Well-established auctioneering firm Ritchie Bros. has officially launched its own online marketplace— dubbed EquipmentOne.com— to serve private buyers and sellers of used industrial equipment and materials

According to the company, this new virtual environment will be complementary to its “flagship” auction business and will offer an “enhanced listing service for [used] equipment and materials where buyers and sellers can negotiate, complete and settle their transactions all in one safe and transparent environment.”

“It is currently estimated that approximately half of the $200 billion in annual [used] equipment transactions take place on a private treaty basis— without an auction company or any other intermediary,” said Bob Armstrong, Ritchie’s chief strategic development officer, during a media briefing yesterday.

“Some equipment owners choose this [private] way of selling because it offers them complete control of the price and the process,” he continued. “But surveys show many of these private sellers are unsatisfied with their current experience because it's not easy, and in many cases it's not safe and secure.”

According to Dave Dawson, CEO of Ritchie Bros. EquipmentOne, the online setup provides both safety and convenience to users on both sides of the sale. "We take care of all the advertising, the collecting of proceeds and more,” he remarked. “EquipmentOne provides features and services to ensure all transactions are easy, safe and secure.

“Our Online Negotiation Engine provides complete transparency into the negotiation process; the Ritchie Bros. Orange Book provides valuable market information to make buyers and sellers more informed on equipment pricing; and the EquipmentOne Total Buyer Protection ensures buyers are protected through an escrow process, seller experience ratings and facilitated dispute resolution,” he continued.

“We also provide the most equipment listings anywhere on the web by pulling in equipment being sold in our unreserved auctions as well as equipment listed on other websites all across the internet— currently we are showing more than 2.8 million listings,” Dawson added.

An EquipmentOne membership is provided free to qualified buyers and sellers from anywhere in the world. According to the company, qualified members can create personal equipment watchlists, save searches and gain access to the Ritchie Bros. Orange Book, which shows recent pricing for equipment of similar type, age and usage “to help sellers determine a reasonable asking price and help buyers determine reasonable prices to offer.”

The company noted that EquipmentOne also boasts an “intuitive” self-serve listing tool that is currently available to equipment sellers in the U.S. Self-serve listing functionality for Canadian members is expected to launch later this year. Further international expansion is planned for 2014.

Ritchie Bros. briefly explained the functionality of the marketplace thusly:

·         Sellers create their own listings, including equipment photos and detailed information, and select an Ask Price and a Buy-it-Now Price for a listing period of two weeks.

·         Negotiations take place using the Online Negotiation Engine. Buyers make transparent offers above or below the “Ask Price.”

·         The item is sold if an offer is made at the “Buy-it-Now Price” or, if at the end of the listing period, an offer is made in excess of the “Ask Price.”

·         Otherwise the seller has four options: (a) accept the highest offer and sell the item, (b) move the item to a Ritchie Bros. unreserved auction, (c) remove the item from the marketplace, or (d) re-list the item on EquipmentOne after a two-week waiting period.

“In 2012 we sold $3.9 billion of equipment— it's a growing and profitable business,” noted Armstrong. “Still, our current estimate of the global used equipment market suggests it is in excess of $200 billion in annual transaction value with approximately half of all equipment transactions taking place on a private treaty basis. With EquipmentOne, we are now able to provide these private treaty buyers and sellers a safe, convenient and profitable way to exchange equipment and materials."

Ritchie Bros., headquartered in Vancouver, BC, and Houston, TX, lays claim to being the world's largest seller of used industrial equipment, including for transportation. The firm states that it “conducts hundreds of unreserved public auctions each year, selling more equipment to on-site and online bidders than any other company in the world.” Ritchie Bros. over 110 locations in more than 25 countries, including 45 auction sites worldwide.