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Auction brings buyers, sellers, great bargains

August 8, 2014
By CHUCK BALLARO (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Inside a pavilion, a bevy of items from lawnmowers to cases of energy drinks lay on the pavement.

Outside in the sweltering heat, there were trucks, cherry pickers, more lawnmowers, and a pile of plastic tubing.

At both locations, there were people anxious to simply pick up a bargain, or to sell it later for a profit, the echoes of fast-talking auctioneers in the background.

Article Photos

CHUCK BALLARO

Terry Henderson of Fort Myers puts his hand up for a bid on a work truck as auctioneer Mark Bowie gestures following the bid during the bi-monthly auction at the Lee Civic Center on Saturday.

Auction buffs from all over the area converged on the Lee Civic Center on Saturday for its bi-monthly auction, presented by Land Auction Service, a company that holds six auctions there annually.

Frank Land, owner and auctioneer for the company, saw there were no auction services between Tampa and Miami for people to sell their items, and filled that niche.

"We're a consignment auction company. We started as a service to Southwest Florida when there was no service for people to take their inventory to sell," Land said. "Over the last 10 years, we've evolved as the biggest auction company in the region."

Land brought a crew of auctioneers from all over the southeast to help get the thousands of items sold and off the grounds, among the items were old LeeTran trolleys the county wanted sold, as Land works for the city, county and government agencies.

The auctioneers were flown in from the Carolinas, and they represent some of the best in the country, as they not only get items sold, but turn it into a show.

"This brings buyers and sellers together and everyone leaves happy," said auctioneer David Taylor. "This is a meeting point of commerce. It's an interesting subculture."

Among those looking for a bargain was Sandy Biggar of South Fort Myers, who buys and sells equipment in the summer and is a farmer in the winter.

"I'm looking for anything I can get a deal on. It's why we come. I've done this for 30 years," Biggar said.

Sean Martz runs his own auction company in Sebring, and his job was to bring prices up to a wholesale level so "nothing gets stolen."

"I keep everyone honest. If someone lowballs, I'm there to buy it if I have to. Sometimes they go high, sometimes they go cheap. I'm here looking for the bargain," Martz said as an auctioneer bellowed in the background.

Working with Martz was Ciara Shaw, who was looking for farm equipment and trying to make deals over the phone, as many bids are made either by phone or online.

"We're here to find items we can sell at our auction. When we don't have an auction we go to others just about every weekend," Shaw said.

Shaw said she makes many phone deals, especially, oddly enough, with the Amish. The bids come in over the phone and, if they win the bidding, the money is wired to the auction company.

The there were the true buyers. Terry Henderson was simply looking for a truck for work, and he found one in a 2001 Chevy with more than 200,000 miles on it for $3,000.

The crowd was a little smaller than usual, many at the auction said. That can be attributed to it being off-season. Still, Land said he must be doing something right as there was still a crowd of people raising their hands in the bidding.

"There are people who come here looking for a profit; who buy, load it on the trailer and sell it," Land said. "They keep coming. We're busy."

 
 

 

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