Ritchie Bros., a global industrial asset management and disposition company based in Vancouver, BC, has been conducting auction auctions for more than 60 years. Although they host hundreds of auctions at 40 auction sites and off-site locations year-round, they are best known for their annual Orlando auction.
“We’ve been conducting auctions in Florida for more than 30 years,” states Ian Malinski, media relations manager. The event has grown, with February’s six-day auction setting a new record for attendees: 18,100 people from 85 countries registered to bid. “We had buyers from as far away as Australia, Belgium, China, India, Poland and the United Arab Emirates.”
Lots of Lots
Ann Fandozzi, CEO, said Ritchie Bros. was pleased by the record attendance, which helped them achieve “strong pricing” on a wide variety of equipment. “The makeup of this auction was certainly different from last year, with less heavy construction assets – due to high workloads in this industry – and more transportation gear.”
“You can’t beat the assortment and quality of equipment at Ritchie Bros.’ Orlando sale,” says Ignacio Halley of Halley Engineering Contractors, who was in the market for equipment to use on a $245 million turnpike job in South Florida.
The auction set another record by having more than 1,200 consignors, who sold more than 13,500 trucks and pieces of equipment, including more than 740 truck tractors, 730 excavators, 390 skid steer loaders, 380 compactors, 290 wheel loaders, 280 dozers and 150 articulated dump trucks.
Unusual items included a Volvo special edition Gold Rush excavator sold for charity on day five for $290,000 to an online buyer in Belgium. Proceeds from that sale were donated to Habitat for Humanity and Building Homes for Heroes.
The most expensive item sold was a 2015 Link-Belt 100-ton crawler crane, which Malinski says went for $560,000. Everything was sold with no reserve.
Altogether, the auction brought in $237 million, with 53% ($126 million) sold to online buyers and 81% to out-of-state buyers. Malinski indicates that purchases through the company’s mobile app were up 104% over last year’s Orlando auction.
“People can bid on-site, online at rbauction.com, via mobile app and PriorityBid,” he continues, adding that there has been increased participation online. Ritchie Bros. set yet another company record this year with 14,100 registered online bidders.
To assist them, for the first time, Ritchie Bros. used their online PriorityBid technology at Orlando. It allows bidders to place online proxy bids before the auction. Malinski says proxy bids could be placed up to a week before the auction on any item. More than 32,000 PriorityBids were placed, with approximately 53% of the items receiving a bid prior to the auction. One 2006 Peterbilt 379 sleeper truck tractor got 255 proxy bids before the auction. It sold for $85,000.
Attachments and smaller items were sold through timed auctions. ““You set a maximum bid, using a mobile app or at an on-site kiosk,” Malinski explains.
Buying and Selling Assistance
“Ritchie Bros. has more bidders than anybody – on-site and online,” exclaims Mark Haynes of Mark Haynes Construction.
For customers in Orlando, Ritchie Bros. provided many forms of assistance, including a shuttle bus from the parking lot to the auction tents, golf carts to get around the 220-acre site, a Wayfinder app to get to specific areas, and an information booth with staff to answer questions.
With the exception of 400 items, all equipment up for auction was on-site in Orlando, where attendees were allowed to test it prior to placing a bid. Similar items are grouped together, making it easier to compare. Ritchie Bros. sells the items in several different locations on site—Ring 1, where mobile items are driven in front of bidders; and Ring 2 & 3, where large or immobile items are sold by photo; and Timed Auction, where smaller items and attachments are sold through an online only auction.
The 400 items that weren’t on site were sold via photo and protected by Ritchie Bros.’ IronClad Assurance, which ensures that the item purchased is as represented in the report. Customers can view and inspect items online as they’re provided with dozens of photos, videos and detailed information. Mauricio Ramirez of Komatsu Colombia says, “The equipment information provided ensures you can trust the machines you’re buying.”
Ritchie Bros. guides buyers, but also assists sellers, particularly first-time sellers who need a little instruction in the process. “They will help you step by step through the whole process, explain everything in detail,” says Jim Prince of Prince Pipeline Integrity. “Any concerns you have, they’ll put your mind at ease.”
Relying on a combination of extensive data and in-house expertise, Ritchie Bros. provides customers with enough information to make an educated decision on purchases and marketing equipment for sale.
With multiple auctions taking place simultaneously, it’s no surprise that the Orlando auction sells an item a minute. To keep up with that kind of volume, Malinski says they use 8-10 auctioneers, who work in 45-minute to one-hour shifts, rotating around the property.
Preparing for an event of this size requires a lot of coordination. Malinski says hundreds of employees began organizing weeks prior to the auction. During the second week of January, Ritchie Bros. was open seven days a week to permit a preview of the items that would be up for bid.
After the auction, it’s the buyer’s responsibility to arrange to get their equipment back home. Malinski says that during the auction, there are shipping companies and partners on-site, providing several options. The Orlando site is not far from ports, making transportation more convenient. Don’t forget, he adds, many of these companies are accustomed to moving large equipment from state to state for jobs.
The growth of the Orlando auction is a testament to the organization and professionalism that Ritchie Bros. brings to the industry. Although it’s known for auctioning more used construction equipment than almost anyone, the company also sells equipment for the transportation, agriculture, lifting and material handling industries.
Ritchie Bros. Asset Solutions is a complete end-to-end asset management and disposition solution. It's made up of a suite of value-added tools, with the inventory management system at the center. The IMS allows customers the opportunity to centralize and manage inventory in one place; get a real-time overview of all assets, including equipment status and availability; trade assets within the customer's network; create a community for various dealers or branches; or send items to be sold with a click of a button. The IMS is cloud-based and mobile-friendly.
“This simple tool is easy to set up and allows the user to manage thousands of pieces of equipment.” Stated Logan Mellott, Sales Director. “When it is time to sell the equipment, users have access to a variety of sales channels from their own used equipment website to the Ritchie Bros. sales channels. Ease of access to these channels allows our customers to maximize returns when selling.”
Because Ritchie Bros.’ data is often listed as a source of values during appraisals, thanks to a long history of experience, the company decided to launch its own appraisal service.
According to Lee Danhauer, vice president of Ritchie Bros. Appraisal Services, their new appraisal reports adhere to standards set out by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). Conducted by in-house appraisers accredited by the American Society of Appraisers, the reports are managed and reviewed, setting values correlating to clients’ needs, such as fair market value, orderly liquidation value or forced liquidation value.
Appraisal Services will be connected to their Ritchie Bros. Asset Solutions technology, which includes the Inventory Management System that serves as a central hub linking several services. RB Asset Solutions is an integrated platform that provides a single, shared view of inventory, data insights and disposition channels for every asset, allowing equipment owners to work smarter and maximize returns when selling.
RB Market Trends Tool
Ritchie Bros. recently released an enhanced Market Trends tool that allows customers to understand the strength of an asset class through in-depth analysis of quarterly Ritchie Bros. transaction history, including market trends, equipment price performance and trends by make and model, asset valuation curves, and mix-adjusted price indexes. Data results are updated quarterly. In addition to quarterly data updates Ritchie Bros. added a feature named RB Now that displays the most recent 30 days of transaction history and is updated daily.
This cloud-based solution helps customers manage, analyze and sell their assets by providing data such as asset valuation by age and usage, in addition to market demand by geography at the make and model level. As Mellott says, information by region and asset model “allows users to make more educated decisions on when to buy and sell” their equipment and determine what it will be worth in the future.
In addition to keeping dealers abreast of what assets are coming in on trade and the overall state of the market, the tool provides OEMs with insight into brand performance, used market share, usage effect on pricing and make model comparison.
Customers can use any internet-enabled device to access a complete inventory management system, data analytics and dashboards, branded e-commerce sites and multiple external sales channels. The Market Trends application is an independent part of the suite of services within RB Asset Solutions