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Taiwanese Auction Company Sold on RFID

Bang Master Group—an auctioneer of luxury goods in Taiwan and China—has reduced its inventory counting time, as well as prevented errors and the potential for counterfeit goods, thanks to radio frequency identification.
By Claire Swedberg
Dec 04, 2015

Second-hand luxury goods auction company Bang Master Group (BMG) is employing RFID as part of an automated process for collecting information regarding each item's seller, appraisal and auction sale, as well as unsold inventory. Since the system was introduced in September 2015, the company reports, it has reduced inventory-counting time following auctions, and has ensured that no counterfeits are swapped for authentic goods at any time during the receiving, appraisal or sale process. The system, provided by EPC Solutions Taiwan, consists of passive EPC Gen 2 ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags, fixed and handheld readers, and software to manage the collected RFID read data and forward it to BMG's enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

Historically, BMG was a traditional pawnshop in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan. Over time, however, the company has grown to focus on running auctions for luxury and high-value goods, such as handbags, wallets, shoes and watches from Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Rolex and other brands. The company sells approximately 80 to 120 pieces daily at three- to five-day auctions that take place every three to five weeks at hotels throughout Taiwan and China. Higher-volume auctions are held in September and March.

Each item that Bang Master Group appraises or sells is assigned an EPC Solutions Taiwan RFID tag made with an Alien Technology Higgs-3 chip.
Recently, the company began working with EPC Solutions Taiwan, which developed and provided an RFID system with which it could track the purchasing, appraisal, auction and certification of its goods. The firm initially launched a pilot to test the technology prior to the September auction, and has since used the solution in that auction, as well as at a subsequent, smaller one.

When someone contacts BMG with the goal of selling their luxury goods, the company sends its employees to that individual's home or office, to collect the items for auction and provide the seller with a receipt indicating those goods have been received. Once the products arrive at Bang Master's location in the Taiwanese city of Taoyuan, appraisers examine the items and determine their value, and the starting auction prices are set according to that amount.

Following an auction sale, BMG reimburses the seller and provides the buyer with a certificate of authenticity.

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