Northern New York Newspapers
NNY Business
NNY Living
Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the community of Ogdensburg, New York

Auction house opens


GOUVERNEUR — John M. Bieber has started an auction house as a retirement venture for when he leaves the Army in a few years.

“We’re up and coming,” Mr. Bieber said. “We’re just that new kid on the block.”

The family business, North Country Auction, had its first sale Friday at 127-129 Main St., mostly through word of mouth and a notice on

“We actually showed a little profit,” he said. “We had about 20 buyers. You want to get to a base of 40 to 60 buyers.”

A native of Binghamton, Mr. Bieber grew up mostly in the South.

“I had auctioned things off in the past before I joined the military,” he said. “I had other family members who were auctioneers. You just pick it up. I think of it as recycling.”

Although there are several auctioneers in the area, Mr. Bieber, who lives in Theresa, said he thinks there is room for one more.

“So far, we’ve been very well received,” he said.

The auction house also could provide Mr. Bieber with income after retirement if he goes to school to become a physician’s assistant.

The business takes some items on consignment, so if they fail to go at auction for the minimum the seller wants, Mr. Bieber puts them in the storefront for sale.

“That way, the individual who entrusts their stuff to us gets a fair price,” Mr. Bieber said. “We’ll get other pieces in that don’t have a reserve.”

Custom-made pieces from WildBoys Log Furniture, Gouverneur, also are featured.

Sellers pay 30 percent of all sales to Mr. Bieber if he has to pick up the merchandise or 20 percent if they bring it in themselves. There is a buyer’s premium of 10 percent. On-site auctions do not include a buyer’s premium because there is no light bill to cover.

Mr. Bieber is shooting for weekly auctions, mostly likely on either Wednesday or Thursday evenings.

“We definitely want to try and reserve weekends for more of the estate auctions,” he said.

The next auction will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 24 at 127-129 Main St., with a preview that starts at 5 p.m.

Starting Nov. 1, the auction house will move to the former Nesco property on Route 11 south of the village, which offers parking and loading advantages and a bigger space not shared with the furniture store that is part of the Main Street storefront.

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