An Unforgettable Auction (that never happened)

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September 24, 2015
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Every year at this time I right the same old blog. Why? Because it is probably the most talked about event that has happened to me in my auction business!

There are probably no other auctioneers who have a story like this…so here it goes! (again) In 2010, we were wrapping up our summer season in Cookstown, and preparing for our first auction ever, in the Pottageville Community Centre. It was Sept 25 2010 to be exact. I had lined up a huge sale for our launch, with some of the biggest and best furniture pieces we had ever had. A great looking sale, and I was pleased. When we arrived to set up at the hall, everything went smoothly. I commented how I loved this new location and had a really good feeling about it. We had our full staff setting up, and by 4:30 I sent everyone home, and it was just mom and I left to do the finishing touches. At 5:00 pm, we had a visit from one of the King City recreational department staff members. A very nice young lady introduced herself, and told me our contract stated we had the hall booked until 12:00 am Saturday. I told her yes, we were doing a Saturday sale…was there a problem? She explained that 12:00 am Saturday meant our booking expired at that time, and the hall was booked out for another function on the Saturday. It took me a couple of minutes to comprehend this, and then she told me we would have to have everything removed from the hall by then….in essence, everything out before 11:59 pm Friday evening! I had a hall jammed full, and with just mom and I sitting there, she was telling me we would have to empty out the hall? At first I told her that was impossible, we just spent two full days setting up the sale and now it all has to be taken out again? She told me there was no way around it, the hall was rented out Saturday and the people would be coming in Saturday morning to start setting up. I was absolutely dumb founded, and had no idea how I could possibly make this happen. However, I was able to contact all my staff and some of the consignors and explain the situation. Everyone came back to the hall, and we started emptying out the building. Some of the consignors were able to take their items back, but most of the sale had to be stored somewhere. I took truckloads to mom’s garage and piled it as high as I could. I then started making trips back to my place in Barrie, and filled the house and garage. At 4:00 am, Charlie and I dropped off the final load at my house. At 8:00 am, I was down at the hall telling people who did not see the change on my website, that the sale had been cancelled. I was able to reach most people through my website and email listing, but the few who did drive to the auction, where understanding and sympathetic. Two weeks later, we did the auction, and it went great. Never looked back since. And now, once again, I thank all my incredible staff, and the consignors who helped me out, when I was in an absolutely desperate situation. I thanked everyone profusely at the time, and it is something I will never forget. So that is my annual “the night the auction got cancelled” story. I don’t mind retelling it every year. I just hope it never happens again!


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