Known as the eBay of the superyacht industry, Riviera Cbay is a platform for selling your used tenders and toys, furniture, galley and interior items, giving money back to the yacht while reducing storage costs and waste. Managing director Heath McCormack tells us how it works...
What’s your background and how did you get involved with the yachting industry?
I came from a professional sporting background in New Zealand and not really a yachting one. I was introduced to the industry was when I arrived in France 12 years ago and worked with Riviera Yacht Support. Since then it’s been nothing but yachting in one form or another.
Riviera Cbay was founded by Ulf Sydbeck of Riviera Yacht Support in 2017, so when did you join and how did it come about?
I remember being present when Ulf was discussing the idea and taking about Cbay with a broad part of the yacht industry, as well as superyacht captains etc. I was very happy and enthusiastic when he asked me to join the company when it was launched in 2017, and of course I did.
What’s your role in the company?
I am the Managing Director of Cbay and am responsible for sales, client contact, logistics and more. I am very grateful to have a fantastic Cbay team at my side that is essential for the high level of services that we provide to our clients.
You call it ‘eBay for the yachting industry’ so how does it work in practice?
It is as simple as that really. A yacht will call us and say they have an item that they would like to sell, and we will then take over the whole selling process. That includes meeting the client and picking up the items, price research, testing, taking photos, advertising, marketing, shipping the item and handling the financials. We simply take a commission depending on the value of the item and deliver the money back to the boat or management company.
What are the benefits to yachts in using your service?
The benefits are huge for the yachting industry. For starters, we are simply clearing space on board or in storage and freeing up valuable time for the crew. We’ve all seen crew members with the responsibility of sorting out the boat’s storage and they don’t look thrilled to be doing it! We happily take that responsibility on.
I think the industry is as environmentally and financially aware as it has ever been, and by recycling these items and bringing funds back to the boat it is proving very welcome service with our clients. By using Cbay, the days of just throwing things away or letting them sit in storage containers for years are hopefully finished.
What geographical area does Riviera Cbay cover and do you collect and deliver items?
Most of our clients are based in the ports of Italy, France and Spain but we have collected items from throughout Europe and even Ft. Lauderdale. Anywhere really! We have also delivered and shipped items all over the world, from tenders to New Zealand to sofas to the US. An online shopping platform must be able to ship all over the world and we have this covered.
What sorts of items do you see the most?
Obviously we get a lot of water toys and sports equipment! We also see a lot of furniture and interior/galley items.
What’s the most unexpected thing you’ve handled?
Tommy Hilfiger’s baby grand piano! We sold it to a buyer in the UK so the transport part of the process was quite delicate as you can imagine. But that was great fun.
Have you come across any bargains yourself?
Hundreds, yes. All I can say is that I wish I had a bigger house!
Is there also a charitable side to the business, or environmental benefits?
We do donate to charities and we also give away items for free if the yacht is happy for us to do so. The charitable side is something we are looking to develop more and are actively looking for partners in this area. We receive a huge amount of crew uniform and shoes, for example.
What’s your vision for the company in five years – where will you take it?
We would like to develop the website further and have a presence in every major port.
Who do you most admire in the world of business, who has inspired or influenced you?
My parents grew a small business idea into a big one in the 90’s and 00’s, so watching that helped develop an entrepreneurial spirit I think. I especially admired the way they treated their staff and I really admired that about them.
I’ve always been fascinated by small businesses. I love the idea that any personality or any crazy idea can work if you just take the leap. I find people that take that leap pretty inspiring.
Which three objects would you take to your desert island?
Definitely my music collection. A football. And my son, he makes me laugh and I’ll need a goalkeeper!
What is your motto?
Don’t be a d*ckhead, Heath!