The advertising that Ritchie Bros. provides cannot be bought.
Almost 30 years ago, Karl Kocon and his brother Richard bought a used crane truck, repaired and painted it, and then sold the truck at a Ritchie Bros. auction – generating a tidy profit and kick-starting a successful new business venture in the process.
Not long after, Karl and Richard established K & R Truck & Equipment, a successful Edmonton, Alberta-based company that buys, refurbishes and resells heavy equipment and trucks. Visit K & R Truck today and you'll notice a framed photo of the very first service truck the brothers sold at a Ritchie Bros. auction proudly displayed on the wall of Karl's office.
Although K & R Truck markets and sells direct to the public, Karl still regularly consigns trucks to Ritchie Bros. auctions. Customized service trucks for unique applications have become the company's specialty – and Karl has discovered that the auctions offer an unequalled advertising opportunity.
"The advertising that Ritchie Bros. provides cannot be bought," says Karl. "Before and after every sale we get many calls on our service trucks and equipment, from all around the world, and this is due to Ritchie Bros.' huge reach with contractors and business people. This brings us more business and has contributed to our long-term success. There is no company in the world as consistent as Ritchie Bros. or that delivers that kind of service to their customers."
Over the past three decades, Karl has bought and sold millions of dollars worth of trucks and equipment at Ritchie Bros. auctions in Alberta. The auctions "got in my blood," he admits, but it's the way
Ritchie Bros. takes care of its customers that has kept him coming back year after year.
"To this day, I've never forgotten the help that Ritchie Bros. gave my brother and me when we first started our business," says Karl. "I try to take care of my customers the same way Ritchie Bros. has always taken care of me. If there's ever a problem with a truck I sell, I do whatever I can to fix the problem and make sure the buyer is happy."
In recent years, Karl has taken to selling real estate at unreserved Ritchie Bros. auctions. "We've sold a number of real estate properties with Ritchie Bros. and have found that it has been very profitable and exceeded our expectations," he says.
When people ask Karl if he worries about selling his property and equipment unreserved, his short answer is a resounding, "No!"
"The theory that unreserved auctions are risky just isn't true," says Karl. "We wouldn't do it if it wasn't profitable."
Written and published: 2008