Euro Auctions – A decade of successful auctions
This year Euro Auctions is celebrating 10 years of serving customers from around the world, with its own distinct brand of unreserved auctions.
The company’s story has been one of successful growth since its small beginnings in Co. Tyrone. Euro Auctions held its first auction in March 1998 in Dromore. It was a one-day auction with 371 lots. This American parade style auction was a brand new phenomenon in Ireland and people travelled from all over the country to Dromore to witness the event. With a reputation for dealing with clients on an individual basis, each being treated just as important as the next, Euro Auctions became extremely successful in Northern Ireland over the next few years, with each auction growing bigger and bigger. Three years later a second permanent auction site was established in the UK in Leeds. With two thriving sites and hundreds of satisfied customers, Euro Auctions quickly became the leading auctioneering company in the UK and Ireland, a position that the company holds to this day. All the same, the company found that a substantial amount of machinery was being exported to Europe. Euro Auctions foreseen that the best way to facilitate European customers was to open a site outside the UK. March 2006 saw the first auction in Dormagen, Germany. Currently, Dromore and Dormagen hold 2-day auctions while the sale in Leeds lasts 3 full action-packed days.
There have been countless success stories over the past 10 years, for both the company and its customers’. Notable ‘firsts’ include the sale of a CAT 345, in Dromore in, 2000, which was the first machine to fetch an impressive £100,000 plus at auction. Five years later the £200,000 mark was passed, again at Dromore, when a CAT D8R was sold to Leslie Wright for £200,000 plus, while September last in Leeds saw a Hitachi ZX870 fetch a massive £300,000 plus.
Ten years has brought significant change in the types of people attending auctions; the first auctions attracted mainly local customers from across Ireland, while today’s events see buyers and sellers from places as far away as Africa, Australia, the Middle East and the USA. Indeed, over the past three years, there has been an influx of Eastern European dealers who travel consistently to all of the Euro Auctions sites’ in search of equipment. Euro Auctions Managing Director, Mr Derek Keys, explains how the Dromore auction alone has sold equipment to most countries in the world. "The trade in new and used construction equipment does not recognise international borders. High resale prices coupled with an almost constant demand make the construction machinery sector a truly global business." This is a fact highlighted by a stroll through the car park prior to any Euro Auctions UK-based sale, where license plates from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands are regularly visible.
Improvements in the economies’ of Eastern European countries' have ensured that there is extraordinary demand for quality machines to serve the growth in construction. The last 10 years has witnessed the demise of the rubber wheeled excavator in Ireland, the gradual movement towards 6-ton tracked excavators, and the growth in the use of Telehandlers. These trends are now becoming apparent in Eastern Europe as they follow the cycle, although at a faster pace. Our site in Germany allows us to directly service European customers and also ensures that there is an outlet for many of the European style of machines that come into Ireland but would sell better to a European customer.
Today, Euro Auctions employs 75 full time people, the majority of these based at the head office in Northern Ireland, the others at the sites in Leeds and in Germany. The change in the customer base over the years has led to many developments within the company, not least meeting the need for multi-lingual staff. Presently, the company can boast staff capable of speaking most European languages. Other services available to customers include an in-house transport team who can assist with transport and shipping, and of course the Live Internet Bidding facility. Live Internet Bidding has proved most effective since its launch. Buyers’ now bid online from around the globe, and the auctions are truly an international affair. Live Internet Bidding has become a significant part of the company’s success with over £10 million worth of machinery sold on the Internet last year; and this figure is expected to double over the next three years. The service carries no extra charges and is extremely beneficial to customers who do not have time to attend the auctions in person.
Euro Auctions hopes to build on its already remarkable success in the future and this certainly seems achievable with its widespread reputation for innovation and customer satisfaction. 2008, the 10th anniversary year, looks set to be another excellent year for Euro Auctions.