Step right up and place your bid

ReporterOld school or new technology, the game’s the same for auctioneers these days. And, representatives of leading auction companies say, never underestimate the value of equipment ownership when it comes to the psyche of contractors.

“The very first guy who puts a bid on that piece, he owns it. Even if it’s for 30 seconds, he owns it,” says Paul Hendrix, equipment pricing analyst with Internet-based auctioneer IronPlanet. “We found that the more people we get on board with that little fleeting sense of ownership, typically the better the end result is. That’s just a market mentality, an auction mentality, that’s been going forever.”

Peter Blake, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers’ chief executive, says he can’t emphasize enough the role that pride plays for equipment sellers and buyers. “You have to keep in mind that when someone is selling that piece of equipment at the auction he is saying goodbye to it, but there is another person there who is saying hello to it. That’s a brand new piece of equipment in that person’s fleet, and there’s a sense of pride that you just can’t measure,” says Blake. “That’s why the guys want to come and inspect and test the equipment. These are income-producing assets, but they have the guys’ names on the side of them as well. It’s not lost on us that they are the ones who are building the schools, fixing the roads, building the bridges; they’re really driving the economy.”

Equipped with “sophisticated business acumen,” these equipment owners and managers have a very real understanding of their assets, says Blake. “The one thing that we have always said internally is we don’t really control or perhaps even influence the issue of when somebody wants to sell something,” he reveals. Sellers need to consider such factors as equipment utilization and replacement. “For us, our job has always been the awareness that, if someone wants to sell something, then we are an option for them to use.”

“When you put a piece in an auction today,” says IronPlanet’s Hendrix, “there is such a presence, such a large audience, that it typically generates more competition. And anytime you have buyers competing for something, your potential for a better realized price is always higher.”

– Mike Anderson



Industry briefs

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