It’s safe to say Langley-based Able Auctions has the auction market cornered in the Fraser Valley.
On Aug. 29, the company officially expanded into a fifth B.C. community with the acquisition of Lougheed Auctions, which operated for more than 30 years and, Able Auctions noted, “is an icon on the Maple Ridge business community.”
Able Auctions has a Langley location at 19757 92A Ave., as well as other auction houses in Surrey, Abbotsford, Nanaimo, and now, Maple Ridge at 22720 Dewdney Trunk Rd.
Able Auctions’ president Jeremy Dodd describes the Langley location, that opened nine years ago, as “the Mothership” of his business.
“It’s where all the big auctions happen,” Dodd said. “It’s where we do all our government vehicles and heavy equipment and industrial stuff. It’s the most widely attended of all our locations by a longshot.”
Auctions are held once or twice a month in Langley, he added.
Three years ago, Dodd started an expansion plan in British Columbia.
In 2014, he bought an auction house in Abbotsford, rebranding it.
Then, in December 2015, Able acquired an auction house in Nanaimo.
With the recent acquisition, Dodd said introducing Able Auctions’ large buyer base to the auction house on Dewdney Trunk Road will significantly increase attendance and bidding activity at the weekly Wednesday evening auctions in Maple Ridge.
“This purchase adds 50 auctions per year to our calendar and this provides content and traffic to our website: ableauctions.ca,” Dodd said. “But more importantly, we gain excellent employees. Good, experienced people in the auction industry are hard to find and even harder to train. We have five great long-time staff in Maple Ridge who will carry on with this operation.”
Dodd said Able Auctions is looking forward to “working with the current consignors to Lougheed Auctions and developing even more relationships with businesses in the Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge and Mission region.”
Why expand further? Dodd says his buildings are currently bursting at the seams with product, adding that having a fifth venue will help Able Auctions get product sold more quickly and allow the firm further opportunities to pursue additional product, as floor space is more readily available.
Brink of shutting down
In 1990 when Able Auctions was going to shut its doors.
Dodd, working in the warehouse at the time, bought the business for $10,000.
Twenty-seven years later, Able Auctions will conduct an estimated 140 auctions in 2017 consisting of: industrial equipment, office furniture and equipment, cars, trucks and trailers, plus municipal surplus and specialty bankruptcy and business closure auctions.
Dodd said the business is under-represented in B.C.
“If you go to Calgary, there are 30 auction houses whereas in Metro Vancouver there are very, very few,” he said.