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Tips on How to Buy Used Cars

Published: 14/06/2018

Buying a used car is no joke. It costs a considerable amount of money, but unlike new cars, which come with a warranty, second-hand vehicles involve a little more risk.But fret not, we've put together a few tips on how to buy used cars and avoid the pitfalls that usually come with it.

Consider a number of factors

Since a used car is a big-ticket item, you shouldn't purchase it outright without taking several details into account. These include:BudgetHow much can you afford? After all, you can't spend what you don't have. Plus, your budget will narrow down your options among our daily
car auctions.But don't just prepare a rough estimate. Prepare two budgets:
  • One for buying the used car.
  • A second one for fixing its issues (if there are any), which should ideally be around 20% of the purchase price.
For instance, if you buy the used car for $2,500, make sure you have at least around $500 for repairs to make your ride more roadworthy. Having some sort of auxiliary fund for initial repairs will help minimize your stress.PurposeAsk yourself: why are you buying the car? What will it be used for? Frequent driving within the city? If yes, then you probably won't need a muscle car or off-road truck. If it's your son or daughter's first car, then aim for something affordable and has a great safety rating (more on this in a bit).Fuel economyPetrol is an ongoing expense that you need to consider, which is why you should look at how much fuel the prospective car consumes. To get a better idea of details like annual fuel cost and fuel consumption (litres per 100km), search the car on the government's Green Vehicle Guide. You can compare up to three vehicles at a time.Safety ratingYou'll need to know how well a vehicle protects its driver in case of an accident. You can start by researching a used car's safety ratings over at the ANCAP website.Insurance costsHow much you spend on car insurance varies, depending on its model.

Inspect the car

Don't buy a used car (or any vehicle for that matter) by merely looking at the provided figures. You'll need to scrutinize the car in person to make an informed decision. Here are a few suggestions on how to go about it:Do it during the dayYou need to see the car properly, warts and all. The only way to do this is when there's daylight. Avoid doing inspections when it's dark or raining, otherwise you risk overlooking dings, rust and various other defects.Hire a mechanicUnless you know your way around a car like a pro, consider hiring a mechanic to thoroughly look over the car for you. This may cost extra, but a professional will be able to easily spot any issues and give you their expert opinion whether the car is worth the purchase.Look at the exteriorsWatch out for signs of an accident on such as:
  • Blemishes on the paint (e.g. differences in colour, bubbles).
  • Body panels aren't flush.
  • Doors and windows won't close properly.
Important: don't forget to inspect the windshield and windows for cracks, which may eventually worsen.Check under the hoodHere are some of the things you should examine:
  • Pull out the dipstick and check the oil's level and colour. If it's dark brown or black, the oil needs to be changed. If it's milky-looking or grey, there's probably an engine problem.
  • Remove the radiator cap and check the coolant. The liquid should be clean and brightly coloured. A rusty or milky hue means there are engine issues.
  • Look at the battery for corrosion or any signs of damage.
Don't forget the tyresWhile tyre condition is listed in the description, make sure you see it for yourself. Why? Because uneven wear means there is an issue with either the suspension or steering system.Inspect the undersideCheck for any sign of leaks under the car and take note of its colour. A red trickle may mean a transmission or power steering leak. Yellow may indicate a radiator issue.Clear liquid means the car is fine; it's just condensation from the air conditioning.What's inside also mattersCheck the condition of the interiors for any wear and tear. See to it that you do the following:
  • Manipulate the controls for various systems (e.g. air conditioning, windshield wipers, signal lights) to see if they're in working order.
  • Inspect under the carpet for any signs of rust.
Start the engineSince we have a showroom where we store our cars, you can inspect any vehicle you want to bid on. When you do, take the time to start the engine and let it idle, then pay close attention to the following:
  • Colour of the exhaust smoke, particularly after the engine heats up. For instance, grey smoke could mean burning oil or transmission fluid. A black emission may indicate the engine is burning too much fuel.
  • The sound the muffler makes. If it's too loud, it may have to be replaced.
  • Any unusual noises (e.g. rattling, humming) and where it's coming from.
Another tip: try moving the car backwards and forwards even while in the premises

Ensure the paperwork is in order

It's not just the car you need to inspect; you also need to evaluate the documents that come with it. Some recommendations:
  • Don't settle for photocopies. Get the original versions of all the documents.
  • Match the car's registration information with other essential details. This includes the driver's licence, VIN number, manufacture date, engine number, and rego plates. If the information doesn't match, ask why.
  • Ask for a roadworthy certificate. The rules vary, depending on the state. In ACT, for example, you'll need one when ownership is transferred and the car is over six years old (here are the other situations that require it).

Final word

ALLBIDS runs dozens of online car auctions daily and thousands each year. We provide all buyers layers of protection, which means you can bid with confidence. So look for the right car at ALLBIDS today.If you want to sell your car, you can also use ALLBIDS to maximise your return, but without the hassle. Give us a quick phone call, message or chat to find out how.

Ways to Increase Property Value

Published: 14/06/2018

How do you increase property value? It's a question commonly asked by those who plan on selling their home. What does it take to add more to the selling price?There are several key home improvements to invest in. To make the most of your available funds, here are the ones you should focus on.

Improve the kerb appeal

The term "kerb appeal" refers to how attractive a house looks when seen from the street. This usually covers the front of a property, the mailbox, porch, yard, and the street itself.Naturally, houses with higher kerb appeal demand a higher selling price. Some ways you can improve kerb appeal include:
  • Repainting the exterior. It's the most cost-effective way to update the property, enhance the kerb appeal, and increase the house's value.
  • Adding outdoor lighting makes your house look more appealing, especially at night. It also adds to the property's overall security.
  • Fixing up the mailbox. Cleaning it up and giving it a fresh coat of paint should help. If the mailbox seems too dingy, replace it with a new one that matches your home's look.
  • Putting together a container garden - a type of garden where all plants are placed in a container. This is certainly faster than creating one from scratch.

Update the bathroom and kitchen

Consider the following:
  • The kitchen is the most important room in the home. It's where meals are cooked; and over the past couple of decades, they've evolved into living spaces where families gather and guests are entertained.
  • The bathroom is where people freshen up. It may not be the first thing potential buyers see, but its condition plays a huge role on whether a sale will push through.
Thus, updating the kitchen and bathroom should be two of your top priorities if you want to increase your home's property value.Tip: you don't need to spend a fortune to refresh these rooms (see:
7 Easy Ideas for a Budget Bathroom Makeover). For instance, small updates like a new splashback and/or additional lighting can go a long way.To get the most out of your kitchen and bathroom modernisation efforts, aim for a timeless style so that it won't get outdated when new trends arrive.

Add a bedroom

Properties are usually valued two ways: area size and number of bedrooms. You can't really increase area size (unless you buy the adjacent lot) but given enough space, you can add a bedroom.There's a noteworthy increase in value if a property has more bedrooms, but this shouldn't come at the expense of other key rooms like the kitchen and living room.So if a three-bedroom house with a regular-sized kitchen were to convert to a four-bedroom house with a tiny kitchen, it won't really enjoy a considerably higher property valuation.

Make an outdoor entertaining area

Aussies love pool parties, barbecues and entertaining outdoors, which is why having this kind of space on your yard will significantly increase your home's property value.Of course, you'll need to take into account:Take note that adding this space can cost upwards of $10,000 (to even $50,000). Totally worth it, though, given the returns.

Build a granny flat

For the uninitiated, a granny flat is a connected or self-contained part of a house. The room is named such because it's an increasingly popular way to accommodate elderly relatives.Interestingly though, granny flats can also be used in different ways, including:
  • A home office.
  • A guest room.
  • A rental bedroom for extra income.
As a result, building a granny flat will add considerable value to a property.

More ideas

Need more ideas for your home renovation projects? Check out our online auctions for even more options. We provides all buyers layers of protection, so you can bid with confidence.If you want to sell your household goods, you can use ALLBIDS to maximise your return, minus the hassle. Get in touch with us today via phone, chat or email to find out how.

7 Easy Ideas for a Budget Bathroom Makeover

Published: 13/06/2018

Who hasn't daydreamed about having a more lavish bathroom? But there's a problem: such projects are prohibitively expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to get around this. Here are a few ideas on how you can give your bathroom a makeover while on a limited budget.Repaint the vanityDepending on its quality and size, a fine bathroom vanity can cost at least $250 and go as high as $1500+ at retailers (although the ones listed here typically cost far below that). Fortunately, you don't have to buy a new one. Simply repaint the existing vanity for a refresh.For extra visual oomph, go with a rich and saturated, yet neutral hue. Just make sure your colour choice goes with the rest of the bathroom.Install extra storageWithout enough storage, a bathroom can look cluttered especially with limited space. It's most likely the smallest room in your home, after all. You can eliminate this clutter and get a budget bathroom makeover at the same time by setting up additional storage.For instance, you can put install a wall shelf/basket or towel rail (here are a few options you can browse). The shelf or basket can store more toiletries, while the rail lets you hang more stuff. The result: more options for managing the space without breaking the bank.Tip: if the new storage needs to be installed, consider doing it yourself for best savings.Change the shower screen/curtainIt's pretty obvious when a shower screen or curtain is looking old and tired. Replacing it is a great but cost-effective way to give the bathroom a new look. For a more conspicuous change, you can also convert from a screen to a curtain or vice versa just to switch it up.A couple of tips:

  • If you're getting a new shower screen, see to it that you have enough space to open the door.
  • As shower screens normally retail for upwards of $220, don't forget to browse our auctions for better-priced bathroom materials.
Re-grout the tilesOld grout turns dark and looks gross. If the filling between your bathroom tiles has already turned dark, it's time to re-grout. Note that this isn't just for aesthetics: grout accumulates mould and mildew, which can cause allergies and other health problems.Besides, a newly grouted bathroom looks drastically brighter.Add a plant or twoHere's a budget bathroom makeover idea: add some foliage in your bathroom. A couple of plant pots or flower vases will do. You can place one on the toilet tank, beside the sink or the edge of the tub. If you have space on your newly installed shelf, you can hang some greenery there as well.Of course, you should pick suitable florae like aloe vera, ferns or orchids, which thrive in warm, humid places.Put in new faucetsAnother element you can add to your budget bathroom makeover is a matching set of new faucets. If you have a single-handle faucet, you can get a shower trim kit to replace them. For two-handle setups, you'll also need a bath mixer tap set.As with the other ideas listed here, it's cheaper if you take the DIY route.Upgrade the lightsAdding or changing your lighting is another option. It can alter the room's mood and give you better illumination. For example, having a bulb high on the wall will cast a shadow over a medicine cabinet. But if you mount a long-necked wall lamp, you get better lighting when you're washing your face.Trust us, this small change leads to a considerable effect.

More possibilities

Need more ideas for your budget bathroom makeover? Explore our online auctions for even more options. We provides all buyers layers of protection, which means you can bid with confidence.If you want to sell your items, you can also use ALLBIDS to maximise your return, but without the hassle. Give us a quick phone call, message or chat to find out how.

How to Clean a Couch

Published: 12/06/2018

Unless you clean your couch frequently, it's probably the dirtiest piece of furniture in your home. The couch is where you often prop up your bare feet and eat some chips while watching the telly.And guess what? All those crumbs, dirt and skin cells don't just disappear. They accumulate in the farthest corners of the sofa. If the fabric is furry, the grime clings to it more easily.With this filth comes dust mites and bacteria, which can cause allergies and other skin conditions. So don't let this oft-used furniture stay dirty for long. Here are a few tips on how to clean your couch.Wipe it downThe first step is to wipe your couch with a clean, dry brush or cloth to remove the dirt, crumbs, lint, pet hair and various grime. A brush, in particular, can loosen persistent dirt on the fabric.Clean the non-fabric partsDon't limit your efforts to only the fabric-covered areas. Your couch likely has exposed metal and/or wood parts which also require cleaning.To care for the wood surfaces, wipe them with a solution that combines warm water and oil-based soap. For metal parts, you can simply use mild soap and water.

Vacuum

Remove the rest of the loose grime with a thorough vacuuming. See to it that you also reach into gaps and corners where all manner of dirt gather.Keep the vacuum cleaner close by as you may need it again later to remove any remaining grunge.

Identify the material

Couches use different fabrics for its upholstery. To properly clean yours, you'll need to know what material covers your couch. You wouldn't want to apply a cleaning agent that damages the surface!So look for the tag on the couch. It has the necessary instructions on how to clean your couch's fabric. Here are the codes usually found there:
  • W: You can clean it with water or water-based detergents.
  • S: Use water-free, solvent based cleaners only.
  • WS: You can use water or solvent-based cleaners
  • X: Cannot be cleaned with water. Fabric is vacuum-only.

Blow some steam

If your couch can be cleaned by water, then you can use steam to remove marks, loosen stains, as well as kill bacteria, germs and dust mites.Here's an easy way to do it: if your clothes iron comes with a steamer, you can use it to clean your couch. A carpet steam cleaner should work as well.(Check out our auctions for similar
household goods.)

Test the cleaning product beforehand

Even if you're using the suitable cleaner specified in the tag, make sure you test it out first on a small concealed area (like the back of the couch facing the wall) to avoid damaging the upholstery.Deal with spills immediatelyIf your couch gets spilled on, clean it in 15 minutes to avoid staining. Start by gently blotting the spill with a clean damp cloth - provided it's suitable for the fabric.But don't rub the affected area, this will just spread and set the stain. Instead, work from the edges towards the centre.

Natural materials also work

You can also use natural, eco-friendly materials to clean your couch. Some may even work better than commercial cleansers. Here are a couple of tricks you can use:Let it dryIf there's any excess water on the couch, soak it up with a towel to avoid mildew, then let the furniture dry naturally. You can also direct an electric fan at the towel for faster results.

Important

We runs countless online auctions for all your household needs. We provide all buyers layers of protection, which means you can bid with confidence. So explore ALLBIDS today and start bidding.If you want to sell your furniture, you can also use ALLBIDS to maximise your return, but without the hassle. Give us a quick phone call, message or chat to find out how.

Doors of the Chelsea Hotel

The 5 Weirdest and Strangest Items to ever go up for auction

Published: 18/04/2018

The world has seen strange and unusual things being put on auction in the past. A shirt worn by a famous singer, a rough and unfinished draft of a poem written by a well-known writer in the 18th century, a spaceship model, etc. And all these weird things were sold! How about you? I'm dying to know - how much would you be willing to fork out to own such items?Talking about strange and weird things on auction, I've listed 5 of the strangest and weirdest things that were ever auctioned below.

1. Doors of the Chelsea Hotel - New York

Actor Humphrey Bogart once resided at the Chelsea Hotel in a room with this door. Here seen at the Ricco/Maresca Gallery in New York

What do Mark Twain, Jack Kerouac, Sid Vicious, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, and Bette Davis have in Common? All of them, at one time, stayed at the fabled Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan, New York. Early this month, discarded items from the hotel are on display in an art gallery and are being sold by an auction house. The items are worn-out doors from the hotel rooms where dramatic or news-worthy events happened. Events such as Sid Vicious supposedly stabbing his girlfriend to death in 1978 in room 100 (but he died of a drug overdose before he could stand in court,) Mark Twain and Tom Wolfe making the hotel their home, Andy Warhol filming his first commercially successful movie "Chelsea Girls," and Jack Kerouac penning his beatnik novel, "On the road," which eventually became a Beat Generation bible.
"I was shocked," Jim Georgiou
The doors to these famous and infamous rooms are now being auctioned, thanks to an enterprising former homeless man who lived in the hotel from 2002 to 2011. (He was evicted from the hotel when renovations started.) The massive renovations started in the summer of 2011 to give the hotel a facelift which, until now, is not yet completed. "I was shocked," Jim Georgiou narrated when he saw the doors in 2012 as they were chucked to the curb while the hotel's renovation was going on. According to him, if the doors could talk, they would tell eye-popping history.Georgiou, a few years after salvaging the doors and then transferring them to a friend's place gave Guernsey's a call. He chose the auction house to take advantage of its reputation of having outside-the-box sales.Auction fans are expecting the doors to fetch anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000 each. Half the net of the proceeds will go to City Harvest (well known to provide food for homeless and hungry New Yorkers) and the rest to Georgiou himself.

2. Winston Churchill's dentures

The dentures were auctioned by Keys in Aylsham

It's common knowledge that Winston Churchill had a speech impediment, but not everybody knows that he did not try to cover it up or overcome it. Actually, he maximized it after realizing that it was invaluable during World War II. To him, his impediment was a vital weapon for Britain in the war effort. During the war, when broadcasting outfits put his wartime radio messages on air, Churchill's voice was distinctive and was recognized by the listeners instantly. Due to this, he didn't want to cover up his speech impairment. In fact, he wanted his speech disorder to stay that way. That's the reason why he asked a dental technician to design his dentures in such a way that his lisp would be preserved. Quite odd, but I think it's a wise move as proven by its results. They were designed and made by a young dental technician named Derek Cudlipp. A set of the dentures has been kept by his family since Churchill's demise. However, it has been sold at auction for $15,200.During an interview, the dental technician's son Nigel Cudlipp mentioned that his father's work was so important to the World War II prime minister that Churchill would not let him join the army and fight.
"When my father's call-up papers came, Churchill personally tore them up," Cudlipp said.
According to the video interview of the dental technician's son, his father made 3 sets for Churchill because the British leader would often break them.
"Churchill used to flick out his dentures when he was angry and throw them across the room," Mr. Cudlipp said.
"My father used to say he could tell how the war was going by how far they flew," he added.
So... a former world leader's dentures, anyone?

3. A Violin played as the Titanic sank

A bandmaster's violin being played as the Titanic sank was sold for 900,000 pounds ($1.46 million) at an auction in 2013. That was a record price for memorabilia from the doomed ship.

A bandmaster's violin being played as the Titanic sank was sold for 900,000 pounds ($1.46 million) at an auction in 2013. That was a record price for memorabilia from the doomed ship.Wallace Hartley, the bandmaster of the vessel, played the musical instrument together with his band aiming to calm the passengers as the Titanic slipped into the frozen waters of the North Atlantic in 1912. The ship started sinking after hitting an iceberg. As the vessel sank, the band played the hymn "Nearer, My God, To Thee." This soothing music played on while passengers hurried and climbed into lifeboats. Hartley and his 7 bandmates perished after choosing to play on. More than 1,500 people died in the accident.According to the folklore that developed around the accident, more than 10 days after the disaster, Hartley's body was recovered. When found, the violin was inside a leather case and was strapped to him. It only took more than 10 days to recover the violin, but, it took more than 100 years to confirm that the instrument they found was actually the one owned by the band leader.Some people thought that the violin was lost in the Atlantic in the 1912 disaster. However, in 2006 the son of an amateur musician discovered it in an attic together with a silver plate displaying its provenance. After seven long years of testing, with tens of thousands of pounds poured out for the testing sessions, the water-stained violin has finally been proven to be the one played by the bandmaster.

4. Scarlett Johansson's used tissue

Photo: Getty

Would you believe? Scarlett Johansson tried to sell a used tissue online. Do you think she was successful doing it?Let's see. The particular tissue, strangely an insanely famous one, was used to blow her nose on the Tonight's Show back when American comedian Jay Leno was the host. Didn't believe it at first, but this notorious tissue has gathered more than 64 bids on eBay. Bids for a tissue with mucus? Fans could turn really weird concerning their screen idols, don't you think? For all you know, the owner could be keeping Johansson's used tissue in an air-conditioned closet just to preserve it! The latest report regarding the tissue says an anonymous bidder kicked out the rest of the competitors by dishing out a whopping $5,300 to get the honour of owning Scarlett's dirty tissue.Johansson jokingly told the show's audience that her snot had value for the simple reason that she got the cold from another actor-celebrity, Samuel L. Jackson, the Associated Press reported.All the proceeds from the sale will be sent to a hunger relief charity supported by the actress.The famous tissue comes in a bag with the actress' autograph.

5. A guinea pig suit of armour

Photo credit: Sean McCoy

Would you like to treat your pet guinea pig like royalty? By that, I mean secure and protect it with an armor.Back in 2013, the blogosphere went insane! All because somebody put an elaborately designed guinea pig suit of armor on auction.During the time Huffington Post Weird News first heard about the sale, a measly $305 was the highest bid.However, when the bidding session closed, the highest bid was $24,300. It's hard to believe, but, in 10 days, forty-seven bidders made 156 bids. For an armor designed for a guinea pig - that's amazing. No one could really predict what people will buy on auctions.Based on the product's description, 100 percent of those profits will go to Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue, a non-profit organization based in Virginia that is dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and finding new homes for unwanted guinea pigs.Praises to seller mightys0x. We absolutely did not expect this!UPDATE: According to the Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue's Facebook page, the winning bidder in the guinea pig suit of armor auction has backed out. The item has been relisted on eBay.

ALLBIDS Extend Plus500 Brumbies Partnership

Published: 13/04/2018

 The Plus500 Brumbies are pleased to continue their strong association with ALLBIDS as part of the Brumbies Family with the online auction site continuing their partnership with the Australian Conference Champions. ALLBIDS have been a long-term supporter of the club and have extended their partnership for a further two seasons taking in the 2018 and 2019 Super Rugby campaigns as the Plus500 Brumbies preferred supplier of auction facilities for our premier business luncheon, The State of the Union. ALLBIDS is Australia's trusted home of unique online auctions with the company receiving over 100,000+ items every year from the Australian Federal Police, Government departments, estate executors, car dealers, insolvency firms, private households, collectors and leading retailers. They have the greatest range of unique auction items listed daily across key categories such as cars, antiques, art, electronics, computers, homewares, wine, tools, sporting goods, jewellery, collectables and many more. “We are very happy that ALLBIDS have decided to continue our long-term partnership at the Plus500 Brumbies,” CEO Michael Thomson said of the agreement. “AllBids are a well-respected locally based online auction house and their support of the Brumbies, particularly around our annual State of the Union Lunch, is very much appreciated. We are looking forward to continuing our excellent relationship with them.” ALLBIDS CEO Rob Evans reiterated the company’s desire to support a community-focused local sporting club through this partnership. “ALLBIDS have been a long-term sponsor of the Brumbies with over ten seasons of support,” Mr. Evans commented. “We are proud to once again be committing to the Brumbies in 2018 and beyond. “The ALLBIDS brand has grown nationally over the past few years and, with strong growth projected for the next few years, we want to continue our association with another of Canberra’s great success stories. “We are proud to be a supporter of Canberra’s sporting institutions and look forward to the joint benefits this arrangement will bring.” Tickets for a table of ten for the State of the Union Lunch, to be held on Friday 27 April, can be purchased at the cost of $275 plus GST per person or individual tickets can be purchased for $295 plus GST. If you would like further information, or would like to purchase tickets for the event, please contact Michael Coulton on m.coulton@brumbies.com.au or call him on 0407 027 405

Club Lime Gym Equipment

Published: 5/02/2018

Club Lime are currently upgrading their facilities. They have enlisted the team at allbids.com.au to auction off their gym equipment with no reserve. Everything starts at $1and is online now here, closing on Wednesday 7 February.This is a great opportunity to grab commercial fitness equipment at a ridiculous price. Coming from such a well respected gym you can be confident that it’s been well-maintained and meticulously cleaned. Up for grabs there is various plate and pin equipment, rowing machines, racks and more.Canberra’s leading online auction site allbids.com.au, have over 100,000 registered Canberra bidders and are handling the entire process. To bid, simply:

  1. Go to allbids.com.au and register. Registration is free.
  2. Click the banner on the home page to view the gym equipment sale.
  3. Items are available for inspection at the ALLBIDS showroom in Fyshwick.
  4. If you are the highest bidder when the auction closes on Wednesday night, simply pay online or head into the showroom to pay and collect your purchase.
From $1, this is an extraordinary opportunity to get set yourself up at home before Winter kicks in.Visit allbids.com.au for more information.

Item for auction at ALLBIDS: Rome Mini-Shred snowboard.

Adrenalin Boardstore in liquidation – $500,000 in stock must be sold this week!

Published: 12/01/2018

Item for auction at ALLBIDS: Rome Mini-Shred snowboard.

It’s the end of an era for a much-loved Canberra retail store – Adrenalin Boardstore.Adrenalin started in Lonsdale St Braddon and has been a very popular retail fixture in Canberra over the past 10 years, but the continued pressure of online retailing has meant that current Adrenalin store’s stock and fixtures in Fyshwick will be liquidated by online auction.Owners of the store are philosophical about the situation and thank their loyal customers from Canberra and around Australia for their support. Perhaps the popular Canberra store may re-invent itself as a website only presence in the future.In the mean-time Liquidators Deloitte Australia have tasked Canberra’s auction specialists
ALLBIDS with the job to sell over $500k in stock and fixtures over the next 7 days.Snowboards, skateboards, boots, jackets, sun glasses, goggles, helmets, clothes, shoes, accessories, fixtures, fittings and lots more, are all online at ALLBIDS with all auctions closing by next Thursday and Friday Jan 18th and 19th.If you are looking for somewhere to spend that cash you scored at Christmas from your mates and relatives and want to bag a bargain on some great sports gear, then log onto local auction site ALLBIDS and check out the bargains.All of Adrenalin Sports stock will be up for auction on ALLBIDS from today with absolutely no reserve prices.Many will remember Adrenalin Boardstore was initially in Braddon in the early 2010s and then moved to Fyshwick until recently going into administration. The online squeeze has become common place for many retailers with the “showrooming” and “webrooming” of retail stores whereby shoppers browse the store for the item and then buy it online from a wholesaler.Canberrans are well placed to take advantage of both the sun and snow – there is a great opportunity here to either update your snowboard or skateboard, boots or some other great new gear such as a jacket or goggles.This is a once in a decade opportunity to purchase this stock completely unreserved. Just visit Canberra’s most exciting online auction site www.allbids.com.au.

Item for auction at ALLBIDS: BATALEON GLobal-Warmer Snowboard.

 

Item for auction at ALLBIDS: LOBSTER Jib-Board Snowboard.

Items for auction at ALLBIDS: Nomis, Krew, Oneill, Jones, Afends – Hoodies.

Item for auction at ALLBIDS: Spy soldier snow goggles.

Item for auction at ALLBIDS: Skateboard helmets.

This article was first published on The RIOT ACT Website by Tim Bensonhttps://the-riotact.com/newsflash-adrenalin-boardstore-in-liquidation-500000-in-stock-must-be-sold-this-week/229664

An Arrangement of Christmas Presents wrapped in gift paper in natural shades

Looking for last minute gift ideas? We might have something for you!

Published: 18/12/2017

Don’t despair if you’ve left your Christmas shopping to the last minute, ALLBIDS have got you covered.

Let me guess…last year you told yourself “next year I’m going to be super organised and get all of my Christmas shopping done early”. Sound familiar?While I’m sure you started out with the best of intentions, like most of us, you’ve probably once again left your Christmas shopping to the last minute and are now scrambling to come up with gift ideas that are both unique and affordable.Well, here’s the only tip you need to get your Christmas shopping sorted quickly and on a budget –
ALLBIDS. If you’re a little late to the show and haven’t heard of it yet,  ALLBIDS is Canberra’s premier online auction clearance house where you can find some really unique gifts at bargain basement prices.

A unique Antique Australian Rose Gold Bangle set to sell in the lead up to Christmas. Source: ALLBIDS.

Struggling to come up with good gift ideas will become a thing of the past when it’s so easy to find something for everyone you want to buy for from one location, including everything from vintage and modern jewellery and watches, to original artworks and statement pieces of antique furniture or collectables.You could pick up some cool tech gadgets like computers, projectors, headphones and other accessories, or you even find some great fashion and beauty steals at a fraction of the price you would normally pay. They even sell a great range of big brand name, local and boutique wines!

If you’re buying for a tech lover, picking up a refurbished Apple or Samsung product could make a great gift. Source: ALLBIDS.

If you want to give a gift with heart, maybe choosing something from one of their charity auctions where you can give someone special a gift they’ll love, while also helping make a difference in the local Canberra community.The items for sale largely come from private sellers, estate clearances or lot sales from a variety of businesses and agencies, so you never know what gem you may find.The site basically adopts an auction format where items can sell for as little as $1, guaranteeing you’ll pay the lowest price possible for your unique find, while also enjoying the convenience of having it shipped directly to your door.Because they have good relationships with various freight companies, if you bid and win an auction this week, they can even ship the item directly to you before Christmas. It doesn’t get much better than that!It’s easy to get started — simply register and start bidding on the items you want. I promise once you give it a go, navigating through over-crowded shopping centres to do your Christmas shopping will be a thing of the past!This article was first published on The RIOT ACT Website by Amelia Stephenson https://the-riotact.com/looking-for-last-minute-gift-ideas-we-might-have-something-for-you/226676

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Gym equipment on auction from $1

20/08/2017

Club Lime Kaleen is closing down, and they have enlisted the team at allbids.com.au to auction off their gym equipment. There is no reserve. Everything starts at $1.Up for grabs are treadmills, rowing machines, free weights, cross trainers and more. It’s an opportunity to grab commercial fitness equipment at ridiculous prices, and coming from a well respected gym you can be confident that it’s been well-maintained and meticulously cleaned.

The auction began yesterday, and the hammer goes down 7pm next Wednesday.Canberra’s leading online auction site allbids.com.au, who have over 95,000 registered Canberra bidders, are handling the entire process. So if you’re keen to start bidding, you can do it without even leaving the house.To bid, simply:

  • Go to allbids.com.au and register. Registration is free.
  • Find the banner on the home page for the gym equipment sale.
  • If you want to inspect the equipment, there are details on inspection times. Inspections are at Club Lime Kaleen.
  • Start bidding. If you are out-bid, you will receive an email notification so you can go back and bid again.
  • If you are the highest bidder when the hammer goes down on Wednesday night, simply pay online and pick up from Club Lime Kaleen by Saturday afternoon.
  • From $1, this is an extraordinary opportunity to get a quality piece of gym equipment in your home before summer.Visit allbids.com.au for more information.This article was first published on The Riot ACT Website by Rachel Ziv https://the-riotact.com/gym-equipment-on-auction-from-1/182839

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    Federal government surplus assets: where do they all go?

    20/08/2017

    Essentially a big business in its own right, the Federal Government acquires thousands of assets every year to support the operations of its various departments. From office furniture and IT equipment to forklifts and cars; there’s a constant stream of moving parts required to enable the APS to do their work.But where do all these assets go when they’re not needed, or ready to be replaced?Government surplus auctions facilitated by third party providers have grown increasingly popular over the past decade, driven by the government’s own need to ensure complete transparency and equal opportunity for buyers to purchase. With most items in great working condition, and some with a little sentimental value for those who have worked in the department, online auctioning creates a fair and private process for those wanting to buy.Local auction website Allbids has been running government surplus auctions for over 15 years, selling everything from high court chairs to general office furniture, laptops, tablets, and more.“We’re very proud to be a Canberra business who has worked with every Federal Government department to help them sell unwanted assets,” says Rob Evans, CEO of Allbids. “From Prime Minister and Cabinet to the National Museum, War Memorial, High Court of Australia – because we’re on the ground here they appreciate being able to use a local digital platform.”Rob says that Canberrans are truly lucky to be so close to the action when it comes to buying surplus assets from government departments.“It’s a great opportunity to find quality items with minimal wear and tear. Some also have sentimental value, such as the high court leather chairs which sold for between $200 and $600 each.”Of choosing online auctioning as a platform, Rob says that it allows the government to check off their three key requirements: inexpensive, efficient and transparent.“Government departments need to work efficiently in removing unwanted assets and replacing them with minimal disruption to staff. They can’t sell the assets themselves as it’s not very transparent and they don’t have the platform to reach buyers. So that’s what we bring to the table. We’re essentially a one-stop-shop: we collect the goods, upload and market them to our database of 150,000 bidders, and give everyone equal opportunity to acquire them. Every department is different, so we tailor the service and reporting to suit their needs, but the outcome is the same.”In his address to the APS last year, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull noted that the way forward for departments was with key focus on using technology as a platform to work more efficiently.In a direct quote from his speech, Mr Turnbull said, “Of course, innovation and technology go hand-in-hand. An unwillingness to embrace technology is, to put it bluntly, simply not acceptable.“We are already of course seeing instances of government transforming the way we do business. It’s a ‘learn fast, keep moving’ approach, modelled on good private sector practice.”Having won an innovation excellence award as an ACT Smart Business, Rob says Allbids is looking to streamline government surplus auctions by listing goods immediately after they’ve been tagged as surplus, and encouraging pickup directly from the government department to save time and money on logistics.“At the end of the day, it’s about getting more money into the public coffers, so they can recoup costs and use the money to benefit the public. And given the care in which the APS treat the assets, it’s a great opportunity for Canberrans to get a bargain.”To check out Allbids’ latest government assets up, visit Allbids.com.au. They currently have a wide range of Computers and IT and Office and Business equipment up for auction.This article was first published on The Riot ACT Website by Rachel Ziv https://the-riotact.com/federal-government-surplus-assets-where-do-they-all-go/213336

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    Decluttering and profiting – selling at auction

    18/08/2017

    A pair of old Chinese wooden carved chairs. That was pretty much the last remnant of joint furniture purchased with my ex-husband during our marriage that I didn’t want. “You sell it,” he said when I offered him the chairs that he had once lovingly selected. Fine. But how on earth was I going to do this?The chairs were good quality, attractive and made with good craftsmanship. Many years ago they stood by the front door to our home, one of the first things guests saw when we welcomed them into our home. When we returned from posting to Taiwan, I didn’t know what to do with them. I no longer wanted them there because, being old, they were a bit rickety and unsafe for children to sit on (or climb on). For a while I hid then in corners and there they got covered with kid’s toys and clutter.When I moved into my new apartment in January the chairs then sat untidily in my spare parking space, making it look like I was decamping to the basement.I thought of selling on gumtree or Ebay – but I had no idea how much they were worth, or even what they were or how to describe them. Were they truly antique? Or a knock-off? I could recognise they were Chinese, but from what province and what style? And would people even want to buy them? What if they were made by a really famous carver, or they had come from the Forbidden City and I sold up my kids inheritance for a pittance?In the end I decided to sell at auction with Allbids, Canberra’s top auction site.I had planned to blog at length about the steps in this process, about following the items online on a daily process, but all I can say is that it was so quick and incredibly easy.So easy. I wish I had known about this service earlier because I would have sold more junk (aka treasures) this way, especially when I was selling the house and moving.All I did was make a short drive to Fyshwick to drop off my chairs at the Allbids warehouse in Fyshwick. (They can also collect, which is useful if you have a whole home full of stuff.) Andrew Whitehead, a Certified Fine Art and Antiques Valuer and one of the foremost experts in valuing Asian art in Australia, looked at the chairs and assessed they were nice provincial pieces worth between $100 to $200 each. It turned out that Allbids had another pair of a similar design in their warehouse already, so knew what the chairs were truly worth. Perhaps I was indeed hoping they were worth a fortune, but it was a huge relief to have a definitive answer about what range I should look at.Allbids took professional photos, which it put on their website. I didn’t have to do anything – I didn’t have to write an advertisement, take photos, answer inquiries from people about what the chairs actually were (which I couldn’t answer because I didn’t know), or guess a price. All I had to was wait.The starting bid on the first day was $20. $20! “Don’t worry,” said Rod Evans, Allbids owner. “This is normal. There is always a low starting bid but it will trend upwards right at the end.”$70. Then a bit more. Finally the pair sold for $231 to one of Allbids regular clients. The commission cost $42.74. Allbids handled delivery to the new purchasers, paperwork and communication. All I had to do was to wait for the money to come into my bank account, which happened quickly and easily. Before I knew it I had $172.99 in my account, which I could use to pay off my mortgage (or to go skiing again). That was $172.99 more than I had had when these lovely chairs were just clutter in my life.This whole experience has opened up my eyes to more possibilities at home. What other things do I have at home that I like, but don’t need? What else could become a treasure for someone else, and help increase the gold in my bank account?This is a sponsored post, written after I approached Allbids because I really wanted to sell my chairs, then realised I liked their business and wanted to work with them. I believe selling stuff you don’t need in your life at auction a great way for frugaleers to declutter and reach their financial goals. Stay tuned for more posts about Allbids.Have you sold on gumtree? Or Ebay? Or auction? What was the experience like?This article was first published on msfrugalears.com Website byMs Frugal Ears https://www.msfrugalears.com/2017/08/18/decluttering-and-profiting-selling-at-auction/

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    Garage sales in Canberra: Pain or profit?

    21/07/2017

     Canberrans love a good garage sale, and every weekend our back streets are adorned with signs directing us to go this way or that in the hope of snagging a great bargain, or finding something we know has been seriously undervalued.But from the owner’s point of view, is all the trouble really worth it? Getting everything together, setting it all up in the early hours of the morning, pricing, manning the stands all day, haggling with bargain hunters…and all the while wondering if you’ve accidentally missed something that’s surprisingly worth a fortune.DIY second-hand selling has become very popular, facilitated by online marketplaces that have made it easier than ever to advertise. But Rob Evans, CEO of Allbids, says that recent sales on the site suggest people are keen to explore “Garage Sales 2.0” where technology is leveraged to conduct the garage sale via an online auction, omitting the need for haggling and allowing the goods to be sold anytime.“It’s become very popular,” says Rob. “Because we not only get the 100 or so bargain hunters who follow the Canberra garage sale trail every week, but the prices are driven up by our 150,000 general registered bidders from Allbids and Allclassifieds, some of whom are interstate and happy to travel if they find something they like.”Rob says that the main attraction though is getting a prior appraisal so people understand what their items are really worth. He recounts a recent experience where a client was about to have a garage sale, but decided to get an appraisal first.“The valuer went out to see them, to give a rough idea of what everything was worth. The owners were reasonably accurate with most things, until he got to a big mahogany chest. The chest itself was only worth a few hundred dollars, but inside he found a little antique. The owners were going to throw it out or give it away for free, but it was actually worth over $2,500!“At a traditional garage sale, anyone who knew that would never tell you. And if you price it at what it’s worth, you’ll often find that no one wants to buy it. It takes a collection of buyers, who all understand the worth, bidding against each other to net you the best profit. And you never really know what you’ve got until you get a professional to look at it for you.”Allbids also recently had a client from Florey drop in a few cardboard boxes, packed with old knick knacks from around his house. He thought it was all junk and was about to throw it out, but wanted a professional to take a look.“It was all pretty rudimentary,” says Rob. “Until we got to an old Omega Seamaster watch. It wasn’t in great condition, but still fetched $1,500 at auction.”For more information about conducting your garage sale via online auction, or getting a free in-home appraisal on your second-hand goods, visit Allbids or call 6239 2262.What’s your experience with garage sales? Have they been painful or profitable?This article was first published on The Riot ACT Website by Rachel Ziv https://the-riotact.com/garage-sales-in-canberra-pain-or-profit/210011

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    Feeling a little low? You might have Seasonal Affective Disorder

    8/07/2017

     Winter is definitely upon us and if you’ve been feeling a little down or lacking in motivation, it could be a result of the dark and dreary Canberra weather. According to research, cold weather and limited sunlight can actually have a negative impact on the way our brains process emotions and bodily sensations.According to Dr. Lewis from the University of Canberra, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that commonly occurs with the change in season, usually winter.“SAD can be brought on by a reduction in exposure to sunlight and a change in the weather,” Dr. Lewis explains. “During winter, we experience more grey skies, sub-zero temperatures as well as shorter and darker days.”In an effort to perk up Canberrans (and support a very worthy charity in the process), Allbids have just announced that they will be running a series of Escape the Winter Blues accommodation auctions. Auctions will be held each week, and will offer the opportunity to grab a bargain rate for accommodation in a sunny, warm holiday destination such as Fiji or Vanuatu.Proceeds from the auctions will be donated to the Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) 2017 Support Group Program.“Domestic violence is a serious issue, DVCS have some great programs to assist those in need and we are proud to offer our support,” says Rob Evans, CEO of Allbids.“DVCS do a fantastic job providing support to women, men and children affected by violence and abuse, and this is one way we can contribute to the meaningful work they do and help counter this devastating problem, which can have far-reaching effects on our community.”The DVCS 2017 Support Group Program offers free groups to help people of all ages (and genders) cope with domestic violence.The groups are led by facilitators with extensive experience in domestic violence and group facilitation and are free of charge.For more information about DVCS and their programs, visit DVCS or call them on 6280 6999.To support DVCS via an Allbids Escape the Winter Blues accommodation auction, visit Allbids and click on the link in the banner.This article was first published on The Riot ACT Website  https://the-riotact.com/feeling-a-little-low-you-might-have-seasonal-affective-disorder/209336

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    Whatever happened to allclassifieds?

    13/06/2017

     Since 2001, allclassifieds has been Canberra’s favourite classifieds websites, offering a simple platform for locals to buy and sell just about anything. Last year we reported that allclassifieds had been acquired by local online auction powerhouse allbids.So where are they now?Well, if you’ve been to allclassifieds lately, you would have seen that the site is alive and well – albeit sporting a very different look and feel to coincide with the allbids sales platform.The most notable changes include:
    • The change in branding
    • A buyer’s search now produces results from both allclassifieds and allbids listings
    • Sellers are now selling to buyers from both databases
    • Sellers must verify their identity before creating a listing
    Rob Evans, CEO of allbids, explains how it all works.“It’s been a journey but allclassifieds has now been fully integrated into allbids, and the two sites really complement each other.“Allclassifieds is still the place to go to find a bargain or sell items you no longer want or need. But now everything is streamlined, so when you search for a product you get instant access to every allclassifieds listing plus every allbids listing (which includes a huge array of Government/AFP and business surplus stock available via online auction). For buyers it means more choice. For sellers it means reaching the traditional allclassifieds market, and our 150,000 registered allbids users.“With the amount of traffic between the two sites now amalgamated, it’s exciting times. The product range is massive – new and second-hand art, jewellery, electronics, manchester, wine, clothing, toys, sports memorabilia and more. There’s also a huge range of second-hand cars from private sellers, as well as for online auction on behalf of car dealers in Canberra.”In terms of functionality, Rob says that the extra verification process that sellers need to undergo was essential to maintain the high standards of security allbids requires.“We were aware of the many spam issues plaguing online marketplaces – both from a buying and selling perspective. So we had a security expert advise us on the best way to move forward, which resulted in the new seller verification process requiring you to enter your driver’s license number before you can list an item. It takes two seconds, but it’s an essential step to protect all of our users.”Rob has big plans for the site and says the allbids team are focussed on continual improvement in terms of functionality and aesthetics.“We are now Canberra’s biggest database of buyers/bargains/sellers and fundraising, and we take that very seriously.“The allbids database grows steadily every year, but with the addition of the classifieds section and amalgamating the allclassifieds database, it’s growing rapidly.“We’re always seeking ways to make things bigger and better for our buyers and sellers, and to make it easy for people to find a bargain or make money from selling their goods.”To check out the new-look allclassifieds website, head to Allbids.This article was first published on The Riot ACT Website by Rachel Ziv https://the-riotact.com/whatever-happened-to-allclassifieds/206179

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    Should you buy or sell a car online?

    19/05/2017

     When Stacey Green* decided to sell her beautiful 2002 Jeep Cherokee, she thought that the fastest and easiest way would be via an online listing.She turned to an online marketplace, put in all the details, set it to live and waited.And waited. And waited.After one month and no enquiries, she came to the realisation that perhaps the price was too high. So she dropped it by $1,000.And waited. And waited.After a second month of no enquiries, she again thought that the price was too high, and dropped it by another $1,000. But she also realised that the particular online marketplace she had chosen to list with was probably part of the problem. So Stacey listed the car on a second online marketplace at the new reduced price.Within 10 minutes, the phone began to ring. And ring. It rang 6 times in two hours, and before long Stacey had a stream of interested buyers lined up to inspect the car.The first couple to see it were very keen. Naturally they asked to test drive it, so Stacey handed over the keys and waved to them as they reversed out of her driveway…right into her neighbour’s car.They were very apologetic, and though the Jeep had only a minor scratch (as Jeeps do), the neighbour’s car wasn’t so lucky. The test drivers immediately offered to pay the insurance excess, and said they wanted to buy the car no matter what.At the end of the day, Stacey got what she wanted – the Jeep sold. But overall it was an exhausting experience. And she was disappointed because she couldn’t help but think that she would have got a lot more money if she’d listed on the second online marketplace first, at the original price.Online buyers’ marketplaces make it easy to list items such as second-hand cars. But unfortunately, they don’t take away the stress of wondering:
  • Is this the right online marketplace to sell the car?
  • Will it reach the right buyers?
  • How do I price it?
  • Am I prepared to haggle?
  • Not to mention worrying about the test drives!And when it comes to pricing, a seller is typically stuck between two scenarios: they place the ad and get no response (price too high) or they get an immediate response and sell straight away (price too low).But there is another way to buy and sell a car online that Stacey admits she didn’t even know about. And in hindsight, she says it would have helped her get everything she wanted, while avoiding all the stress.She could have done an online auction.Local auction websites, such as Allbids, sell second-hand cars on behalf of private individuals and car dealers every day. And the way it works means you never have to:
    • Field calls
    • Have people come to your home for inspections
    • Worry about test drives
    • Stress over the price you set
    • Haggle with buyers
    In Allbids’ case, they take all the photos, store the car for you (so people can go and see it), create the listing, market it to over 150,000 registered buyers, and receive the payment (which they then pay to you, less a small commission).The listing runs for 7 days to give buyers enough time to compete over the price. A sale is guaranteed, and sellers often find the price exceeds expectations because anyone who sees a great bargain is motivated to bid, which drives the price up until the end. With two motivated buyers, the sky’s the limit!From the buyer’s perspective, online auction sites can be a great way to find a second-hand car for less than $10,000. Car dealers aren’t all that interested in selling cars for less than 10k, so they give them to Allbids to sell at whatever price the market is willing to pay.For mums and dads helping their teenager buy a first car, a family wanting a second run-around car, or a student looking for a good deal, online auctions make it easy to find a quality car at an affordable price.Rob Evans, CEO of Allbids says, “We have car dealers from all over the ACT and Southern NSW giving us quality cars to put to auction, plus private sellers too. Most people hate the hassle of managing a listing, worrying about the price they set, and then haggling over a few hundred dollars.“There’s one week between when a car is listed and the online hammer goes down, to give buyers plenty of time to ring a mechanic and have them do a Buyers’ Inspection. And unlike an online marketplace where you hope the seller is being truthful, Allbids have a duty of care to list all the faults with the car so you can see straight away if it’s not something you’re prepared to live with.“It’s a seamless experience, and with 150,000 buyers on our database we always find a home for a second-hand car by the time the online hammer goes down.”Visit Allbids to see their current second-hand cars for auction, or to learn more about buying or selling a car via online auction, call Allbids on 02 6239 2262.Have you ever tried to buy or sell a car online? What was your experience?This article was first published on The Riot ACT Website by Rachel Ziv https://the-riotact.com/should-you-buy-or-sell-a-car-online/203279

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    What to look for when buying a car

    6/05/2017

    As far as first car horror stories go, mine is a cracker.It was a long time before I could even look back with enough fondness to give her a nickname. And even then, the nickname of choice was ‘The Hyundai Deathtrap’.No offence to Hyundai, of course. It was the individual car – rather than the brand – that was the problem here. Or more specifically, the dodgy dealer.Bought from one of the (then) larger and seemingly well-established yards on Newcastle Street in Fyshwick, she was a well-priced 1991 Excel hatchback. I congratulated myself on making such a sensible choice.Much younger and more naïve then, I didn’t notice the paint colour inside the engine bay was different to the exterior. Weird.Or that the blueish-white smoke coming from the exhaust might not just be ‘due to the cold weather’ like I was told.Yes, yes, I know – did I mention I was young and naïve?Proud new car owner that I was, I kitted her out with every gaudy accessory I could find – including furry black-and-white faux cowhide seat covers, chrome foot pedals and a neon purple gearstick knob.Super understated, and a total blast for all of the three months she lasted before falling to pieces.(The story does have a happy ending. It took me seven years and countless court appearances, but I did finally get my money back. With interest. Never did get back my dignity after driving around with those seat covers though …)In the hope I might spare others such an unpleasant experience, I’ve thrown together a few tips on buying your first, or next, car.New or used?This is the first decision, which will guide your choice of car; and there are pros and cons either way.Used cars are a slightly-less-terrible investment and much cheaper. But they come with existing wear or damage, as well as the risk that you’re buying someone else mistakes and poor quality of care.New cars are inevitably safe and reliable but are of course, more expensive. And as the cliché goes, you’ll lose most of that money the moment you drive off the lot.My advice is to shoot for a late model used car. The first thing you should check is the odometer – everything else aside, fewer kilometres means less wear and tear, and less likelihood a few important parts are about to hit the end of their useful life.Check the service records – these are non-negotiable, in my humble opinion. No service records, no purchase.Look closely at the condition of the car, especially around the edges – for example, worn on the carpet, scuffing around the doors, handles and locks, even a recently cleaned engine bay. A good detail will hide a lot of sins, but you can find signs that a car has generally been well cared for, or not. Someone who doesn’t care about the car’s appearance might also not care about its mechanics.Private, auction or dealership?If you choose to buy your car from a dealership, you’ll likely pay a little more than if buying from a private seller. However, you will get extra protections under the Sale of Motor Vehicles Act 1977, which include things like a three-business-day cooling-off period, guaranteed title over the car, and often some warranty provisions.(Incidentally, this warranty was what enabled me to take successful action against the dealer that sold me the Deathtrap).Note however, the list of items not covered by warranty is extensive, and could still provide quite a hit to the hip pocket:Things not covered by the warranty include tyres, batteries, perishable items such as brake pads and wiper blades, accessories fitted after manufacture such as stereo systems, damage caused by accidents, misuse or negligence after delivery, damage to paintwork or upholstery after delivery, tune-ups or services and tools. (From Access Canberra)If you buy a car privately, you’re still protected by our basic consumer laws, but the burden is on you to do a few more checks, and you’ll likely have to do a lot more work to chase up any problems. Fair Trading exists to keep businesses in line, but when it comes to private sellers, you’re kinda on your own.There are a number of questions you must ask, and checks you should complete – I won’t re-write them here because there’s heaps of helpful advice and a great checklist here.We’re lucky to have access to a few good auction options in Canberra – Pickles and AllBids among them, and you can pick up a great ex-govt fleet car for a song. It’ll likely have higher mileage so be wary of that, but it should’ve been generally well cared for and serviced.Buying at an auction might feel more like you’re buying from a dealer, but in fact, you should exercise the same degree of care as you would if buying privately. Though if the vehicle is being sold by auction on behalf of a dealer, you may still be covered by the Act.Brand and parts matter a lotNow we’ve covered off *how* to buy, we get to the fun part – *what* to buy?Many people think first about the size of car they need. Big sedan, little hatchback, or even an SUV?Think very deliberately about what you’ll really use your car for. You might fantasise about long road trips into the country, but if the reality is a daily city commute, that’s going to impact more on your choice of car and how much you enjoy it.There are many types and sizes of vehicle behind each badge. And contrary to popular belief, fuel is unlikely to be your biggest cost in a car.When it comes to routine maintenance or in the event of a disaster, the last thing you want is greater expense and delays in time because parts and equipment are so hard to source. Those rare spares might even add to your insurance premium.One of the best tips I was ever given was to stick to well-known and more common brands because it’s so much easier to find the bits and pieces you need.Think about the previous ownerWe all long for the cliché of the car that was owned by a little old lady who only drove to and from church on Sundays. But it is actually a good approach overall, to think about the kind of person who might’ve driven the car before you.This is also why it’s generally a good idea to steer away from, for example, high-performance cars.You might be draw in by their slick looks and cool appeal. And hey, you might get lucky and find one that was owned by a real enthusiast.More likely, you’ll find it was owned by someone who bought it for what it can do and pushed it to its limits accordingly.And again, there’s a good chance your insurance company knows that as well and will charge you accordingly.Mileage really mattersNo matter how good a vehicle is to begin with, or how well cared for it has been, the numbers on the odometer are arguably your best indication of how wise a purchase it will prove to be.That’s because even the best, most loved cars experience wear and tear. Cars are filled with lots of moving parts that wear out, break down, and need to be replaced.The more kilometres a car has done, the more likely it is those bits and pieces will be due for repair or replacement. And that means a cost to you.Narrow down your choice to the brand, model and year you like; then filter your options by how many kilometres they’ve travelled.Most experts will tell you a good benchmark to aim for is 15 000 – 20 000 kilometres for every year of life.But that’s particularly tough to apply in Canberra, because so many of us drive, and we drive for relatively long distances too.On the upside, our commutes and road trips tend to be longer, easier drives – with less time sitting in stop-start traffic. And that’s better for your car and less wear-and-tear on the parts.So if you’re buying a local used car, 20 000, even up to 25 000 kilometres per year, might be a more realistic aim and still a pretty safe bet.A final word on budgetFor most of us, what we can afford to pay will guide our search more than anything.Everyone loves a bargain, and no one likes the idea of being ripped off. There are various sites where you can get a good idea of the value of a car – RedBook is one of the best known.However, when it comes to used cars especially (much like in real estate), it’s really the market that sets the price. You’ll get some peace of mind if you remember that.Don’t get too caught up in what a car *should* be worth. Once you’ve settled on your model of choice, spend a bit of time trawling sites like CarsGuide, CarSales and Drive. You’ll soon get an idea of the upper and lower ends of the price ranges as well as all the averages in between.That’s your best indication of what you’ll actually have to pay.Do you have a car buying horror story of your own to share? What are your best tips for buying a first or next car?Captions: Middle, stock image sourced from http://www.todoautos.com.pe/f149/club-hyundai-excel-38093/index35.html. Above, image from https://au.pinterest.com/pin/436427020120678203.This article was first published on The Riot ACT Website by Jane Speechley https://the-riotact.com/what-to-look-for-when-buying-a-car/201150

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    How do you downsize, or declutter, your home?

    5/05/2017

    Whether you’re packing up to travel the world, or retiring into something more manageable, at some point in your life you will likely be faced with the need to downsize or declutter.The end result is nirvana – a clean and organised home housing only those belongings that you truly love. But the steps along the way can be both time consuming and frustrating, especially when you’re not sure what to do with all the “stuff”.So where do you start?Survey the scene and ask yourself:
    • How much space do I have to work with?
    • What do I absolutely need to keep?
    • What can I throw out?
    • What might family or friends want?
    • What can be sold?
    The last question can be the most difficult to answer.Almost anything can be sold, but how much is it worth? If you list it for a price no one will pay, you could spend weeks staring at it wondering whether you need to drop the price.Even worse if it sells, and you find out it was worth 10x more.Listings on Gumtree and Facebook eliminate the valuable opportunity to pit buyers against each other – which ultimately helps you get a better price. And garage sales can be painstaking.There is one way to solve both problems: put it to auction. And if you can, get a professional valuer to give you an indication of its worth before you set the reserve.We asked online auction site Allbids (based in Fyswhick) about how the auction process works, and how they help Canberrans who are downsizing or decluttering.1. Free valuationTo start, Allbids provide a free valuation service, performed by expert valuers so you can get a true indication of the value of your art, antiques, furniture, collectables, jewellery, and so on.2. Photos and listingFollowing valuation, Allbids take professional photos of everything you want to sell, and create individual listings for each item. You can opt to have it all taken away (so buyers can pick up from Allbids), or sell items straight out of your home (which works well for estate sales).3. MarketingThe reserve is set, the items are listed, so it’s time to sell!150,000 people are registered to bid on Allbids, so you immediately gain access to a huge database of locals ready to buy.But the magic happens when their far-reaching platform helps someone in New York or Hong Kong who really wants what you’re selling, find it, bid on it, and have it delivered to their door.If you want to watch the process, you can see your listing any time, and even direct friends and family to check it out.4. Sale and pickupAllbids deal with the buyers, collect the funds and handle the pick-ups. They work on commission only, which ensures they only get paid once things get sold (and they obviously work hard to get you a good price!).And that’s it! Your extra “stuff” is gone, your house is nirvana, and you’re that little bit richer. (Or a lot richer, depending on what’s in your house!)So if you’re trying to downsize, or declutter, it may be worth considering an online auction.If you would like Allbids’ help deciding what can be sold, and what it’s worth, call 02 6239 2262 or visit ALLBIDS.This article was first published on The Riot ACT Website by Rachel Ziv https://the-riotact.com/how-do-you-downsize-or-declutter-your-home/202553

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    The Lobby: ideas for future use?

    7/04/2017

    The Lobby is one of Canberra’s most iconic buildings, although on a lesser scale than the surrounding national institutions such the two Parliament Houses and the beautiful National Library of Australia. Located on national land, the National Capital Authority has responsibility for the building. Situated on King George Terrace, almost in the centre of the Parliamentary Triangle and overlooking the National Rose Garden, it is a building full of memories. Like many readers, I have been to weddings, book launches, poetry readings and memorable family get-togethers in the space. The Lobby was a restaurant and function centre for almost 50 years and was the choice of meeting place of political lobbyists with expense accounts, politicians, and senior Government officials, including the odd spook.After finally closing its doors at the beginning of the year, the future of the Lobby remains uncertain. The Lobby stopped functioning as an a la carte restaurant some years ago, although the elegant, glass-walled building had been a popular venue for weddings and functions. The attached Pork Barrel café and bakery in the kiosk part of the building attracted a day-time crowd and was well-patronised but ceased trading at the same time as The Lobby. The National Capital Authority was approached for an update about the future of the building but did not provide any information about possible future uses. I have seen references to the building being heritage-listed and if this is the case, the building should remain intact, but with an indeterminate function. The sale of all fixtures and fittings early this year means an easy transition was limited for any potential entrepreneurial local restauranteur willing to try something a bit different. Perhaps someone else, even from interstate, cashed-up from another enterprise, may tackle the space and create something that will become a go-to destination. Parking had been cited as a possible problem for the venue, but with paid parking in the Parliamentary Triangle, and the National Library car park barely 200 metres away, parking is mostly readily available. So unless the National Capital Authority can negotiate a restaurant lease, consideration should be given to repurposing the building.One idea discussed with interested parties could provide a possible solution to a long-standing issue. The ACT does not have a venue that could be described as a centre for indigenous culture for the traditional custodians and owners of the land. As The Lobby is on traditional land, surely there is room for at least a discussion that the land is returned to the traditional owners for cultural purposes. Its function could be a central repository for any collections of artefacts, or it could be easily converted into an art gallery for indigenous art, with a strong emphasis on local indigenous artists. The building is flooded with natural light and with a flexible track lighting system and moveable screens, the existing building could provide an excellent gallery space.For the time being, The Lobby sadly stands empty and just a little overgrown. At least it is not boarded up, nor the windows covered in newspaper. As we have no indication of the future of the building, it is interesting to pause and reflect on The Lobby’s past. Until 1988, it was the closest restaurant to the Australian Parliament, other than the House dining room. After Parliament moving up the hill in 1988, it inevitably became less frequented as it was no longer a quick dash across King George Terrace, and as new lobbyists and MPs came into Canberra perhaps found other restaurants more to their liking.The building was opened on 1 July 1968 by the then Federal Treasurer, a certain Mr McMahon. At the time, the Canberra Times commented it was ‘no mere hash house for coach parties’. It was anticipated it ‘would provide a sophisticated menu six nights a week’ and the décor had been ‘done by Lady (Marion) Hall Best’, interior decorator to the then rich and famous. The name was very appropriate as the restaurant was intended for lobbyists with expense accounts. The main diners were the politicians and bureaucrats who were being lobbied, although management did attempt to attract a local crowd when Parliament was not sitting. Sunday luncheons were offered as ‘a traditional Sunday dinner with ‘a grand 3-course luncheon of roast turkey or pork $3 (children $1-75), and Devonshire Tea served on Sunday afternoon’. By the end of 1969, there was a Dinner Dance each Friday night with music provided by the “Lobby Trio”.Apparently, service got off to a roaring start, and the owners were reputed to have covered all expenses within the first six weeks. A refreshment kiosk soon opened to meet the needs of tourists who were more interested in a pie and sauce. At the time of opening, there was little in the way of fine dining competition with most restaurants contained in dining rooms in motels, although I hope this statement unleashes a flurry of comments and memories of other restaurants of the era.So even though the future of The Lobby is still unknown, I wonder what personal views readers have about its future?Photos by Maryann MussaredThis article was first published on The Riot ACT Website by Maryann Mussared https://the-riotact.com/the-lobby-ideas-for-future-use/200075

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