Bida Story of UAI Bidder

Pagadian City, the capital of Zamboanga del Sur located in Western Mindanao, is a major port for the shipment of corn and rice. The region’s main commercial crop is coconut, and the primary occupation for most of the city’s population is fishing due to its sheltered bay and good fishing grounds. In fact, the city is used as a main fishport for large deep-sea fishing vessels that venture into the Sulu Sea up to the South China Sea.

Salim Malaco is one of the 200,000 inhabitants of Pagadian City. It comes as no surprise that he began earning a living together with his father casting nets in the surrounding waters of the city to catch fish that would provide income to feed the family. Eventually, Salim moved on to buying and selling corn and rice, which started off as a small business venture. Being the savvy businessman that he is, he aspired to grow his business, buying and selling corn and rice across the entire region, outside of Pagadian City. In order to transport his inventory to other cities, Salim had to invest in trucks. “Napag-isipan ko nang bumili ng sasakyan para sa negosyo, at na-engganyo akong pumunta sa Subic para sumali sa auction ng United Auctioneers.” (“I figured I would buy a truck for my business, and I was enticed to go to Subic to join the auction of United Auctioneers.”)

In 2006, Salim learned of United Auctioneers through his fellow businessmen who told him that if he needed to purchase any trucks for his business, he had better make a trip to Subic Bay and look for United Auctioneers. Later that year, he took his colleagues’ advice and joined his first auction at UAI. He reminisces, “Sumali ako sa auction pero sa kasawiang palad, ‘di ako nanalo. Pero tinulak ako na bumalik ulit.” (“I joined the auction, but because of ill fate, I did not win anything. But I was persuaded to go back.”) Salim ventured back to UAI grounds in Subic Bay a second time that same year. With more luck on his side, he won the bid for an Isuzu Forward truck – this was all he could afford at the time, but it would suffice for transporting his inventory of corn and rice then.

Unexpectedly, Salim was unable to use his newly purchased truck upon returning to Mindanao, but not for reasons one would anticipate. In a twist of fate, one of his fellow corn-and-rice traders actually sought to purchase the truck that Salim had brought back from UAI. Salim says, “Napag-isipan kong kikita rin ako, kaya binenta ko na rin sa kaibigan ko.” (“I thought about it and realized I would profit from the sale anyway, so I decided to sell the truck to my friend.”) Salim figured that UAI held auctions regularly throughout the year anyway, and he could just join the next one to purchase another truck. After all, he could afford to buy another one after selling the one he had previously bought.

However, that transaction changed Salim’s business goals in a major way. While he had still planned to purchase another truck at the next UA auction, his intention was no longer to purchase it for his own use. Because of Pagadian City’s reputation as a major port for the shipment of corn and rice, trading these commodities comprised a large portion of the city’s industry. That meant that corn and rice trading was a highly competitive business. This also meant that many businessmen in the area had various trucking needs for the transportation of their inventory. Instead of directly competing with his friends, Salim decided to cater to their business needs instead. He decided to start buying and selling trucks that he would win at UAI’s auctions instead.

“Noong 2006 hanggang 2008, buwan-buwang nagpapa-auction ang United Auctioneers, so buwan-buwan din ako pumupunta kasi may mga kilala naman akong mga kaibigan sa amin na nagnenegosyo din nang katulad ko, kaya binebenta ko nalang sa kanila yung nakukuha ko sa UA.” (“Back in 2006 up to 2008, United Auctioneers held monthly auctions, so I attended their auctions every month since I knew a lot of my friends back home were doing business similar to mine. I just sold to them what I would take home from UA.”)

According to Salim, the trucks that he would bring back home from UAI would be used for carrying rice, corn, and coconuts. Those in the crop trading business would travel 300 to 400 kilometers from Pagadian City up to Zamboanga City, Cagayan de Oro, Davao City, and Surigao. Their trucks would carry no less than 30 tons at a time, and they would be able to transport crops almost anywhere.

When his new business venture as a dealer of trucks in Zamboanga started to boom, Salim began purchasing more units from United Auctioneers as well. He would purchase Isuzu Elf trucks, Isuzu Forward trucks, dump trucks, self-loaders, and anything else his business friends needed back home. By 2015, he had begun purchasing heavy equipment from UAI to sell to various contractors in his hometown as well.

In differentiating how business is like now, compared to back then, Salim says, “Doon sa amin, ‘pag nag-buy and sell ka ng palay at mais, kailangan susuportahan mo ang mga magsasaka. Kailangan ng puhunan para sa fertilizer. ‘Pag dito sa mga trak, kung kulang ang pera mo, puwede kang magpatulong sa Orix o Maybank – iyon ang lamang ng pagnenegosyo ng sasakyan.” (Back in my hometown, when you buy and sell rice and corn, you have to support the farmers. You need to provide the capital for fertilizer. With trucks, if you don’t have enough funds, you can get help from Orix or Maybank – that’s the advantage of doing business with trucks.”) *Orix Metro and Maybank PH are banks that are certified by UAI. Aside from those mentioned by Salim, financing is also available through BDO Leasing, Japan PNB, League One Financing & Leasing Corp., SBM Leasing Inc., First Standard Finance Corp., and 88 Asia Finance Corp. They provide seamless financing options for UAI’s customers who cannot afford to pay for their units upfront.

“Sinubukan kong pumunta sa Japan dahil akala ko doon ako kikita nang Malaki. Pero mali. Kung pupunta ka sa Japan, pumunta ka nalang sa UA. Sa UA ka nalang mag-auction kaysa makipagsapalaran ka pa sa Japan, kasi ‘yung pera mo doon, nakatengga pa nang dalawang buwan. Samantalang dito, makukuha mo agad. ‘Pag bayad mo na, makukuha mo agad, mabebenta mo na.” (“I tried going to Japan before because I thought I could profit there. But I was wrong. If you were to go to Japan, you might as well just go to UA. You should just join the auction at UA instead of taking a chance in Japan because your money could be on hold for up to two months in Japan. Meanwhile, here, you’ll get it right away. Once you have paid, you’ll get it right away, then you can sell it at once.”)

Adding to this, another reason Salim prefers to purchase his inventory from UAI is the ease of doing business with the auction company. Salim recounts multiple instances when customer service representatives went above and beyond to make his experience as a buyer as seamless as possible. “Halimbawa, weak na ang battery ng nabili mong sasakyan. ‘Pag request mo, agad-agad na papalitan. Kung nasiraan ka pago ka makarating sa Maynila, ‘pag tawag mo, agad-agad na ma-rerescue ang sasakyan mo. ‘Pag humingi ka ng tulong, agad-agad na tutulungan ka.” (“For example, when the battery of your unit is already weak, when you request for a new one, they will immediately replace it. If your unit breaks down before it reaches Manila, when you call, they will rescue your unit right away. When you ask for help, they will help you right away.”)

In the many years Salim has joined UAI’s auctions, not one of his units has not reached its final destination all the way in Mindanao.

Most of the units he would bring home would not last long in his yard since his customers always commended the quality of the trucks and equipment. They were bought from Salim almost immediately.

“Malaking tulong sa akin ang UA. Kung hindi ko natutunan ang tungkol sa UA, hindi siguro ako aabot sa ganito. Talagang malaki ang nakukuha kong biyaya galing sa UA.” (“UA is of big help to me. If I had not learned about UA, I probably would not have reached this far. Truly, the blessings I have received from UA have been insurmountable.”)

On choosing to bid for trucks and equipment at UA’s bi-monthly auctions, Salim says, “Sa auction kasi, kung ano ang na-inspect mo, ‘yun ang i-bid mo. Pero madami na rin akong nakuhang unit na hindi ko na na-iinspect. May tiwala na kasi ako sa UA na lahat ng pinapa-auction nila ay dekalidad na. Transparent sila sa kondisyon ng mga unit. Hindi na makakareklamo ang mga buyer dahil lahat ay nasa bid book naman.” (“At the auction, whatever you inspect is what you will bid for. However, I have bought a lot of units that I didn’t inspect because I have already instilled my trust in UA. Everything that they auction off is of good quality already. They are transparent when it comes to the condition of the units. Buyers can’t complain because everything is written down on the bid book.”)

Salim does not wish to deprive others of the same success he has achieved, and wishes to share the same blessings he has received. This is why he decided to share his story. From a small-time corn-and-rice trader, Salim is now one of few successful dealers of trucks and heavy equipment in Mindanao. While it may seem that fate was on Salim’s side, he deserves the credit for his own success in the industry. When asked whether he finds traveling back and forth between Pagadian City and Subic Bay difficult, he answered, “Okay naman kasi ‘pag mayroon kang kikitain sa isang negosyo, hindi mo inaalintanan ang pagod. Syempre, kung kikita ka, babalik ka.” (“It’s okay because if you have something to gain from a business, you will not question how exhausted you are. Surely, if you will profit, you will keep coming back.”)

United Auctioneers Inc. prides itself in the world-class quality service and products it provides to its customers – the very people who have empowered the company into the auction powerhouse that it is today. Salim’s story is just one of many that highlights the success that UAI wishes to share with its stakeholders. Dahil sa UAI auction - "Sa Bidding, Ikaw ang bida!"

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