IronPlanet Blog

One Big Virtual Auction

Posted by Matt Ackley, IronPlanet Chief Marketing Officer on Feb 20, 2017 2:16:54 PM
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Virtual reality is all the rage these days, but we were delighted when our live event in Florida last week turned in some amazing virtual stats. Florida was a little different for us this year. While we hosted a large, live event, approximately 45% of our items were located at our seller’s sites. Anyone who attends our Thursday auctions knows this is par for the course. Going into last week we wondered what the impact might be at such a large live auction. The results were astounding - once again a testament to the power of online.


  • 77% of our bids came from online participants
  • Virtual items received 84% more bids from folks sitting in the audience than items that were actually located in Florida
  • Items located in Florida received 4x the number of bids from online bidders than from folks sitting in the audience
  • Active bidders registered (live and online, by registration state/country)
    • All 50 US states + Puerto Rico
    • 42 different countries of those who declared
  • 63% of site visits were from a mobile device
  • 75% of the items had bids before the auction even started


Our inspections and IronClad Assurance have always been the key to enabling trust in buying heavy equipment from thousands of miles away. This year we added a new wrinkle for live participants. In our catalogs, we provided QR codes so that attendees could easily bring up inspection reports on their mobile phones. We have also made it easier for online bidders to find items and participate in our live auctions via our new LiveStream product.  


We work day in and day out to pull together the best of both the live and online experience. Coming from the world of online marketplaces and platforms it was really great to be part of this event (especially the party where I got to meet so many people). There is something magical about auction season in Florida and its great to see technology playing an important role.

Next year, it’s on to virtual reality goggles…

Topics: Auctions, Cat Auction Services

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