Ritchie Bros. auction in Edmonton attracts record number of American bidders

Ritchie Bros. 2015 auction site in Edmonton. Courtesy, Ritchie Bros.

EDMONTON — Evidence of a slumping Canadian dollar and tough economic times in Alberta was apparent at Ritchie Bros.’ first Canadian auction of the year in Edmonton.

Looking to take advantage of the low Canadian dollar, a record number of American bidders registered for last week’s auction. The three-day event attracted 66 per cent more U.S. bidders than the same auction last February.

There were also 2,700 more items up for grabs this year over last.

“The size of this auction is partly a reflection of the current economy here in Alberta,” Brian Glenn, senior vice president of Ritchie Bros., said in a media release. “The results we saw in Edmonton last week showcased our ability to tap into that global market and get the best returns for our sellers.”

READ MORE: ‘First thing to go is all your toys’: Auctions busy as Albertans cope with slump

More than 13,000 bidders from 47 countries took part in the auction. About $120 million worth of equipment sold, making it the company’s largest February auction in Edmonton to date. More than $18 million, or 15 per cent, of the equipment was sold to American buyers.

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Close to 700 companies sold equipment in the auction, including Alberta’s Netook Construction Ltd. The Olds-based land development company sold more than 40 items as part of a major realignment.

“I received calls from interested buyers all over Canada and the United States,” Dustan Rauw, VP of operations for Netook Construction said.

“Every time the phone rang, I knew it would help the sale price. The end results exceeded our expectations.”

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, a Burnaby-based company, is the world’s largest seller of used industrial equipment. The company’s next auction in Edmonton will be held from April 26 to 28.

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