Ritchie Bros.’ first online-only auction in Edmonton sets record

ritchie bros auction

Ritchie Bros.’ first online-only auction in Edmonton sold more than 10,700 equipment items for more than $184 million combined.

As well, the online-only auction, held May 11 to 15, recorded more than 23,500 online bidders from 58 countries, setting a new company attendance record.

Ritchie Bros. has conducted auctions in Alberta for nearly six decades. The company recently converted to an online-only auction format to maintain the safety of its customers and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

During the Edmonton auction, about 87 per cent of the machines sold went to Canadian buyers, including about 47 per cent of purchases form Alberta. International bidders accounted for 13 per cent of sales. As well, about 20 per cent of purchases were made through Ritchie Bros.’ mobile app.

“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,” said Brian Glenn, chief sales officer for Canada at Ritchie Bros.

“Bidding online is nothing new to most of our customers. In fact, our last Edmonton auction in February saw 70 per cent of our total auction volume sell to online bidders. With this sale we hit 100 per cent, 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.”

Online-only auction highlights

There were several sales highlights during five-day online-only auction, including a 2014 Hitachi ZX870LC-5B hydraulic excavator that sold for $690,000 to a buyer from Maryland; two Caterpillar PL83 pipelayers that sold for $640,000 each to a buyer from the United Kingdom; and a 2018 Caterpillar 765 6×6 articulated dump truck that sold for $410,000 to a buyer from Alberta.

“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. We would like to thank all of our consignors for putting their trust in Ritchie Bros. during this difficult time.”

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More than 1,000 companies sold equipment in Ritchie Bros.’ Edmonton auction, including a complete dispersal for Oil-Berta Cats Ltd., an earthmoving and gravel company based in Barrhead, Alberta. 

“Our equipment was sold to buyers from all over, including buyers from across Canada, Washington State and Texas,” said Wilmer Thompson, who ran Oil-Berta Cats. Ltd. with his sons Shane and Clint. “We are ecstatic with the results we achieved this week. Ritchie Bros. has the biggest reach and the best auctioneers in the world. I would never sell through anyone else.”