Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers exceeds US$5 billion in online equipment sales

Online bidding introduced in 2002 and now available in seven languages at rbauction.com

VANCOUVER, Nov. 2, 2011 /CNW/ - Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE and TSX: RBA), the world's largest on-site and online industrial auctioneer, reached and exceeded US$5 billion of online equipment sales in the fourth quarter of 2011. Ritchie Bros. (www.rbauction.com) hit this significant milestone on October 6, 2011 at an unreserved public auction at its auction site in Hartford, CT. Ritchie Bros. introduced its real-time online bidding service in March 2002 as an enhancement of the live auction experience. The usage of the service has grown steadily, and in April 2010 the Company introduced online bidding in six additional languages. Today close to 50% of the people bidding at Ritchie Bros. auctions participate online in real time; the others participate in person at the auction site.

"The idea in designing the online bidding service was to give people an online experience that comes as close as possible to matching the live experience," said Bob Armstrong, Chief Operating Officer, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. "When you're participating online you can see the assets being sold, you can hear the auctioneer, you can see the numbers changing right before your eyes. It's as close as possible to being there without the smell of diesel."

In April 2010 Ritchie Bros. launched a new 21-language website at the Bauma trade show in Germany. The new rbauction.com features current inventory and equipment search in 21 languages, auction results in 14 languages and live online bidding in seven languages, which has opened up online bidding to an entirely new group of Ritchie Bros. customers around the world.

"What I love about the online bidding service is the ability it provides me to bid at many auctions, all at once, and from a single location," said Luis Carlos Iglesias, Owner and Managing Director of Tractores y Refacciones del Norte, a Mexico-based heavy equipment and parts dealer. Luis Carlos has been bidding online at Ritchie Bros. auctions since the service was launched in 2002. "Seeing equipment notices and equipment from my own home or office allows me to spend more time on my business; it's very valuable to me."

In July 2011, Ritchie Bros. introduced detailed equipment information in 21 languages on rbauction.com, giving customers the ability to do a virtual equipment inspection before bidding online or on-site. Equipment can also be inspected in person at the auction site. Detailed equipment information includes up to 50 high-resolution photographs of each item, allowing customers to clearly see key components of an item, along with a multi-point summary of those components and comments on basic functionality.

"Before detailed equipment information I was making lots of calls to find out specific details about the equipment," said David Kampe, Owner of Inland Contracting Ltd., a concrete construction company based in British Columbia, Canada. "Now I can find out the hours on a machine quickly and all the close-up photos provide me details on the undercarriage, tire wear, etc. I no longer need to make any phone calls, which saves me a lot of time."

See a behind-the-scenes look at the Ritchie Bros. online bidding service by visiting http://youtu.be/XUP4nBAyyr8.

Facts about online bidding at Ritchie Bros.

  • Amount sold online (2002 - 2011): US$5+ billion
  • Amount sold online (January - October 2011): US$880 million
  • Registered bidders - total (January - October 2011): 318,000
  • Registered bidders - online (January - October 2011): 152,000 (48%)
  • Amount sold online (2010): US$830 million
  • Registered bidders - total (2010): 343,000
  • Registered bidders - online (2010): 146,000 (43%)
  • Online bidding introduced: 2002

About Ritchie Bros.

Established in 1958, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE and TSX: RBA) is the world's largest industrial auctioneer, selling more equipment to on-site and online bidders than any other company in the world. Ritchie Bros. offers services that enable the world's builders to easily and confidently exchange equipment. The Company conducts hundreds of unreserved public auctions each year, selling a broad range of used and unused equipment, trucks and other assets utilized in the construction, transportation, agricultural, material handling, mining, forestry, petroleum and marine industries. Ritchie Bros. has over 110 locations in more than 25 countries, including 43 auction sites worldwide. The Company maintains a web site at www.rbauction.com and sponsors an equipment wiki at www.RitchieWiki.com.

PHOTOS & VIDEO FOR MEDIA USE: Photos of the online bidding history of Ritchie Bros. can be downloaded from www.rbauction.com/photos. A video showcasing Ritchie Bros.' online bidding service can be downloaded from YouTube and embedded on media websites: http://youtu.be/XUP4nBAyyr8

Members of the public and the media can follow Ritchie Bros. on Twitter @RitchieBros.

Image with caption: "A Ritchie Bros. e-Clerk catches a bid from an online bidder. On October 6, 2011, Ritchie Bros. exceeded US$5 billion in online equipment sales since the company's online bidding service was introduced in 2002. (CNW Group/Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20111102_C9759_PHOTO_EN_5957.jpg

SOURCE Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers

For further information:

Jose Vargas, Corporate Communications Specialist, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers
Phone: +1.778.331.5439 or email jvargas@rbauction.com

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