Auctioneer Deana Sullivan is thanking attendees for coming to her debut first-Fridays monthly auction. About 50 potential bidders are seated and poised to see what’s going on the block. Her helper and mentor Auctioneer Chris Fisher announces, “Two Longaberger baskets,” and he holds them up high for everyone to see.
In just minutes, after a little bidder back and forth, Sullivan says, “All finished all done, and I’ve sold it to bidder 306.
And with that, a monthly tradition begins in the VFW building on Newberry Road just west of downtown Newberry. Sullivan and her husband Little are in business as Auctions and More of America and they are hoping to bring some auction fun to Alachua County on the first Friday of each month at 6 p.m.
Sullivan, a broker/sales associate for Watson Realty in Tioga, is a member of the Florida Auctioneers Association and is licensed to conduct auctions in Florida. When she isn’t selling or auctioning houses, she and her husband are out picking collectibles, primitives, furniture and antiques to offer at the next auction.
Sullivan said she got her start in real estate in 1998 and noticed early on that if you have two buyers interested in the same property, you could get more than the asking price by encouraging higher offers than the listing price. “I turned them into bidders,” she said.
Sullivan conducts real estate auctions exclusively for Watson and recently decided to start holding estate sales to sell her personal merchandise and items sent to her by consignors and other pickers. Growing up in Alachua County, both her parents and grandparents operated antique stores and she used to attend auctions with them. “My parents had a store in Alachua and I would attend auctions as a kid.”
Now, with headset and a mic on, Sullivan circulates the room selling furniture, then jewelry, then a vintage milk can and some toys.
She holds up a doll to the crowd and announces, “look at this,” and she pushes on the doll’s face turning it from one expression to another and another. The crowd is silent as she laughs and tells them they’ll never see another one like it.
The next auction is this Friday, March 6 at 6pm and they will continue every first Friday of each month. The doors open for a preview of the merchandise at 5 p.m.
Sullivan deems the first auction a success. Folks were loading up trailers and hauling off their goods. She has plans to expand the inventory to include equipment and vehicles.
Her advice to first-time auction attendees, “Decide what price you’re willing to pay before the item goes up for auction and preview the items beforehand.”
Photos by Suzette Cook