Equipment auctions in North America can draw attention around the world as shown by the $110 million in equipment sold by Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers at Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, last week.

The auction was a three-day event with more than 5,600 pieces of equipment and trucks sold. Every item was sold to the highest bidder, regardless of price—without minimum bids or reserve prices. Bids were made in the auction on-site, online in real time or by proxy.

"The power of the global market for quality used equipment and trucks was witnessed first-hand in this auction with bidders from 37 countries active in a competitive bidding environment," said Jim Rotlisberger, regional sales manager, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. "The massive selection of equipment featured in this auction, which is the most we have ever sold in Canada, came from companies across Canada and by the end of the week all of it was sold to buyers locally, across the country and around the world.”

More than 6,900 people from 37 countries registered to bid, according to the auction company. Roughly only 2,300 of those registered placed bids. With the widespread registration, it is somewhat surprising that only about 35 percent of the items sold were purchased by individuals and companies outside of Alberta.

The equipment auctioned came from 800 sellers, according to Ritchie Bros. The largest percentage of equipment came from Willbos Canada. That company’s equipment was made available because of its “exit from the Canadian cross country pipeline construction business,” it was noted.

 AUCTION QUICK FACTS: EDMONTON, AB—APRIL 24-26, 2012

  • Gross Auction Proceeds - $110+ million U.S.
  • Amount sold to online bidders - US$39+ million U.S. (35 percent)
  • Unique bidders (total) - 6,900+
  • Unique online bidders - Close to 2,300 (33 percent)
  • Lots sold - 5,600+
  • Number of sellers - Close to 800