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Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Exceeds $5 Billion in Online Equipment Sales

Fri November 04, 2011 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers reached and exceeded $5 billion of online equipment sales in the fourth quarter of 2011. Ritchie Bros. ( hit this significant milestone on Oct. 6, 2011, at an unreserved public auction at its auction site in Hartford, Conn.

Ritchie Bros. introduced its real-time online bidding service in March 2002 as an enhancement of the live auction experience. The usage of the service has grown steadily, and in April 2010 the company introduced online bidding in six additional languages. Today close to 50 percent of the people bidding at Ritchie Bros. auctions participate online in real time; the others participate in person at the auction site.

“The idea in designing the online bidding service was to give people an online experience that comes as close as possible to matching the live experience,” said Bob Armstrong, chief operating officer, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. “When you’re participating online you can see the assets being sold, you can hear the auctioneer, you can see the numbers changing right before your eyes. It’s as close as possible to being there without the smell of diesel.”

In April 2010 Ritchie Bros. launched a new 21-language Web site at the Bauma trade show in Germany. The new features current inventory and equipment search in 21 languages, auction results in 14 languages and live online bidding in seven languages, which has opened up online bidding to an entirely new group of Ritchie Bros. customers around the world.

“What I love about the online bidding service is the ability it provides me to bid at many auctions, all at once, and from a single location,” said Luis Carlos Iglesias, owner and managing director of Tractores y Refacciones del Norte, a Mexico-based heavy equipment and parts dealer. Iglesias has been bidding online at Ritchie Bros. auctions since the service was launched in 2002.

“Seeing equipment notices and equipment from my own home or office allows me to spend more time on my business; it’s very valuable to me.”

In July 2011, Ritchie Bros. introduced detailed equipment information in 21 languages on, giving customers the ability to do a virtual equipment inspection before bidding online or on-site. Equipment also can be inspected in person at the auction site. Detailed equipment information includes up to 50 high-resolution photographs of each item, allowing customers to clearly see key components of an item, along with a multi-point summary of those components and comments on basic functionality.

“Before detailed equipment information I was making lots of calls to find out specific details about the equipment,” said David Kampe, owner of Inland Contracting Ltd., a concrete construction company based in British Columbia, Canada. “Now I can find out the hours on a machine quickly and all the close-up photos provide me details on the undercarriage, tire wear, etc. I no longer need to make any phone calls, which saves me a lot of time.”

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