Iron, Parts Sales Go Online In Response To The COVID-19 crisis
Yesterday, life went on as usual for Bigiron.com. It held a massive auction selling off just over 2,000 items ranging from power washers to self-propelled sprayers.
The thing is, there wasn’t a single person at the sale. It was conducted entirely online.
For Bigiron.com, this has been a way of business – selling equipment via online auctions – for several years as the company, along with Tractorhouse.com, pioneered online auction sales in agriculture.
Tractorhouse.com’s sales are conducted eBay-style with posted items selling by a predetermined time and date.
Bigiron.com’s auctions are live online and held every Wednesday.
The popularity of online auctions has been growing but got a massive injection of participation with the COVID-19 virus crisis.
For example, one of the largest agricultural auction outlets in the country, the Steffes Group (steffesgroup.com), announced earlier this week that it will perform all auctions, both equipment and land sales, on its online platform until public policy changes. “Let’s hope we continue to think in the long term and about the fact we must prepare for spring planting and get this equipment and farmland transacted as planned,” says Scott Steffes, that group’s president.
READ MORE: Six possible impacts of COVID-19 on farming
Steffes, as well as other auction outlets, is providing online instructions and staffing telephones aimed at getting first-time online auction users registered to participate.
TractorZoom (tractorzoom.com), which lists auctions from over 380 auction houses across the country, just released a list of its customers who are now holding online-only auctions. “This is definitely not an exhaustive list; the situation is pretty fluid right now, with changes coming in every hour,” says TractorZoom founder Kyle McMahon. “We’ll do our best to keep you updated!”
Parts sales go online or to curbside drops
The ability to readily switch to online-only sales has been crucial in keeping the world of ag equipment operating as close to normal as possible. For example, yesterday Jeremy Ostrader, president of AgriVision Eqiupment (a large John Deere dealership network primarily located in west-central and western Iowa) said, “Our stores will remain open during regular business hours, and we are proactively stocking up on parts to avoid availability issues.”
Ostrader added that customers could readily order parts online from the dealership’s website. “Prior to picking up your order, give us a call and utilize our curbside delivery or pick-up options,” he added.AgriVision is also offering to deliver parts directly to a customer’s vehicle or place them in a drop location near their dealerships’ main entrance for pickup. Ostrader also urged customers to call the dealership outlet nearest their farm operation to request mobile service for on-farm service work.