www.cityxpress.com. There will also be a link to the site from the Booster’s website, swbooster.com.

There are no restrictions on when the coupons can be used and no geographic restrictions on bidders.

“You can bid on items anywhere in the province,” Soper said. “If you see a great car or boat that you want and it’s in Prince Albert, you can bid on it. You just have to go up there and pick it up.”

The auction won’t lack for variety.

Among the items up for grabs will be motorcycles, off-road vehicles, jewelry, women’s clothing, furniture and appliances, sportswear, outdoor patio furniture, eye care, vacuum systems, audio equipment, barbecues, boats, sports memorabilia, hot tubs and pools along with coupons for restaurants, massage, golf, sporting events, hotels, vacation packages, catering, spa packages, hair care, drycleaning, flowers, plumbing and travel agencies.

In all, the auction will have more than 700 items.

Items under $2,000 will have no reserve place on them. Anything valued at more than $2,000 will have a 50 to 70 per cent reserve. If an item has to be registered, such as a vehicle, it will have a 70 per cent reserve.

“But that’s still some great value,” Soper said. “If you’re looking at picking up a $10,000 quad and you can get it for $7,000, you’re going to save $3,000.”

Bidders will have to register with the website. You can pay online or if it’s a large item that will have to be registered such as a vehicle or boat, the winner will be printed a certificate and you pay the dealer directly.

For items such as gift certificates, the winner will pay online, print a certificate and then pick up their coupon at the business.

Advertisements will appear in our upcoming editions showing what’s up for grabs.

Soper says it’s an exciting project for the newspapers involved and for bidders.

“It’s exciting for our TC properties to work together and to do a province-wide auction because we’ll be able to gather a lot more items for bidding than we would as individuals,” Soper said. “That gives people a lot more choice and when they’re bidding they’ll have a lot of items to take a look at that they might be interested in.”

Organizations: Southwest Booster

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Moose Jaw, Swift Current Prince Albert

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