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Ritchie Bros. Holds First-Ever Six-Day Auction in Orlando, Fla.

Tue February 24, 2009 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers conducted its first six-day auction from Feb. 16 to 21 at the

company’s newly expanded, 200-acre permanent auction site in Orlando, Fla.

The unreserved public auction attracted more than 7,600 unique registered bidders, both in-person and online, from 75 countries. More than 8,300 lots were sold during the auction, generating $184 million in gross auction proceeds. The auction broke several Orlando site records, including: the most bidder registrations; the most auction lots sold; and the highest number of consignors (more than 550). The auction also broke the company-wide record for the most selling days in a single auction.

“Adding another 35 developed acres to our Orlando facility allowed us to

sell a much larger and broader selection of items than we did last year, which

enabled us to add a sixth day to our auction sale,” said Gary Seybold, divisional manager of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. “With the additional land, we were able to add more auction lots to the sale, which broadened the mix of equipment and offered a greater selection of equipment across all categories to our buying customers.”

Every Ritchie Bros. online bidding record was broken at the Orlando auction the week of Feb. 16, including: the most registered bidders; the most buyers; the most items sold online; and the largest gross auction proceeds generated online at any Ritchie Bros. auction. For the first time ever, there were more than 3,400 concurrent users on the system — the highest number of people watching and bidding online at the same time in one Ritchie Bros. auction.

More than 3,000 of the 7,600 bidders registered to participate in the Orlando auction live and in real-time over the Internet, beating last year’s record by more than 1,000 online participants. Online bidders purchased more than $36 million of trucks and equipment and were winner or runner up bidder on 27 percent of the lots available online. There were 550 unique Internet buyers.

More than $154 million (or 83 percent) was sold to buyers located outside the

state of Florida and more than $61 million (or 34 percent) was sold to buyers

outside the United States.

“Prices at our Orlando unreserved auction were holding steady and were generally above the prices we were seeing in Q4 of 2008,” said Peter Blake, CEO of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. “We feel there are a number of reasons for this, including the fact that we saw a high number of international buyers participating, as we always do at the February Orlando auction. More than $21 million of equipment was sold to buyers in Central and South America, close to $20 million of equipment was sold to Canada, more than $6 million was sold to Mexico, and close to $4 million was sold to the Middle East.

“Although we were pleased with the values achieved at last week’s auction (Feb. 16 to 21), this was just one auction and therefore, they aren’t necessarily indicative of a trend. Also, this auction had a much larger and more diverse mix of equipment than we’ve seen in February auctions in Orlando in the last few years, including more smaller lots, which had a meaningful effect on the average value per lot for this auction.”

Louis Merucci is co-owner of Gigliotti Contracting, Inc., a well-known

utility and roadbuilding contractor based on the west coast of Florida in

Palmetto. He and his business partner decided to downsize and sold 100 pieces

of their well-maintained equipment in the Orlando Ritchie Bros. auction.

“After 30 years in business and with the economic slowdown we decided it

was the right time to downsize,” said Mr. Merucci. “Rather than let all this iron sit in our yard while our workload was diminishing, we brought it to Ritchie Bros. to sell to the world market. I was pleasantly surprised at where the prices were on auction day and I really think we achieved those prices because of the international crowd and due to the integrity of both my company and Ritchie Bros.”

At the Orlando auction, Ritchie Bros. rolled out its new online shipping service to its customers, in partnership with — the world’s largest online shipping marketplace. As of the end of Feb. 21, there were in excess of 1,000 auction lots listed by Orlando auction buyers on the new online shipping service. The average number of bids received from transportation service providers through the online shipping service so far is five per lot, and many bids came within the first hour of a posting. The new service allows the company’s on-site and online buyers to list their new purchases at any

auction and obtain competitive bids for transportation.

The company also recently rolled out its latest online bidding software release, which features more images for online bidders and a multi-sale dashboard, allowing bidders to participate in more than one Ritchie Bros. auction at the same time. For the first time ever at an Orlando auction, the company broadcast three simultaneous auction rings to the Internet bidding audience.

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