Ritchie Bros going virtual due to virus
By Thomas Allen19 March 2020
Auctioneer Ritchie Bros is expecting an increase in online participation due to growing concerns about large gatherings around the world caused by the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, it is making some temporary changes to its onsite auctions.
Ann Fandozzi, CEO of Ritchie Bros, said, “The safety of our customers and employees is our first priority.
“The demand for equipment right now is high—as witnessed by the strong pricing we’ve seen in all our recent events. With our online bidding technology, we can keep the market moving while simultaneously keeping people safe.”
Ritchie Bros has an online bidding system and mobile application, so it will continue to conduct regular onsite auctions through these channels, with temporary changes to the process and procedure of those events.
In line with local legislation, Ritchie Bros is limiting onsite attendance and instead encouraging customers to participate online or via its mobile application.
An auctioneer will still be used to conduct Ritchie Bros’ onsite auctions, but all equipment and trucks will be sold virtually.
Upcoming auctions in the UK and Germany will be held entirely as Timed Auctions, which is an online bidding system with set opening and closing times for each item. When bidding closes on an item, it is sold to the highest bidder.
For the Maltby auction in the UK, all items will be sold via Timed Auction between 20 and 25 March, and the Meppen auction in Germany will also be a Timed Auction, held between 19 and 27 March.
The Caorso auction in Italy has been postponed to 28 April.
The company said it had already seen increased participation and strong prices at an online auction in France, which ended on March 18.
Fandozzi said, “If you do not have an online bidding account, we encourage you to set one up—it’s easy and we have a customer service team available to handle any questions you may have.”
Currently, upwards of 78% of winning bids in Ritchie Bros live auctions are made online. Additionally, due to new efforts to drive online demand, Ritchie Bros has seen visits to rbauction.com and web account creations increase by 15 and 19% respectively.
Ritchie Bros mobile application users have also risen drastically, up 90% year over year.