17 March 2008
Dominating the equipment auction market is Ritchie Bros, founded in 1963 near Vancouver, Canada. It sold €1,59 billion worth of equipment during the nine months ending in September (up 22%) at 126 public, unreserved auctions.
The company says its success stems from its “unwaveringly” adherence to the unreserved method. There are no minimum bids or reserved prices. Items sell for the highest bid received. The company says customers bid in confidence, because owners are forbidden by contract to bid on their own machines.
Ritchie reaches for buyers and seller globally through 110 locations in 25 countries, including 33 auction sites, although the majority of auctions are in the US.
As important as physical auction activity is to Ritchie, bids over the Internet bought €307 million of equipment in 2006, over 16% of total sales. It has 57000 customers from 150 countries registered and qualified to use its on-line service.