Problem: Stock agents have details of their lines of stock for sale in their notebooks and their heads – why can’t the pictures and details be instantly up on the internet for everyone to see them?
Solution: Young stock agent Luke McBride and fellow agent Matt Muggeridge kicked around the idea for a few years before they sat around a table with a couple of mates and My Loading Ramp was born.
MLR is a stock marketing site, free for all to access that charges a simple per-head listing fee for livestock – lines big and small of cattle, sheep and deer.
Searching is free but users must register to access contact details of the seller to check out the line or to make an offer.
“My Loading Ramp is not a stock trading company but the aim is to make it easier to buy and sell livestock for farmers and agents by offering them a simple, nationwide platform for listing and marketing,” Luke says.
Uploading details and a photo is a simple process and a listing lasts for 30 days with two further free listing periods. Buyers can set up searches at their Drafting Gate to notify them when suitable stock is listed and the latest feature is a Make an Offer button which sends an offer to the vendor to accept/decline or make a counter offer.
The MLR service is particularly suited to farmers wanting to market their own stock and also stock companies who can set up a profile page with their logos and congregate their listings together.
The site also has a link to the latest market information from AgriHQ showing on the homepage, allowing farmers and agents to reality check their price expectations.
Luke has been a stock agent for the past four years and was a builder for four years before that. The Feilding 26-year-old grew up on his parent’s dairy farm between Feilding and Palmerston North and works for Progressive Livestock as their lower North Island rep.
“I have always been interested in buying and selling livestock, having grown up on the farm and I really enjoy the livestock industry.”
Luke says he and Matt worked on the MLR concept for about 18 months with fellow directors Stu Bradbury and developer Mike Debney before launching it in October 2014. They are pleased with the response from the industry since the launch and with the way use has spread around the country.
“There was a gap in the market and others had tried to fill it – we know now why success has been difficult in the past – there are lots of little things to think about to make it easy to use and gain trust in the industry.”
The MLR team have added new features as they went along with the Drafting Gate and the Make an Offer button and say the site is very easy to navigate.
“It’s so simple to put a listing on. I upload stuff for our company from my mobile all the time.”
“At the end of the day farmers want their stock to be advertised as widely as they can, so the more traffic we have going through the site the better for everyone,” Luke added.
Marketing the service through Facebook and field days has worked well to increase their profile and Luke and Matt are looking forward to being an entrant in the Innovation Awards at Mystery Creek.