Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers and AGRAVIS – A Ten-Year Success Story
When two companies team up and run a joint project, the major challenge, as a rule, is to build up a successful partnership over a number of years. After a number of visits by AGRAVIS managers to auctions by Ritchie Bros. in Moerdijk (Netherlands), it became relatively quickly apparent that the chemistry was right here and the basis existed for a collaborative partnership. The two companies are celebrating the tenth anniversary of this well-functioning collaboration with a jubilee auction on 13 November 2014. Europe's biggest auction for agricultural equipment, which is regularly held at a fixed location, now takes place in Meppen.
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Sellers, bidders and visitors are welcome and can look forward to a special event, with the auction covering the entire spectrum of the agricultural industry, from tractors to baling presses through to wheel loaders.
The start of a success story
The starting gun for the successful partnership between the two companies sounded on 18 November 2004 when the first joint auction was held at AGRAVIS in Meppen. From the outset, there was a great deal of interest from potential customers, which meant that the around 500 sales items had no problem in finding a buyer. Interestingly, more than 1,000 people registered as bidders even at that time. Europe's biggest auction for agricultural equipment, which is regularly held at a fixed location, now takes place in Meppen.
This is how Matthias Ressel, Regional Sales Manager, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, also sees it: "Over the past ten years, so many interested parties have recognized the power of our auctions in Meppen. It is the only place in Europe – or even the world – where so many tractors or other agricultural machines change owners in such large numbers." Guido Ottens, Managing Director of AGRAVIS Technik Center GmbH, concurs: "In 2004, prior to the first auction, an agricultural technology auction was completely new territory, a blank sheet of paper, as it were. But there was a hall, curiosity was great and the will strong. Two partners who fit perfectly together, one an expert in auctions, the other an expert in agricultural technology, teamed up. The result is ten successful years of consistent marketing of second-hand machines."
The teams of the two partners see to a smooth process in advance of, during, and in follow-ups to, the auction and complement each other seamlessly in task sharing. AGRAVIS contributes machinery to the auction via its own network and the machine inspections are carried out locally in the company's own workshop.
After many successful events on the grounds of AGRAVIS, the auction began to grow, as interest in this type of recycling of second-hand agricultural machinery has continued to increase to the present day. Then, on 18 November 2010, exactly six years after the first auction, Ritchie Bros. officially opened its own 16 hectare site in Meppen. Immediately after completion of the five-month construction period, the first auction took place in June 2011. The "auction arena" is 1,200 m² in size, has 1,200 seats and is situated in the immediate vicinity of AGRAVIS Technik, on the other side of the street, as it were.
The appropriateness of enlargement of the event venue was particularly demonstrated by the auction on 21 November 2013. With more than 1,370 auction items, which were sold on behalf of 133 owners, and 1,449 participating bidders, it was the biggest auction held so far.
Personally on site or live online?
Nothing, of course, can replace experiencing a live auction, with all its fascinating impressions and the possibility of having a direct look at the auction offerings or discussing with other interested parties. The simplest method, nowadays, for those unable to be directly on site is online bidding, as all auctions can now be followed on the Internet via live streaming. However, when the auctions started ten years ago, this form of participation was still in its infancy; only 4% of bidders used this platform. In the case of current auctions, almost half the bidders register online, come, on average, from 60 countries, and one in three can usually complete a successful deal.
Ritchie Bros' auction principle
The fact that Ritchie Bros' auction principle has such a resounding success can be illustrated by means of data from the past ten years and it has its origins, in particular, in the basic philosophy: all Ritchie Bros' auctions are "strictly unreserved", which means that there are no minimum bids or fixed prices for the items offered. Every auction title is sold regardless of the price, and the highest bidder always wins, no matter where he comes from and which method he has used to make his bid.
The bidder circle is not restricted only to the region and those present on site but, thanks to the Internet presence, extends to the whole world. The result of these joint efforts is more than 15,600 machines and devices sold, including more than 5,200 tractors, at 19 auctions so far in collaboration with AGRAVIS.