Feature

DIY build tool

Green Lifestyle

How a new building materials auction site is making DIY home renovations a whole lot easier and greener.

online-Tony

Tony Downing, founder and director of Buildstore working on a building site recently.

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Starting Buildstore three years ago, Anthony Downing, saw the need for a free site to sell unwanted building items, preventing them from being wasted and going to landfill. For consumers who are building, demolishing, renovating, it's a building-specific online marketplace where people can search, compare and purchase items online either being new or used. We chat to Tony about how and why he saw a need to create Buildstore the way it is.

How did you come up with the idea for this website?
Three years ago, I was renovating my own home, and I was always looking for a website that would provide me with the new materials I needed, and a way to dispose of unused materials, rather than sending to landfill.

Having a site like Buildstore when I was renovating my own home would have helped me as I was regularly looking on e-Bay, and was rarely able to find what I was after. I had to try several different searches on Google to get what I was after. I think that having a dedicated building industry-targeted website narrows down the search for you.

My site allows people to sell leftover materials, which is often expensive on e-Bay due to the fees – the amount of money charged for a computer to do the work is incredible!

I strongly believed that there was a need for a site had to incorporate an auction-style format, not just classified advertisements. This is because most of the time with building and demolishing you just don’t know if something will be of worth to somebody else. But with the auction format you’re able to send it to auction and hope you may have several users bidding on your item.

What is your career background, and how was it useful in creating this site?
I have many years experience in the building industry, and wanted to develop a solution for users to purchase or sell unwanted building materials that is easy and cost effective.

Being a builder and renovator myself I have a good idea of what and how people tend to search for what they are after. I wanted to make it simple, user friendly and appealing to use.

Why do you think being a free service is important?
Offering a free service helps to encourage more consumers and businesses to use the site to buy and sell. It means more items are being listed, which in turn provides a larger variety for users to source products and items. It’s really important that the site is completely free.

It’s not like other websites where you will pay fees to list an item, or pay a commission when it’s sold. I mean, why pay fees when it’s the computer that does most of the work?

What are some of the eco-benefits that you can see from your new site? Do you have an example to share?
The greatest eco-benefit from our site is that you can list and sell for free. This alone will encourage users to sell items through the site that may have otherwise been heading for landfill, this will save them money in tip fees but also possibly make them money on the sale of the item.

These days a lot of focus is on the environment and recycling, so we support the environment and believe we can help make a difference. Instead of sending your unwanted items to landfill, which costs you money, sell them on the site and put the money back in your pocket! One persons trash is another person's treasure, right?

How will you expect to see the site grow?
We expect to see a rapid increase in builders/owner builders and tradies utilising the site to buy, sell and search. We also believe we will have a big increase in smaller/independent suppliers advertising and selling their products through our site.

We have worked hard at making the experience as user friendly, practical and enjoyable as possible. We believe that there was a hole in the market that we have filled and when people think of building and renovating, they will think of Buildstore just like they do of e-Bay.

Is there anything else that you’d like to add?
I am very proud of what has been achieved so far with Buildstore. I believe it's very user friendly, and caters to the majority of the building, renovating and DIY industry. We have a lot of future plans/changes being developed for the site, not only for buying and selling but many more exciting features.

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The only Australian building industry targeted website which offers an auction format, Buildstore has free registration, no listing fees, no commissions, auctions/classified ads and also has some great features like auto- and bulk-relisting. To sign up or browse, visit www.buildstore.com.au