Equipment Specs
Content
Languages

Dave Ritchie

From RitchieWiki

People
This article is also available in French or Spanish.
Dave Ritchie
David Edward (Dave) Ritchie (1936 - ) is best known as one of the three founders of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (Ritchie Bros.), the world's largest industrial auction company. Dave was born in Kelowna, B.C., Canada on March 2, 1936 to parents Rae George and Ruby Beryl (nee Staples) Ritchie. He is the youngest of six children, including brothers Ken Ritchie and John Ritchie—the other two founders of Ritchie Bros.

Contents

History

Formation of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers

In 1950 Dave, Ken and John took over the operation of their father's secondhand store, the O.K. Used Furniture Store, which was located on Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. In 1955, the year Dave graduated from Kelowna High School, the brothers purchased the store from Rae George.

In 1958 the brothers needed $2,000 to pay a bank loan on short notice. A friend suggested they conduct an auction of surplus furniture from their store. They rented the local Scout Hall in Kelowna and conducted their first unreserved public auction. The brothers raised enough money to pay off the loan and also generate a profit. They incorporated Ritchie Bros. Galleries Ltd. on September 4, 1958 to sell household goods, furniture, and light industrial equipment by auction.[1]

At that very first auction, the Ritchie brothers established a policy of conducting strictly unreserved auctions, with no minimum bids or reserve prices. They also forbid owners from bidding on or buying back their own items. Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers maintains these two policies to this day.

John, Rae George, Ken and Dave Ritchie (circa 1960)

Role in the growth of Ritchie Bros.

Of the three Ritchie brothers, Dave is most often credited as being the "visionary." The Calgary Herald newspaper once described him as "an idea man, dreamer and promoter."[2] From the earliest days he envisioned a company with operations across North America, even around the world. As the brothers began selling more equipment at their auctions in the early 1960s, Dave pushed for expanding into other regions. In 1963 he moved from Kelowna to Vancouver, B.C. and rented an auction site at 4032 S.E. Marine Drive. Ken and John stayed in Kelowna. Within a few months Dave had organized the company's first major Vancouver auction.[3]

On June 7, 1963, the brothers conducted their first major unreserved industrial auction in Radium Hot Springs, B.C., selling more than $600,000 of equipment in one day. "That's when it became apparent to us that we could sell more in one day in the industrial auction business than we could sell in a whole year in our furniture/sporting goods store," said Dave in a 1999 interview.[4] In 1963 the brothers sold their secondhand store in Kelowna and, in 1965, renamed their company Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers.

The ramp auction method

A trademark of Ritchie Bros. auctions is the ramp method of selling—a method that was pioneered by the company and has since become standard practice among equipment auction companies. The method was born out of necessity and ingenuity: it rained heavily on the day the Ritchie brothers were to conduct the auction in Radium Hot Springs in 1963. Rather than making the bidders walk around in the rain as the equipment was sold, the Ritchie brothers decided to hold the auction under the eaves of a nearby shop. Bidders stayed dry and undercover while mobile equipment was driven over a ramp in front of them and sold, item by item. The ramp method is still used at Ritchie Bros. auctions around the world. [5]

Positions with Ritchie Bros.

By 1981 Dave was the only Ritchie brother still active in the family's auction company. With Dave at the helm, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers embarked on a period of expansion around the world and soon earned its position as the world's largest industrial auction company. In 1998, the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange and Dave became its first Chairman. He officially retired from Ritchie Bros. on November 30, 2006 and was given the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus.

  • Partner (1958 - 1998)
  • President (1972 - 1998)
  • CEO (1998 - 2004)
  • Chairman of the Board (1998 - 2006)
  • Chairman Emeritus (November 30, 2006 - )

Awards

  • 2005 Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year (Faculty of Business, University of Victoria, B.C.)[6]
  • 2006 International Horatio Alger Award - Canada (Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc.)[7]

Quotes

  • "Our business is good when business is good, and our business is better when business is tough."[8]
  • "Treat your customers like your friends and they will always be your customers."[9]
  • "Take care of your customers and the business will take care of itself."[10]

References

  1. Jeffrey L. Rodengen, The Legend of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (Write Stuff Enterprises Inc., 2004)
  2. Calgary Herald (May 16, 1980) cited in Jeffrey L. Rodengen, The Legend of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (Write Stuff Enterprises Inc., 2004), p.75
  3. Jeffrey L. Rodengen, The Legend of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (Write Stuff Enterprises Inc., 2004), p.24
  4. Jeffrey L. Rodengen, The Legend of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (Write Stuff Enterprises Inc., 2004), p.25
  5. Jeffrey L. Rodengen, The Legend of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (Write Stuff Enterprises Inc., 2004)
  6. Global Auctioneer Catches UVic Prize: Dave Ritchie, Chairman of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. University of Victoria, April, 2005. (accessed: 2008-09-25)
  7. The Horatio Alger Newsletter for National Scholars. Horatio Alger Association, 2006. (accessed: 2008-09-25)
  8. Jeffrey L. Rodengen, The Legend of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (Write Stuff Enterprises Inc., 2004), p.61
  9. Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers 2007 Annual Report p.3
  10. Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers 2007 Annual Report p.3