Jewelry auction website Bidz to liquidate
July 10, 2014
Los Angeles--The final gavel seemingly has dropped for Bidz.com Inc., which once sold millions of dollars in fine jewelry a year via its live online auction format but has struggled financially the last several years.
On June 26, a group of six jewelry industry suppliers and manufacturers owed a total of $1.3 million by Bidz.com filed a Chapter 7 (involuntary) bankruptcy petition against the e-tailer in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.
Two weeks later, Bidz.com interim CEO Evan Warshawsky filed a declaration in response stating that the company had ceased its website sales as of June 12 and has opted to begin liquidating under the direction of Insolvency Services Group Inc.
“Over the past number of years, Bidz faced declining sales and recently faced additional liquidity constraints. As a consequence of the foregoing, Bidz was under substantial payment pressure from its vendors and faced difficulties in acquiring inventory,” Warshawksy’s declaration states.
According to court papers, in April Bidz returned about $5 million in inventory to its suppliers, which caused it to default on its loan with secured lender Salus Capital Partners LLC, to which it owes more than $19 million that was secured by the company’s assets.
Bidz also has unsecured trade and expense debts totaling $8.4 million. Of the suppliers involved in the Chapter 7 filing, court papers show that Orchid Jewelry Mfg. Inc. holds the largest claim against the company, a total of $799,911. The other suppliers on the petition are Dinurje Corp., Kiran Jewels Inc., Quintessence Jewelry Corp. and Unique Designs Inc.
As of Wednesday, the Bidz.com website still was up but there were no auctions scheduled and no inventory posted. Its sister site, the fixed-price shop Buyz.com, no longer appears to be operational.
The attorney for Insolvency Service Group said they could not answer any questions about Bidz.com’s liquidation because of pending litigation against the e-tailer.
Founded in 1998 and based in Culver City, Calif., Bidz.com once sold so much jewelry--via both its live auction format on Bidz.com and its fixed-priced website, Buyz.com--that it was included in National Jeweler’s annual list of $100 Million Supersellers list, raking in $104.8 million in sales in 2010.
In 2011, however, its sales began to drop, and in 2012 Glendon Group Inc. acquired the once-public company and took it private.
In addition to sliding sales, the company faced a number of lawsuits, including a federal derivative lawsuit accusing it of, among other things, shill bidding--having phony bidders put in offers to drive up the price of items. That case was dismissed.
A separate class-action suit also was filed against Bidz.com by its shareholders.