International Agricultural Technology Auction in Meppen Celebrates Tenth Anniversary
"Sold!" was heard for the first time about ten years ago, when the first machine, a New Holland mini tractor, fell under the hammer at the international agricultural technology auction in Meppen. The idea was born when AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG started in 2004: the large range of second-hand machinery from the entire area of activity had to be marketed. The tenth anniversary auction will take place on Thursday, 13 November 2014, from 9am.
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Collaboration with the international auction house, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, was already in place beforehand, but only about 80 machines a year were sold at auctions in the Netherlands. Ritchie organized a first auction in Meppen together with AGRAVIS for the several hundred machines and devices of AGRAVIS that were to be sold in 2004.
"Many were critical of our project and, as a matter of fact, there was also a major risk involved, as there were no minimum prices", Guido Ottens of AGRAVIS Technik Center GmbH in Meppen, who was involved in the auction's beginnings, looks back. "We all had the jitters as to whether the auction in Emsland would work. Ultimately, the nervousness was unnecessary, as the very first auction was a complete success and has been repeated 18 times since."
Now, it is almost routine for farmers, agricultural contractors, agricultural technology dealers and buyers from all over the world to come to Meppen to secure second-hand agricultural technology, construction machinery and commercial vehicles for themselves. Most recently, in mid-May, more than 1,000 machines and appliances fell under the hammer at the site of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. Ottens is sure that, "in Ritchie and AGRAVIS, two partners who complement each other perfectly have sought and found themselves: an expert in auctions and an expert in agricultural technology. That is why, last year, we extended the contract for two joint auctions a year until 2019."
In June 2010, owing to the size of the event, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers started operating their own auction site on the neighbouring site of AGRAVIS Technik Center GmbH in Meppen Euroindustriepark. This area, which extends to 17 hectares, has since been the venue for the agricultural technology auctions in collaboration with AGRAVIS in May and November and other auctions by the Canadian company.
500 machines and devices were sold at the very first auction on 18 November 2004; sales have more than doubled since, and, on one occasion, as many as 1,400 items went under the hammer. A tight schedule makes this possible, as every part changes hands within a minute. "That is why, during the auction, we need many helping hands from AGRAVIS Technik employees, who ensure that the machines operate and can be demonstrated at the auction", explains Ottens.
Interest in the auction is great: the stands in the auction house building are full of bidders and onlookers every time. Since 2004, many registered bidders have followed the auctions live or via the Internet. Around a third of the auctioned technology now goes to online bidders. Following the auction, the agricultural technology is delivered throughout the world, to the Benelux countries, to Eastern Europe, Canada, Mexico, Chile or Australia.
The tenth anniversary auction will take place on 13 November 2014, from 9am. "And even if the preparations and procedure for the auction have become routine after this long time – a little stage fright remains", Guido Ottens says with a smile.