As the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdowns spread, Ritchie Bros. 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. ”