What goes into creating an on-the-farm sale by Ritchie Bros.
A lot goes into creating a Ritchie Bros. on-the-farm auction. Depending on the size of a farm sale, it can take approximately 20 Ritchie Bros. staff members and months of preparation to successfully carry out the operation. Want to know how we do it? Here's a snapshot of what goes on behind the curtain.
Preparation is key to a successful farm sale.
It all starts with one of our Territory Managers (TM) meeting with the consignor and advising what they can expect from Ritchie Bros. and to discuss the process of having an auction. Certain sales are signed and planned months or even years ahead of the actual auction date.
Once the contract is finalized, the auction gets entered into our calendar and the real work begins. The TM then makes a date with the consignor to collect the information on the pieces being sold and to get the marketing pictures taken of the equipment (after being cleaned and polished) to ensure they get advertised immediately online and to make the next season's Ritchie Bros. Auction Guide.
Effective and targeted advertising.
Our marketing group based at our Saskatoon site does a tremendous job of finding potential buyers from all over the world through a well-timed marketing plan targeting specific areas of interest, and by leveraging internet, social media, radio, television, newsprint, posters, site sale brochures and Auction Guides to find buyers. Hundreds of hours go into creating a professional looking product to catch the attention of the buyers. Nobody does it better than our marketing team.
Getting ready for the big day.
Closer to the auction date, our Territory Manager, Auction Coordinator, set-up staff and sellers work hand-in-hand at the auction location, organizing the smaller items and moving equipment into order for sale day. Keys are tagged, lot stickers are added, accessories and manuals are bagged and coded. All this detailed pre-sale preparation is not only time consuming, it takes someone with great knowledge and experience to ensure the farm yard looks well-organized, presentable, clean and easily accessible.
Our homes away from home.
We have up to six different crews across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba that hit the road running come auction time. The logistics are a challenge but with experienced staff it happens. Thousands of kilometers are travelled across western Canada each auction season and many nights are spent in hotels away from family and friends, but we love what we do – and our customers. The task of organizing the logistics, the equipment, the people and the accommodations can be daunting but our dedicated staff enjoys the work, travel and having fun!
These crews are like a family once they start the auction run as they work side-by-side for up to 20+ days at a time traveling to the different auctions across the Canadian Prairies. The 'Caravan' consists of an office trailer for the Customer Service Manager (CSM) and four Customer Service Representatives (CSRs), a sound truck for the auctioneers (3) and clerk (1) to work out of; a bathroom trailer consisting of 6 washrooms; and a cargo trailer which has the people mover, generators, fuel, signs, flagging, supplies, etc. Each auction is unique and the crew knows exactly what to do once they arrive at the farm yard.
"It takes a lifetime to build, months to prepare and a day to sell it."
We currently have 46 on-the-farm auctions booked for April 2018 alone and we strongly believe it's all because of 3 main reasons – Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers are professional, consistent and loyal to their customers!
Although we glazed over a "couple steps" we hope you enjoyed this snapshot of what it takes to conduct a Ritchie Bros. farm auction.
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