The annual Ritchie Bros. auction, that garners bids from around the world, is now virtual because of COVID-19 restrictions.
The event, held in Nisku, sees a variety of items for sale, including cranes, boats and chicken coops, with 14,000 lots in total.
“It’s one of the largest sales we’ve ever had,” Trent Vandenberghe, Ritchie Bros. Regional Sales Manager, said.
The buying experience is different but Vandenberghe expects the auction to be more popular than ever.
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“We’re not seeing a huge impact on COVID-19 with pricing. We have strong numbers so far. We’re hoping that continues throughout the week. We hope it’s a record breaker.”
The unreserved auction sets the global market, Vandenberghe said. As of Monday, there were 17,000 registered bidders. Vandenberghe said they are seeing a much stronger international market, including buyers from Saudi Arabia, than they have in the past.
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“That’s exciting for us and our consigners. We’re here to do the best job we can for them. That’s a great way to do that, bring people from as far away as possible and make the equipment sell higher.”
Various industry tools are up for sale, some priced in the multimillions, including many from the agriculture and oil and gas industries.
Potential bidders are able to visit the auction on site in Nisku before bidding at home.
“We’re here for our consigners. That’s what it’s all about,” Vandenberghe said.
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“People have had some tough times in the past few years. Some companies have had to go in a different direction. The auction is a great place to do that,” he said.
Potential buyer, a frequent Ritchie Bros. auction-goer, Jay Masciangelo said he’s never seen so much for sale.
“I was surprised… I guess it’s the market. I don’t know where it’s all coming from,” he said.
“The work’s not there for a lot of people. It’s either try and sell it to stay afloat or maybe someone’s going to go broke if they don’t get rid of [a piece of equipment].”
Vandenberghe said the consigners are what drive the heart of the event.
“Every day is an emotional rollercoaster for our consigners. A lot is happening in their world. We’re happy they’ve chosen us to walk alongside them,” Vandenberghe said.
You can visit the auction here.
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