Ritchie Bros. shares more details on new EquipmentOne sales site

Updated Feb 25, 2013

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers EquipmentOne

If you  want to sell, but don’t particularly want to put your heavy equipment up for sale at an auction, has Ritchie Bros. new way to sell and buy equipment.

Opened near the end of January with a full launch planned for April, the new, web-based  equipment exchange venue is called EquipmentOne and the company briefed reporters on the details Wednesday during the companys big annual auction at Kissimmee, Florida.

On the Equipment One site sellers can show show their equipment and set an asking price. Buyers can bid what they think the equipment is worth and also see what other bids have been made.

The system has a lot in common with eBay, but with substantial differences.

“Our research told us that people used eBay and Craigslist to sell equipment, but that they weren’t happy with the experience,” says Bob Armstrong, chief strategic development officer for the company.

So rather than put out an automated site which is free, Ritchie designed EquipmentOne to provide a whole host of services and features. “Craigslist is free, but there is no service,” Armstrong says. “EquipmentOne charges a fee, but you get the service.”

“Our site lets people negotiate,” Armstrong says. “We make sure the liens are cleared, and we help buyers complete and settle the transaction. It’s safe, secure and very transparent. The buyers and sellers have control over the process.”

To discourage fraud, Ritchie Bros. holds the payments in escrow until they buyer is satisfied.

The company will also arrange for transportation, if desired, offers an 800 number for questions and issues and can take payment in foreign currencies. “It’s not just an online auction, Armstrong says. “There are a lot of people working in the background to provide service for the users.”

But Equipment One  also has a few features that people do like with eBay, including a “Buy it now,” button. There’s also a “maximum offer” feature that allows you to state the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for an item, but continues to put you in just ahead of the last bidder until you reach that maximum. That way you don’t overpay if nobody comes close to your price, and you don’t have to constantly monitor the bids over the sales period.

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Another big change to Ritchie Bros. sales model: EquipmentOne will allow contractors to sell and bid on leftover construction materials: steel pipe, rebar, lumber and such, something the company has never done with its traditional auction business.

“This is distinctly different from our auction model,” Armstrong says. “We are in the business of helping people exchange equipment, just not necessarily at auction.”