Machinery

Coronavirus: Online attendance swells at Ritchie Bros.’ Dubai auction

More than half the bidders at recent sale participated virtually while auctioneer also implemented health safety measures onsite in March event

Ritchie Bros. has reported more than 620 online bidders for its March auction in Dubai, a record online attendance for the global industrial auctioneering giant.

A total of 1,500 lots went under the hammer in the two-day event last month, with a total attendance of more than 1040 bidders from 77 countries around the world, said Ritchie Bros. The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt and Kuwait were the top-five buyer countries in the Middle East, while Netherlands, Uganda, Pakistan, Nigeria and the US were the top-five worldwide.

In terms of value of equipment sold, the leading asset categories were hydraulic excavators, wheel loaders, crawler tractors, rough terrain cranes and hydraulic truck cranes, said Ritchie Bros. Trucks and other machinery items were also sold in the auction, which was company’s first in the region this year.

With Ritchie Bros. encouraging bidders to join the auction online because of Covid-19, the event saw very high virtual attendance, as opposed to the high onsite attendance that the company’s Dubai auctions usually see. More than 620 online bidders participated through rbauction.com and the Ritchie Bros. mobile app.

The industrial auctioneering powerhouse has put in place extensive online auction capabilities over the last few years, developing its bidding services through its mobile app for iOS and Android, and through its website rbauction.com.

Eduard Faig, regional sales manager, Middle East, Africa, Asia Subcontinent, at Ritchie Bros., was quited as saying: “Participating online in our auctions is really easy. You are on the go and with our app you can search equipment, add items to watchlists, view detailed information and photos, follow live auctions and of course bid online. We recently also added ‘PriorityBid’ on rbauction.com, which enables customers to place bids several days before the live auction begins.”

Ritchie Bros. has seen continual increase in online bidding at its auctions, with almost 80% of winning bids at its global auctions made online.

“In Dubai we see people really love the onsite experience, but online bidding is growing here as well. The Dubai auctions attract bidders from around 75 countries, so it truly is the gateway to international equipment demand. With the support from our Dubai team, a lot of customers from the region here placed their first online bids and were very positive about the experience. Overall, we had an exciting, excellent auction and strong prices on the equipment,” Faig said.

Ritchie Bros. has also taken steps to ensure safety at Dubai auction site, as well as in all others. Faig added: “We put signage in place, installed hand sanitising stations and our cleaning companies are implementing additional sanitization procedures.

“We are fortunate to have an excellent team of experts in Middle East and Africa, that is every day committed to delivering the best auction experience to our customers. Many businesses in our industries – including contractors, rental companies, transportation companies, etc. – are going through challenging times. Everyone, including Ritchie Bros., is adapting to the circumstances. Over the coming weeks, and even months, we’ll see how Covid-19 will develop and what impact it will have on our industry. When it comes to either acquiring equipment items that are immediately available or downgrading the fleet size and turning equipment into cash, we are ready to help businesses with their needs.”

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