Auction house Ritchie Bros sold 10,700 items of heavy equipment with a value of more than CAN$184 million (US$131 million) at its recent online-only event, which was hosted from 11-15 May in Edmonton.
The company has temporarily converted to online bidding only to maintain the safety of its customers and employees during the coronavirus pandemic.
Brian Glenn, chief sales officer (Canada) at Ritchie Bros, says: “With an online-only auction we are able to maintain the safety of our customers and employees while still providing our consignors the liquidity they need during these uncertain times.
“Bidding online is nothing new to most of our customers. In fact, our last Edmonton auction in February saw 70% of our total auction volume sell to online bidders.
“With this sale we hit 100%, which is amazing, but it’s important to remember that during the weeks leading up to the sale we safely welcomed thousands of buyers visiting our auction yard to inspect items before they bid.
We really are bringing together the best of both worlds.”
Ritchie Bros says it welcomed more than 23,500 online bidders from 58 countries. Approximately 87% of the assets in the auction were sold to Canadian buyers, including 47% purchased by Albertans while international bidders purchased 13%, the company adds.
Highlights from the event included a 2014 Hitachi ZX870LC-5B hydraulic excavator that sold for CAN$690,000 to a buyer from Maryland and two Caterpillar PL83 pipelayers that sold for CAN$640,000 each to a buyer from the United Kingdom.
“The strength of the construction market, especially in Western Canada, combined with record-setting attendance and participation from the United States and international markets, helped us achieve solid pricing on the majority of the equipment categories in the auction,” Glenn said.
“We did see some pricing pressure on oilfield-specific transportation assets—which didn’t surprise us or customers—but this was a tremendous auction.”
According to Ritchie Bros, more than 1,000 companies sold equipment at the auction, including a complete dispersal for Oil-Berta Cats, an earthmoving and gravel company based in Barrhead, Alberta.
Consignor Wilmer Thompson, who ran Oil-Berta Cats, said: “Our equipment was sold to buyers from all over, including buyers from across Canada, Washington State, and Texas.” He praised the reach of the online event.