Vester’s Auction Service touts itself as having sold “almost anything you can think of” in estate, construction, real estate and farm auctions.
Operated by the Vester family of the Battleboro community, the company has sold homes, all of the contents in them and the lots they stand on in past auctions. Other items it has auctioned range from old coins to sinks, from flat-screen televisions to farm equipment and from vehicles to heavy equipment, its website says.
The family includes Todd, who serves as the auctioneer; his daughter, Meredith, who soon will be in charge of the office; and Todd’s brother, Scott, who helps organize auctions.
“We do real estate. We do estate sales,” Todd Vester said. “We have two big farm sales every year. We have one in Wilson and Nash County, and then we have one right here in Dortches every year.”
The next auction is May 22 in Rocky Mount, when a 3,200-square-foot home will be sold, he said.
The company also has regular auctions about once a month.
“About once a month is all you can squeeze in,” he said.
Before getting into the businesss, the family owned and operated other local small businesses.
“We were in the portable toilet business. We mowed right of way for city of Rocky Mount,” Todd Vester said. “We’ve been in the wrecker and rollback business. We’ve been in the grass-cutting business. I just tried everything. I like working.”
Over the years, he was exposed to auctioneering and liked what he saw.
“I’ve been around it my whole life,” he said. “In 2010, I went and got my license.”
Vester said the family has a good website that generates business from well outside the area.
“We sell stuff in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virgina,” he said. “We’ve sold a bunch of stuff two years ago to (customers in) South America, so we are spreading out.
“We sell items one at a time. That’s a way to get the most money. When we sell big items, like yellow equipment, large equipment, we sell it online.
“You can meet in person, or you can buy it online. We’ve had a crowd come in here from New Jersey. Two years ago when we sold all that big stuff down in Wilson, we sold it online and in person. Parts of that stuff went to South America.”
Q: What products or services do you provide?
A: We do full-service auctions. We do everything from start to finish. I line it up. I come see you. I sell it. We do it all. I do everything.
We go to your property and auction it off. If someone passes away in your family, and you need to sell everything inside the house and the house, we do it all. Sometimes, we pull it all out in the yard and put it in rows. They had a big consignment sale at my house in a little farm that we rent, with about 1,400 pieces for sale in a row. We sell the house itself. We also we sell the contents.
We do foreclosures. We’re getting ready to have one for a bankruptcy in Rocky Mount at the end of the month. We can sell it any way you want to sell it.
I started the business, and I just sent my daughter off to school. She is going to be the second generation. She is going to get her license so she can start selling.
There are very few of these services around. That is the reason we opened this business up. There are a few around, but there aren’t many.
Q: How many people do you employ?
A: On a sale day, 14 to 15 people.
Q: What is your business philosophy?
A: To be fair to everybody. We try to look after the customer and the buyer. I want everybody to be 100 percent satisfied.
Q: What makes your business unique?
A: I can come in and do it from start to finish. I can handle everything. If you have something that doesn’t run, we make it run. We sell it. We line it up. We collect the money, and you get a check in a few days. People have to do nothing. We can handle every step of it.
Q: How has your business grown?
A: We’re doing enough now where we can do this full-time.
Q: What kind of growth do you expect in the coming years?
A: We’d like to get bigger, that’s for sure. Everybody wants to get a little bigger. We are working from the Virgina line to the South Carolina line.