10 Steps to Bidding Online at a Ritchie Bros. Auction

Tips for buyers Comments

10 steps to bidding online

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers gives you three ways to bid on heavy equipment auctions: in-person, online, and by proxy.

In 2011, 50% of the bidders at Ritchie Bros. industrial auctions bid over the internet and online bidders accounted for more than US$1.1 billion of equipment purchases.

Below is a quick how-to guide for bidding online.

Create a free account

To bid online you'll need to create a free account first. Click the Create an Account link at the top right of the rbauction.com homepage to get started.

During the account creation process you'll be given the option to Activate online bidding. Click Yes and enter your preferred currency. You will be given an initial maximum bidding limit that you will be able to adjust later at any time by contacting customer service.

Once your account is set up, look for a confirmation email to finalize the process.

Search for Equipment

To search for equipment to bid on simply type your query into the search box on the rbauction.com homepage or click Current Inventory in the main navigation to go to the dedicated search page.

From the current inventory page you'll be able to search by industry, category, sub-category, make, model, year, serial number, region, auction location, or keyword.

Get detailed equipment information

In addition to general photos, catalog notes, and condition information, most items on the rbauction.com website now also include detailed equipment information.

Detailed equipment information typically includes up to 50 close-up photos detailing all aspects of the machine being sold including undercarriage, engine, attachments, and operator station.

Also included within each of the above sections are general condition information, more detailed specifications, and the results of basic functionality tests when available.

Add Items to your Watchlist

Once you've found an item you want to buy your next step is to add it to your watchlist. This will make it easier to track when an item you want to buy is coming up for auction. You'll also be able to set up email alerts from the watchlist menu.

This is also a good time to take note of the items' location and lot number.

An item's' lot number will give you an indication of when it is selling on auction day. If the lot number is low then it will be sold earlier in the day than an item with a higher lot number.

Location is also important as you'™ll need to factor in shipping costs to get the item to you if you are the highest bidder. There may also be trade restrictions in place depending on the country the item is located in that you need to consider.

Get Pre-approved Financing

With Ritchie Bros. financial services currently available in the US & Canada you have the option to apply for pre-approved financing, good for up to 90-days at any auction in the country you reside in.

Applying is fast and easy with no obligations so you can be confident that you'll have financing lined up before you bid.

If you opt to obtain financing it's usually best to give at least a full week before the auction date to ensure you have time to get pre-approved.

Register to bid

Once you find an auction you want to bid on your next step is to register to bid online.

Click on the Register to bid online button found on the upcoming auctions page and check off the auctions you want to bid for on the list.

At this stage most online bidders will need to submit a deposit before they can bid. Your required deposit will be based on a percentage of your bidding limit and can be paid by wire transfer or by credit card. Once you've paid you'll receive another email confirming your payment has been received.

Note: If you are not the successful bidder for the item you are bidding on your deposit will be refunded.

Bid on an item

Bidding online is easy. You'll be able to hear the auctioneer live, see pictures and descriptions of each item as it's sold, and place bids in real-time.

On auction day, sign in to rbauction.com and navigate to the auction you want to bid on. Once you're there, click the Bid now! button.

If you're bidding on a large auction it may be separated into multiple rings. Pick the ring where your item is being sold then read and agree to the terms of agreement to continue to the auction.

Each item will appear on the screen as it is being sold. You'll be able to see the lot number, photo, and description for each item as it sells. When the item is sold, the image will disappear and you'll move to the next lot.

Before you can place a bid you'll need to click a check box to activate bidding. Once you do so, you'll see a Bid here button that displays the current ask price.

The auctioneer may lower the ask price until they receive their first bid, that's when the action starts. If you would like to place a bid at the current ask price simply press the bid here button and your bid will be registered in real-time.

If your bid was unsuccessful for any reason you may receive a message, for example:

  • too late - someone has placed a bid before you
  • bid rejected - your bid has been deemed invalid
  • auctioneer backed up - you are not the highest bidder

If your bid is successfull, the bid button will be deactivated until you win or someone outbids you - this will prevent you from accidentally outbidding yourself. If you are outbid, you may bid again at the new ask price if you are interested.

If you are not outbid the auctioneer will announce the item as "sold"! and a message saying "Sold to you!" will appear on your screen.

Pay for your item

Payment terms vary by auction site but a typical site may have the following requirements:

  • Payment must be made in the currency of the auction site
  • An administration fee of 2.5% to 10% will be charged depending on the value of the lot
  • Lots selling under $10,000 must be paid in full on auction day
  • Lots selling for more than $10,000 may be paid in full within seven (7) days with a deposit due on auction day

Payment can be made by wire transfer or by credit card up to a maximum of $5,000. An iClosing Service Fee of 3% will apply to all payments using the Online Payment Service.

Pick up or Ship your Equipment

Your item will be available for pick-up or shipment once payment has been made.

If you are collecting your equipment in person you can generally visit the auction site at any time during site hours of operation. Load-out procedures differ at each site so confirm on our web site or contact the auction site for more information.

If you would like to ship your equipment you will be able to get real-time shipping estimates and competitive quotes in most areas using our online shipping service.

Explore additional services

Now that you've purchased your item, Ritchie Bros. offers several after-purchase services you may want to consider.

Low-cost transit insurance is available to cover your equipment before it arrives at your property.

Refurbishing services are available year-round at the auction site including painting, cleaning, light repairs, and more.

Learn more about how to buy at Ritchie Bros. auctions.

Have a question about how to bid online? Check out our online bidding FAQ or ask us in the comments below!

Leave a Comment
Sign In or create an account to leave a comment.


vlad.petruk on August 23, 2012 said
Good article for beginers.
royden on June 09, 2013 said
In the timed auction, is it like ebay, if you bid early the highest bid to date is shown, or are all the bids compared at the closing time of the auction. If it's like ebay then you are better to throw in your highest bid at the last moment, I don't really understand it
ozvickijc on June 12, 2013 said in reply to royden
@royden: there are two types of bids: quick bids and maximum bids. Quick bids show up right away, to all bidders. Maximum bids are hidden. For example, if the current high bid is $50, you could place a quick bid of $55, or a maximum bid -- say, $100. If you placed a maximum bid of $100, the system puts in a bid for you at $55, which everyone sees. If someone outbids you, the system puts in another bid for you. This keeps going until your maximum is reached. The other bidders can only see the current high bid and the bid history, but not any maximum bids that have been placed.
pj1981 on September 14, 2019 said
On the mobile app, how do you remove completed items from your watchlist?

Find Equipment & Trucks

We sell thousands of items each month at unreserved public auctions around the world. Search trucks, trailersfarm equipment or our current inventory to find the item you need.

Find Out What Your Equipment Is Worth

Create a free account and access 2 years of equipment selling prices.

Connect with Us