Auctioneers rake in profit from 'last-minute' Bechtel sale

AS if Hassalls auctioneers needed any more confidence, the dream-team of salesmen has been given another dose of it, with yesterday's auction raking in profits 120% above what they'd initially expected.

It was first expected to be a "low key" auction but quickly morphed into a full-blown bidding war when Hassalls general manager, Steve Walls, turned up to the auction yard near the end of last week to find Bechtel had dumped truckloads of gear.

Mr Walls said he and other auctioneers reacted to the flood of stock with a calling blitz to alert buyers to the new items. 

"A couple of weeks ago we were nervous about the size of the sale being a bit smaller than normal," he said.

"But then we just got busy on the phones calling the buyers that we needed to based on the assets that had become available.

"So I think engaging with the buyers was what made it successful."

Chatter of the bargains found at the Gracemere auction yard has travelled far and wide, with web-based bidders from almost every state in Australia accounting for a whopping 60% of sales.

"It was very strong, surprisingly strong, probably the strongest sale certainly we've had in the last three or four," he said. 

The auction exceeded Hassalls' sale estimates by 120% based on reserve prices on items. 

While transport and light vehicle sales were strong, the love affair tradies, contractors, and businessmen formed for

"knack boxes" during the famed "knack box wars" hadn't worn off, with Mr Walls describing them as a "highlight".

The results, well-beyond expectations, has upped the ante for next month's auction with Mr Walls toying with the idea

it could be the "biggest ever" as 50 light vehicles are already locked in for sale. 

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