Saturday, October 4, 2008
This One's for Cutey
Someone has asked me how Neil became an auctioneer. Although the story is not very interesting, I will tell it just for her (you know who you are).
The first time we went to an auction was in Florida while we were visiting my mean Grandmother (that is another story). Neil was hooked. From that point on he always had in the back of his mind the idea of becoming an auctioneer.
You know how life is though. First his Dad got sick and that forced Neil into the family business which was a pawn shop. Actually the pawn business is an interesting business and was good to us for awhile. But you know how things go when you work for family. Anyway as things worked out a side line at the pawn shop evolved into our electronics business. We ran Coronado CB Center for 18 years alone and with my brother. As the business grew, our main customer base became Mexico. Then NAFTA came about and our customers no longer needed us as a middle man.
We took a couple of years off, sort of a trial retirement. Very boring. We started going to auctions again and as we accumulated merchandise we needed a place to get rid of things so we started a used furniture store. The store was known as NP Enterprises....that would be Neil and Pam or Non Profit or Nothing's Perfect. Depended on what we were selling and to whom.
The more auctions we went to the more frustrated Neil became with how other auctioneers ran their auctions. We met another auction goer who was equally frustrated and he and Neil decided to try opening an auction house. This was a good thing but also another lesson is not having partners. Ron was retired so he studied for the auctioneers test, took the test and passed. The arrangement was for him to become a licensed auctioneer and Neil would apprentice for a year and then get his license. This arrangement worked out for the most part except.....Ron had a mild heart attack the week before we opened. He was OK but of course his doctor restricted his activity for awhile. This of course meant Neil and I did all the work.
We of course didn't mind after all he did have a heart attack. But it became clear that he liked this arrangement. He got to hold the mic and be the star on auction night and we did everything else. After Neil got his license we bought Ron out and it became just the 2 of us.
I think Ron thought we would die without him but here we are 10 years later and Auctions Unlimited is busier then ever. We did close the auction house 2 years ago. With the advent of Ebay we were not getting quality consignments anymore. Now we just do on site auctions, business liquidations, estates, storage locker foreclosures.
Ok Cutey there is the story for what it is worth. I will say it has been an interesting business and we have met some interesting people. You would enjoy one of our auctions even if you bought nothing. Neil is very understandable and you always know who has the bid and for how much. None of that fast talking you can't understand. He is also very funny. Our customers are always telling me what a comedian he is.