Having no reserves is the most important thing at an auction, whether you're buying or selling.
Peter Delaney has been a loyal Ritchie Bros. customer ever since attending the company's first Brisbane auction in 1995.
"When Ritchie Bros. came to Australia, a lot of people said they'd never make it because no one was holding auctions without reserves here," says Peter. "But Ritchie Bros. was so far ahead of the other companies in the way they ran their auctions – so organized and professional, with no reserves and no owners bidding in. They're straight: that's why they've done so well here. The proof is in the pudding."
Peter operates F.A. Delaney Quarries in Wagga Wagga, a town of 60,000 people in rural New South Wales. His father Frank established the company in 1952; in 1975, they moved beyond earthmoving into mobile crushing work – often taking on projects as far as 1,000 km (620 miles) away. At its peak in the 1980s, the company employed 55 people.
In the past decade, Peter has attended numerous Ritchie Bros. auctions to buy equipment for the company. Knowing the auctions would be strictly unreserved made it worth traveling hundreds of miles to Singapore, Brisbane and Melbourne. "I know I'm not wasting my time when I go to a Ritchie Bros. auction," says Peter. "I know the equipment will be sold for a fair market price. There are no games."
But Peter thinks the benefits of unreserved auctions also extend to consignors.
"Having no reserves is the most important thing at an auction, whether you're buying or selling," he says. "I could advertise my equipment in a magazine but there's no guarantee it will sell. I could put it in a regular auction but it may not meet the reserve price. Or I could put it in a Ritchie Bros. auction. When you sell unreserved, you know you're going to get a result. With Ritchie Bros., you know you're going to get the best result."
Peter chalks up those good auction results to four things: "Ritchie Bros. has the best advertising, the best presentation, the best-run auctions, and they're always unreserved. All of those things are worth the commission I pay. That's what brings the good prices and that's why I keep coming back."
When he decided to sell off his crushing equipment, Peter turned to Ritchie Bros. He sold over AU$500,000 (US$435,000) worth of equipment at a Melbourne auction in June 2008.
"One thing I've learned from Ritchie Bros.," says Peter, "is that presentation is very important. Their facilities are clean and professional and the equipment is presented
so well. That's very appealing to buyers. I made sure my equipment was clean, and I supplied all the service history and I went to the site to talk to interested buyers before the auction. I was very happy with the results on auction day."
With half his equipment successfully sold, Peter is starting to plan for his future. "I see the Ritchie Bros. auctions all over the world and think, oh how nice it would be to be able to mix travel with work. It would be nice to fly to Mexico or somewhere like that," he says. "Vancouver is on my list; I've never been there."
Written and published: 2008