Ken Frew's BC-based mailing company distributes millions of Ritchie Bros. auction brochures every year. But he has little experience with heavy equipment.
After decades as a Ritchie Bros. supplier, Ken became a partner in a mining operation — and he turned to Ritchie Bros. for his equipment needs.
Ritchie Bros.' inspection policy is a great feature for first-time buyers because it eliminates the unknown.
Ken Frew has done business with Ritchie Bros. for decades—as a supplier. Burnaby, BC-based Mail-OMatic, the company that Ken founded in 1967 and still owns, prepares every Ritchie Bros. brochure, poster and postcard to be mailed across North America: 14 million pieces in 2008 alone.
"We started preparing Ritchie Bros. mail in the mid-1970s and have built a lasting relationship," Ken says. "We think of Ritchie Bros. as one of our most important customers."
Then, after decades of sending out Ritchie Bros. brochures, Ken found himself in need of something in one of them: an articulated dump truck.
"We weren't planning on using that piece of equipment to transport our customers' mail to the post office," Ken jokes. "But I bet it would help."
For the past five years Ken has been a partner in Noble Metals, a company that operates a small open-face mining operation near Williams Lake, BC. The articulated dump truck would be added to their equipment fleet.
"This was the first time I have ever needed to purchase a piece of heavy equipment so I didn't know what to expect," says Ken. "Thankfully, Ritchie Bros.' unreserved policy made me feel confident to buy through an auction."
As Ken knows, being a first-time buyer at an auction can be intimidating, which is why Ritchie Bros. strives to make it easy for buyers—new and experienced. Not only is the equipment available for
interested buyers to inspect, test and compare items before they bid, Ritchie Bros. often holds workshops and answers questions about the bidding process. Every Ritchie Bros. auction is strictly unreserved so buyers know every item will sell on auction day for its fair market value.
Ken sent his mechanic to the auction site to do the inspection on his behalf.
"Ritchie Bros.' inspection policy is a great feature for first-time buyers because it eliminates the unknown," Ken says. "It put my mind at ease because I knew what I was getting."
After distributing millions of pieces of mail to Ritchie Bros. customers, Ken finally got to experience what Ritchie Bros. does best: transparent, unreserved, public auctions. At a Ritchie Bros. auction in Vancouver, Ken became the new owner of a Volvo A35 articulated dump truck.
"We have worked with Ritchie Bros. for a long time so there is a great sense of trust there," said Ken. "As a first-time buyer it was important for me to be with a company I knew I could trust. If I ever need to buy equipment again I know I will come back to Ritchie Bros."
Written and published: 2009