As public gatherings dwindle, online bidders surge at USA & France auctions

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Caterpillar excavators at an auction yard

COVID-19 crisis pushes buyers and sellers online.

With limitations on large gatherings around much of the world, we’re leveraging the full power of our online technologies to continue equipment auctions, while maintaining the safety of our customers and employees. Early returns have been very positive, with record bidder registrations and solid pricing.

“The safety of our customers and employees has driven our strategy every step of the way,” said Ann Fandozzi, Chief Executive Officer, Ritchie Bros.

“We are here for customers in good times and bad and have a multitude of ways we can deliver results. Right now, we are limiting or eliminating onsite attendance in accordance with local restrictions and promoting online participation. This week in Columbus, OH, we held an online-only event with a live auctioneer; in France we held our auction strictly through our Timed Auction system; and in Sacramento, in accordance with local authorities, we allowed a limited number of onsite bidders, while the majority participated online. For every one of these events we saw a record number of bidders. We are also selling thousands of items every week through our online marketplaces IronPlanet, GovPlanet, and Marketplace-E.”

Ritchie Bros.’ online registrations in March are up 25% year over year, while our mobile app users have increased 90%.

“I’ll admit, I was a little worried about the Columbus auction changing to online-only, but true to form, Ritchie Bros. exceeded my expectations and the results for my items were great,” said Jim Prince, Owner of Prince Pipeline Integrity.

“Thank you, Ritchie Bros. for caring about the safety your customers while continuing to do what you do best.”

Attendance records broken in Columbus

A record 5,800+ people from 51 countries registered to bid on the 2,400+ items sold in our Columbus, OH auction (March 17-18). Leading up to the sale, web traffic was at a record high—up 45% from the same auction in 2019. Approximately 60% of the items sold in the auction were sold to out-of-state buyers from as far away as Poland, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates. Sales highlights in the two-day auction included a 2015 Caterpillar D6T XL crawler tractor that sold for US$220,000 and a 2019 Volvo VNL64T670 sleeper truck tractor that sold for US$91,000.

2015 Caterpillar crawler tractor

Close to 2,000 register for St. Aubin sur Gaillon

A record 1,900+ people from 76 countries registered to bid on the 2,600+ items sold in our auction in St. Aubin sur Gaillon, France (March 17 – 18). Approximately 60% of the assets were sold to buyers from outside the country, from as far away as Australia, Vietnam, and the United States. Sales highlights included a 2016 Caterpillar 320EL hydraulic excavator for €83,000 (US$92,694) and a 2013 Manitou MRT2150 Plus 4x4x4 telescopic forklift that sold for €80,000 (US$89,344).

Caterpillar Excavator in France auction

Record high bidders in Sacramento

More than 6,400 people from 54 countries registered for our March 18 auction in Sacramento, CA this week—25% more bidders than the same auction last year and a record high for the site. Approximately 64% of the equipment in the auction was sold to buyers from California. Sales highlights in the auction included a 2015 Caterpillar D6N LGP dozer that sold for US$142,500 and a 2017 John Deere 160G LC hydraulic excavator that sold for US$125,000.

Caterpillar Dozer in Sacramentp auction

Ritchie Bros. has more than 60,000 items scheduled to sell its upcoming live and online events. Register now for free and bid online at upcoming auctions


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