Internet buyers have large presence at Ritchie Bros. Las Vegas unreserved auction

    LAS VEGAS, Aug. 18 /CNW/ - Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE and TSX: RBA),
the world's largest industrial auctioneer, conducted an unreserved public
auction on August 15, 2008 in Las Vegas with auction proceeds in excess of
US$30 million. More than US$29 million of trucks and equipment (representing
95 percent of the total gross auction proceeds) was sold to buyers from
outside the state of Nevada with 41 percent of items available for sale online
being sold to internet purchasers. There were 1,383 online and on-site bidders
from 26 countries, including 46 U.S. states, participating in the unreserved
public auction.
    "There was a large crowd on site on auction day and very active bidding
both here and over the internet," said Jim Rotlisberger, Ritchie Bros.
Regional Manager. "We set some exciting internet bidding records for our site,
with 50 percent of the registered bidders participating online -- live and in
real time, using rbauctionBid-Live -- and 146 internet buyers purchasing
US$12.5 million of trucks and equipment. Internet bidders were winner or
runner up bidder on 53 percent of the lots available online."
    American Asphalt & Grading Company, one of the largest speciality civil
contractors in Las Vegas, consigned close to 140 of the more than 1,000
equipment items sold in Friday's unreserved public auction.
    "We had been hit with the downturn in residential development in Las
Vegas, so we decided it made more sense to sell some of our equipment with
Ritchie Bros. rather than pay for it to sit idle," said Robert A. Albano,
President and CEO of American Asphalt which specializes in grading,
residential and commercial construction, crushing, and asphalt paving and
paving maintenance services. "We were really pleased with the results on
auction day."
    "We've worked with Ritchie Bros. for a number of years now, as part of
our normal business operations," said Mr. Albano. "One of their greatest
advantages is their ability to draw such a large crowd from outside the United
States -- whether they are bidding over the internet or at the auction site.
The fact that the equipment goes outside of our local market helps
tremendously when the economy here is weak. That international interest in our
equipment makes all the difference."
    One of the companies to take advantage of the Ritchie Bros. online
bidding service is Salmon Earthmoving Services, based in Queensland,
Australia. This third-generation, earthmoving equipment rental company
recently travelled to the USA to test and inspect the equipment at upcoming
Ritchie Bros. auctions. They then returned back to Australia to bid online.
They successfully purchased five equipment items at the Las Vegas sale.
    "I would never buy anything site unseen," said Nick Salmon. "We also
would never buy anything from any other auctioneer. We have the trust in
Ritchie Bros. and their operations as both a seller and a buyer. We mostly buy
in person, and when the equipment isn't available in Australia, we buy
offshore. It really works well for our business to make a trip to three or
four Ritchie Bros. auction sites and then come back home and bid online at the
auctions. We know what we're bidding on and we're not away from the business
for long. The internet system works well for us."

    About Ritchie Bros.

    Established in 1958, Ritchie Bros. is the world's largest auctioneer of
industrial equipment, operating through over 110 locations in more than 25
countries around the world. The Company sells, through unreserved public
auctions, a broad range of used and unused industrial assets, including
equipment, trucks and other assets utilized in the construction,
transportation, material handling, mining, forestry, petroleum, marine, real
estate, and agricultural industries. The Company maintains a web site at

    Investors and potential investors should note that this information may
not be indicative of the overall financial performance of the Company for this
or any period.

For further information:

For further information: Kim Schulz, Corporate Communications Manager,
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, Office: (604) 273-7564 or email:; Or Jim Rotlisberger, Regional Manager, Ritchie Bros.
Auctioneers, Las Vegas Permanent Auction Site, Tel: (702) 644-2468

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