Cleveland Startup WireBids Helps Keeps Print Alive through Online Auction Platform.

WireBids is an online auction platform connecting buyers and sellers of used printing and bindery equipment all over the globe. This spring, the company will expand into the used packaging equipment industry.

Founders Christian Carson and Christopher Boggs saw the value in creating an auction platform to bring buyers and sellers together online. In 2011, the options available to auction used equipment were sparse. eBay was designed for small commercial transactions, not specialized equipment worth thousands. 

2011 saw the printing industry decline roughly 20%.  The industry was in the process of liquidation. The recession meant that businesses cut back on advertising and many print shops were forced to close their doors. WireBids found a way to save these assets from the junkyard through its dynamic auction platform. Equipment seekers from 152 countries can now secure quality used equipment at an affordable price, all online.

“We wanted to offer better service than the others. We offer targeted marketing for our clients and answer our phones. A lot of these Silicon Valley tech companies are trying to eliminate humans from the process. We’re doing the opposite, says Carson, a graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Law.  “This is high stakes. You can’t leave it to an algorithm. When clients spend thousands on equipment to grow their business they expect you to pick up the phone.”

WireBids is hoping to deliver the same level of customer service and enthusiasm as it expands into the used packaging equipment industry.
Contact us for more information on buying and selling your commercial assets. WireBids is always happy to hear from used equipment dealers and printers looking to auction equipment.

10 Quick Tips for Selling your Used Printing Equipment with WireBids

  1. Look around your print shop. Is there any under-utilized equipment? What about machines used for accounts you no longer service? Look for anything taking up more space than necessary. We can help you sell it in your own auction. 
  2. If you’ve recently upgraded your equipment through a purchase or WireBids or elsewhere, you can auction your old equipment in one of our monthly consignment auctions.original_heidelberg_cylinder_diecutter_4-261.590217d741c34


  3. Once you’ve outlined which pieces you will be auctioning it is time to take photos that really showcase your equipment. Take photos of all the components, rollers, blades, perf wheels, anything that your buyers will need to see before they bid. We have seen it proven time and time again- the better the photos, the better the closing price. Try taking a video of your equipment in action. Quality photos go a long way, in many cases resulting in the difference of thousands of dollars. 
  4. Help your buyers see the value of your equipment by providing equipment specifications. They’ll want to know things like total impression count, maximum sheet size and electrical requirements. Think about what YOU would want to know about a piece of equipment before you buy it- and tell your buyers. They’ll thank you for it. 
  5. Indicate your equipment’s condition. Provide a service history where possible. List all recent repairs and upgrades. 
  6. List included accessories so your buyers know the value they are getting with your equipment. Extra blades, extra rollers, cutting sticks, anything that would increase the value of your lots. 
  7. Provide user manuals. We can try to find them online, but a paper copy is always helpful when buying used equipment. 


  8. Let your buyers know of any costs associated with packaging the equipment for pickup or shipment. How much will you charge to palletize or crate the item? Do you have a loading dock or a forklift on site? Will you help the buyer arrange shipping or is this their responsibility? Spell out every detail before the auction so buyers have a better idea of shipping costs. They’ll bid higher if they have a clearer picture of how much it will cost to bring the equipment to their shop floor. 
  9. Make yourself available for questions during the auctions. Many buyers wait until the last minute to inquire about equipment condition or shipping costs. Answering these questions in a timely manner helps the auction run smoothly. 
  10. Lastly, tell your friends about us! We’re always looking to hear from used equipment dealers and print shop owners looking to liquidate. WireBids offers excellent support for both buyers and sellers. Our user-friendly website coupled with our continually growing user base make WireBids the best place to sell your used printing, bindery, mailing and packaging equipment online. Register today for a free account. Call us at (888) 837-8101 or to get started!

A Brief History of Bindery Equipment

Before books there were scrolls, before scrolls there were tablets. Circa 100 BCE, Early books were bound in India by threading leather cord or twine through holes in multiple layers of palm leaves or bark. But how did we make the leap from scratching scriptures onto palm leaves to the ornate books and bindery techniques we see today?

palmleaf2_mc78E_6648Book covers evolved from goat leather to pigskin, vellum and calf leather. Pasteboard covers did not catch on until the 1500s. Cloth book covers came about in the 1800s when British publishers began wrapping pasteboard in fabric to be stamped. This is the first instance of automation in book bindery.

Although the perfect binding technique was developed in the late 1800s, it did not rise to popularity until the 1930s when the first paperback books were developed. This cold-glue method quickly caught on and spread from Germany to England to the United States. The hot glue method was developed by the Dupont company in the 1940s, resulting in a more durable and long  lasting book.

The 1950s gave rise to plastic comb binding in offices across the United States. Companies began binding their own documents and reports using spiral binding. In the late 1960s, David McConnell Smyth invented a sewing machine specifically for book bindery. The “Smyth sewing” technique involved sewing through the fold of smaller booklets, then binding them together to form a thicker spine. This method is still widely used today.


img_9879.525c3c0be7788Perfect bind technology continued to evolve through the 1980s and beyond. Polyurethane Reactive glue was developed in the 1989 and quickly proved superiority over EVA, which tended to crumble over time.

Many would tell you that book bindery is falling away as e-books rise to popularity. Recent data would suggest otherwise. According to CNN, e-book sales dropped 17% in the UK while physical book sales climbed by 7% this same period.

Whether you are looking for a coil binder or a perfect binder, you can find it on WireBids. We hold multiple auctions a month to provide you with the quality used equipment you need to run your business.