Ritchie Bros. sees big increase in auction participation

Ritchie Bros. says it has quickly adapted to online-only auctions during the COVID-19 pandemic and has seen a sharp increase in bidder registrations and solid returns for its sellers.
Auctions, Used Equipment, Rental & Finance / August 13, 2020
By Liam McLoughlin
Ritchie Bros. says that auctions in Europe and the Middle East saw a 66% increase in registrations in H1 2020
Ritchie Bros. says that auctions in Europe and the Middle East saw a 66% increase in registrations in H1 2020

In Europe and the Middle East, the quarrying and construction equipment auctioneer says it saw more than 30,000 bidder registrations between January and June of this year, an increase of 66% compared to the same period in 2019.

 As the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdowns spread, Ritchie Bros. has conducted all its European and Middle East auctions since mid-March via online Timed Auctions – an easy-to-use auction system where lots are available for bidding for several days. It adds that, although these auctions lack the excitement of a live auctioneer, Timed Auction provides bidders more time to place bids.

"Ritchie Bros. is known for its 'live' equipment auctions with auctioneers and big theaters," said Jeroen Rijk, MD EMEA, South & Central America at Ritchie Bros. "But even before COVID-19, more than half of winning bids at our live auctions came from online bidders. Using our existing infrastructure, we quickly pivoted entirely to online auctions in March and have received lots of great feedback from customers—both buyers and sellers."

In the first half of 2020 Ritchie Bros. saw 73 million visits to its websites and 11.2 million searches made via the company's mobile app.

Around 308,000 equipment items and trucks were sold to buyers from 140 countries in H1, while auction items received over 6.1 million bids.

More than 27,100 equipment items were sold in 15 auctions in EMEA during H1 and there were over 30,000 bidder registrations for EMEA auctions, which is a 66% increase compared to 2019.

New site records  at four Ritchie Bros. locations. In Meppen, Germany (March 27-28 auction) there were more than 2,900 bidders, up 41% from the same auction last year.

In Dubai, UAE (June 29–30 auction) there was a 40% increase in new bidders compared to the same auction in 2019.

In Maltby, UK (June 18–19 auction) there were more than 1,900 registered bidders, up over 170% from the same auction last year.

In Moerdijk, Netherlands (June 10-12 auction) there were over 2,500 registered bidders, up 71% from the same auction in 2019.

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