Ritchie Bros. Sees Big Increase In Auction Participation During COVID-19 Pandemic

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Auctions in Europe and the Middle East see 66% increase in registrations in first half of 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdowns spread, Ritchie Bros. quickly adapted to online-only auctions and has seen a sharp increase in bidder registrations and solid returns for its consignors. In Europe and the Middle East alone, Ritchie Bros. saw 30,000+ bidder registrations between January and June of this year, an increase of 66% compared to the same period in 2019.

All European and Middle East auctions since mid-March have been conducted via online Timed Auctions – an easy-to-use auction system where lots are available for bidding for several days. Although these auctions lack the excitement of a live auctioneer, Timed Auction provides bidders more time to place bids.

“Ritchie Bros. is known for its ‘live’ equipment auctions with auctioneers and big theaters,” said Jeroen Rijk, Managing Director EMEA, South & Central America at Ritchie Bros. “But even before COVID-19, more than half of winning bids at our live auctions came from online bidders. Using our existing infrastructure, we quickly pivoted entirely to online auctions in March and have received lots of great feedback from customers—both buyers and sellers. ”

Highlights from the first half of 2020

• Ritchie Bros. saw 73 million visits to its websites and 11.2 million searches made via the company’s mobile app

• 308,000 equipment items and trucks were sold to buyers from 140 countries

• Auction items received 6.1+ million bids

• 27,100+ equipment items were sold in 15 auctions in EMEA

• 30,000+ bidder registrations for EMEA auctions, which is a 66% increase compared to 2019

• New Site Records:

  • Meppen, GER (March 27 – 28 auction): 2,900+ bidders, up 41% from the same auction last year
  • Dubai, UAE auction (June 29 – 30 auction): 40% increase in new bidders compared to the same auction in 2019
  • Maltby, UK (June 18 – 19 auction): 1,900+ registered bidders, up +170% from the same auction last year
  • Moerdijk, NLD (June 10 – 12 auction): 2,500+ registered bidders, up 71% from the same auction in 2019