From job site to auction to job site! How Ritchie Bros. sells equipment

Advice for sellers Comentarios

Every excavator, every truck, every dozer – all of the equipment we sell has a story behind it, and probably plenty more ahead of it. Passing through our unreserved auctions is just one short chapter in the life of a piece of equipment. If you’ve ever wondered what happens in that chapter, here’s a look at the path equipment takes from being consigned by a seller to being put to work by a new owner.

A wide variety of heavy equipment sells at Ritchie Bros. auctions

It’s time to sell

At some point you make the decision to sell equipment rather than have it sit idle not making you money. Perhaps you’ve finished a big job, started a different type of project, or maybe you’re planning to retire and wind down your business. Whatever your reasons, after weighing your options for selling equipment, you decide that a full-service Ritchie Bros. unreserved auction is the best solution.

Discuss your options for selling.

Your Ritchie Bros. representative will meet with you to discuss what you’re selling and when you want to sell it. They’re experienced people who have a unique knowledge and perspective of both your business and the global equipment market. They’ll assess the value of your assets, discuss your various options and make recommendations that meet your specific needs and situation. Once you’ve got an agreement in place, you’re off to the races.

Marketing to the world.

We’re a full-service auction company – that means we take care of everything for you: storing your equipment and trucks, marketing, handling all buyer inquiries and inspections, getting your equipment sold on auction day and collecting the proceeds for you.

Marketing begins immediately, and quickly kicks into high gear. Equipment being sold is posted on our 21-language website, which received more than 5 million unique visitors in 2012. Print ads, direct mail, email and other media expose your equipment to potential buyers around the world, and focus on where your equipment is in demand.

Getting your equipment ready to sell.

The sooner you get your equipment to our secure auction sites, the sooner you’ve got a lot less to worry about. Equipment is checked in at the yard office. If you’ve decided to have any cleaning, repair work or painting completed before auction day, it’s off to our professional on-site refurbishing facilities.

We then collect high resolution photos and detailed equipment information like make, model, year, meter hours, mileage, attachments – any detail that will help potential buyers – and upload that information to our website (usually within 24-48 hours). Knowing that equipment comes with clear title is important to most buyers, so we also search each item for liens—and if we can’t deliver clear title, we offer the buyer a refund.

Refurbishing equipment before selling can increase the equipment's value and final selling price

Equipment inspections begin.

The equipment is then moved to the "ready line" in the main yard, where you’ll see similar equipment neatly lined up and grouped together by category. That makes it easy for potential buyers to test, inspect and compare similar items in one convenient location.

Most people choose to test the equipment before they bid (or have a mechanic do it for them)—especially on high-value items. Allowing that kind of open, transparent access benefits both parties – it gives buyers confidence in what they’re bidding on, and sellers benefit from more interest and demand for their items.

Auction day.

Our auctions are big, exciting events that attract hundreds, even thousands of people from around the world. We have the equipment people need—and we sell it all by unreserved public auction, with no minimum bids or reserve prices. That commitment makes all the difference on auction day, as you can see in this video:

Our auctions are also conducted live, with both on-site and online bidding. It’s a highly-organized operation, and our dedicated team of customer service staff, auctioneers, bid catchers, internet services and support staff has one goal in mind – helping people buy and sell the gear they need as easily and efficiently as possible.

Mobile equipment is driven across a ramp in front of the crowd of bidders; stationary equipment is sold outside in the yard or using our virtual ramp screens to display the equipment inside. Either way, the goal is to make sure the buyers are comfortable and able to see exactly what they’re bidding on—whether they are bidding on-site or online.


Bidders compete by offering higher and higher bids for each item. When the highest bid has been placed, the auctioneer announces "Sold!" and your equipment officially has a new owner. The buyer’s bidder number and sold price are recorded and matched up with the lot number so accounts can be settled after the auction, and it’s onto the next item.

Onto a new chapter.

After the auction, buyers pay for their purchases and arrange to collect or have their new equipment shipped out of our yard and off to where they need it, and sellers receive the proceeds from sale within three weeks of the auction. Where does equipment end up? We’ve sold excavators in Italy to buyers in Australia, and dozers in Texas to buyers in Dubai. Equipment can end up one town over, or half way around the world.

If you need to sell equipment or trucks, contact your local Ritchie Bros. representative and find out how we can help you.

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