Auctioneers hail success of online plant sale

EURO Auctions has hailed the success of a major online auction of construction machinery, agricultural equipment and industrial plant.

The auction on March 25, 26 and 27 had to take place online due to the impact of Covid-19 and subsequent restrictions on travel and gatherings.

With close to 5,500 lots on-site ready for sale, Euro Auctions had the choice of either re-patriating machinery unsold back to sellers, leaving the items at the Leeds site for an indefinite period, or making the sale work.

Consignors in Europe and around the globe had been sending equipment to Euro Auctions over a six-week period in run-up to the sale. The decision was made to proceed with the sale and make it work within government guidelines for all countries.

Euro Auctions explained that a plan was devised to make the event happen whilst ensuring the safety of all staff. After a full risk assessment by the the company’s health & safety officer, a safe working policy was implemented, which included hand washing, wearing protective gloves and masks, sanitising and observing the 2m distancing rule.

Working with a skeleton team of staff, the gates were locked and the public were not invited, with all equipment to be sold online.

Over 2,500 video clips were produced of the equipment for sale, which were uploaded to the firm’s online sales platform. All videos were streamed online at the point of sale, to give bidders the ‘feel’ of a live auction, with the sale conducted in ‘real time’ by a team of auctioneers operating from the Yoder & Frey HQ in Ohio, USA.

Euro Auctions said the ‘glue’ that bonded all the elements together was provided by the IT departments both in Leeds, and the company HQ in Dromore in Northern Ireland, who worked in shifts to upload all videos and photos. The schedule was further altered to create a 4th day timed auction for new and used buckets, and smaller pieces of equipment, hand-tools and ancillary items.

In total, 5,480 lots were sold, with prices described as being “very strong” under the circumstances.

Jonnie Keys, Euro Auctions operations manager said, “Customers sending equipment to any of our sales, at all of our permanent sites around the globe, trust us to sell that piece of equipment or machinery, and gain the best price we possibly can. In a time when more customers than ever put their trust in us to sell their equipment Euro Auctions managed to perform, and I am sure many sellers were relying on Euro Auctions to turn iron into cash, with the funds from this sale helping to keep their businesses afloat across the UK and Europe.”