Skip to main content
Roy's Bullpen

Internet Sales

By January 8, 2001May 22nd, 2009No Comments

Ship them to Assiniboia The high dollar market

All of our presorted sales are broadcast over the Internet to prospective buyers.

That is, they are conducted along with the live bidding in the sale ring. This was set up in October 2000. We have some pre-approved buyers that have been logged on and bid occasionally. So far they haven’t been able to out bid our front row buyers who attend our sales on a regular basis.

There are several reasons for this. We have always said that some of the strongest and most aggressive buyers in the business sit in our front row. Obviously they are going to be hard to out bid. It is not going to be easy to blow them away. They are always going to be armed with good orders.

Most order buyers charge a fee of one cent per pound of the purchased animal’s weight. On a load of cattle weighing 62000 pounds, that’s a commission of $620.00. The total value of those cattle in our current market would exceed $90,000. The buying commission amounts to less than 3/4 of 1%. The services you receive for this small fee would include buying and grouping cattle into uniform groups that fit your requirements for quality and price. It includes paying for the cattle at point of sale, arranging trucking, arranging for processing if needed, even arranging for insurance for cattle in transit. Most buying firms will guarantee customer satisfaction for the quality of cattle they receive.

These buyers are on the markets everyday throughout the year. They know the market prices. They know quality, good condition, flesh, and they know the fresh cattle from the stale cattle. (At markets where cattle are shipped in from affiliate markets) If one were to break down the cost of production in cattle ownership, the cost associated with buying commissions would likely be the most cost efficient dollars spent. No doubt most people will always prefer to place their order with a reputable buying firm.

There are several other reasons why there wasn’t a landslide of activity on the Internet right off the start. There was an abundant supply of cattle in the system everywhere last fall. Most outfits had all the supply they needed right on their own turf. They didn’t need the Internet to source more cattle.

Another reason and probably the most important one is that the Internet auction program in conjunction with the live auction is an entirely new concept. We were the first to use it. In fact, it was developed specifically for A.L.A. by Direct West at our expense, using our knowledge of the auction business. When something is this new and we are the only outfit that has it available so far, it takes a while for people to get used to it and come on stream.

When feeder and grasser cattle supplies become shorter, like it does during the spring run, buying firms from further a field will gradually come on board and start using it more.

The buyers who worked with us during the development stage of the program have full confidence that the cattle are sorted consistently at every sale here at A.L.A. They can go by the codes in our catalog, which is available on our web site for everyone at every sale.

The advantage to you the producer is that any pre-approved buyer in the world can log on to our web site and bid on the cattle in the event that he or his representative can not be here at any given sale. This will include bull sales and probably even bred heifer sales by next fall.

Although this program has cost me a lot of money (that won’t choke anybody up) it does not cost our customers anything extra for this service. That is, no two bucks per head uplink or Internet charge. In fact, I hear rumors that other places are waiving the two bucks a head extra charge now that we provide a similar service at no charge. Especially, if you are booked to sell at A.L.A. Everyone should sell here at least once, so that they will be eligible for special discounts at the big discount auction centers. If you are their loyal customer, you’ll just have to suffer, because you are not eligible for the same discounts there that my customers are. Pity. Can you imagine what the selling charges elsewhere would be if we weren’t around? Who would get a break then?

It doesn’t cost anyone anything (other than their Internet phone package) to log on and follow our sales either. One must be pre-approved to bid over the Internet. At present we have only approved licensed dealers. Order buyers tend to speak the same language we do in regard to descriptions and terms. It costs them nothing to use it either, other than their Internet plan.

We have no specified down link centers. We do not block out Saskatchewan buyers or anyone else. For more information on the Internet program log on to our web site at Since we are not paying by the hour for airtime we can continue with a proper uniform sort on the cattle. We are not under pressure to get the sale over in two hours or any specified time. We do not have to lump and dump the cattle to meet any deadlines. The buyers that buy here on a regular basis, as well as new buyers that come in from Alta. and Manitoba, tell me that the cattle are sorted more uniformly here that anyplace else on their circuit. They also tell me that the health on the cattle out of Assiniboia is head and shoulders above the rest. We will be able to keep it that way and still provide worldwide access.

No other auction market offers you more service for your selling fee than Assiniboia Livestock Auction. Because we sort finer, we have more man-hours (more expense) into our sorting than anywhere else. No one puts as much into feed as we do. Fifteen hundred tons of top quality shredded hay. Big bale feeders topped up throughout the day. Skid steers and bale shredders running constantly. Stock waters in every pen. Salt blocks in every pen. Big spacious pens. Internet access. Prompt payment. No loading out fee. Our selling charges should be the highest in the business. You can see why we can’t be running around offering people a discount just to get them in the door. Especially when we are full most of the time anyway. I wonder why?

We get cattle on a regular basis from as far away as Livelong, Carrot River, Preeceville Zenon Park. Do realize how many brand X yards they have to pass to get here? If you average even one cent per pound more in Assiniboia, because of the services we offer to our buyers, that would be equivalent to a commission discount of seven dollars per head on seven hundred pound calves. If you average 2.2 cents more at A.L.A. you have recaptured your entire selling fee.

Beware of the discount centers unless you are sure that your cattle will fetch as much there as they will in Assiniboia. If they have a reputation for the cattle bringing as much there, why do they have to offer you a discount to get you over there? Ever wonder why Assiniboia Livestock Auction is the only place that will post the average price that each weight break of cattle sold for at every sale? Do you suspect that there is a reason why others do not want their average prices compared to ours?

Tradition is what people resort to when they don’t want to take the effort to do it right. I always say that you can be doing something right and not be doing it like everyone else.

Roy Rutledge