By Michelle Talsma Everson
Photos by Kimberly Carrillo
While many of us have an idea of how we believe auctions work, we may only be familiar with the concept from portrayals in media—which may or may not be accurate. To change this, Erik Hoyer, CEO of EJ’S Auction & Appraisal, is on a mission to make auctions more mainstream and accessible to the average consumer.
EJ’S Auction & Appraisal is an estate auction company located in Glendale. While it has a brick-and-mortar location in the West Valley, over 40% of the store’s consignments come from Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. Auctions are online—making it accessible to shoppers across the Valley and beyond.
Hoyer explains that he originally worked for construction companies, which exposed him to the world of auctions in the 2007-2008 economic crisis. “Auctions used to have this stereotype about seeming like an ‘underworld economy,’ and because of that, I saw a niche that needed to be filled,” Hoyer says. “My whole idea was to bring auctions to the forefront of the average consumer’s retail experience. Give them [auctions] more of a ‘big box’ type feel—make them clean, welcoming, and not intimidating. I believe that’s what we have done with EJ’S Auction & Appraisal.”
If business growth is any indication that Hoyer was correct about filling a niche, then the proof is in the fact that, in 2013, EJ’s had only three employees—today, it has nearly 30 full-time employees and counting. This includes five full-time appraisers.
“Before the pandemic, our in-person auctions were definitely hectic and busy, but now, while customers can see products in-person at our auction house, all auctions are online only,” Hoyer explains. “We are fortunate and grateful to say that we actually grew during the pandemic; I think it was because everyone was home and able to learn more about auctions and participate, too.”
How The Auction Process Works
At EJ’s, the auction process is made to be as simple and approachable as possible. Their weekly auctions and quarterly catalog sales feature fine collections of art, antiques, jewelry, furniture, firearms, and more. They average 150 auctions a year, with most happening virtually on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m.
EJ’s auctions have three different categories, or “rings” of items during their Saturday morning auctions:
• The choice ring features luxury items and collectibles.
• The bid ring features household goods and similar items.
• The crate ring features boxes of a variety of items all packaged together.
All the items are listed online before the auctions. Nervous about bidding on items that you haven’t seen in person? No problem, as each week, on Thursdays and Fridays, bidders can see the items at EJ’s warehouse from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. each day.
With his goal of making auctions more mainstream in mind, the EJ’s facility is welcoming, the indoor space includes 29,000 square feet of auction and display space. There is also ample parking and food and beverages available at nearby stores and restaurants.
All online auctions are available to the public and EJ’s website, ejsauction.com, and include easy-to-follow directions on how to join in the live virtual auctions. EJ’s even has an easy-to-navigate app as well.
Once a patron has successfully purchased their item in the online auction, they can then pick their items up on Sundays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the facility.
“Auction bidding is not something to be afraid of,” according to EJ’s tips for first-time buyers. “You will not buy accidentally by scratching your nose; the auctioneer knows when you are bidding seriously. On the other hand, don’t wait too long if you want an item – get your bid in early so the auctioneer has the bid before the item is sold.”
Hoyer adds that he recommends buyers see the items they want to bid on during a preview day.
For those looking to sell items at auction, that process is as streamlined as possible as well. “EJ’S Auction & Appraisal is a turnkey auction company that can handle all aspects of an estate from appraisals, to move out to the sale and collection of funds,” Hoyer says. “Whether or not you have only a few items, an entire household, or a collection, we can be of assistance.”
Hoyer shares that his staff has hundreds of years of combined experience and expertise selling antiques, collectibles, furniture, automobiles, jewelry, pottery, glassware, coins, electronics, and nearly everything else.
Why should those looking to sell do so with EJ’s? “With registered bidders from all 50 states and over 75 foreign countries, our auction marketing network is ready to generate the results they are looking for,” he explains.
In addition to their weekly auctions, EJ’s will often have specialty auctions of specific collectibles. All these auctions are posted on their website, app and social media. Oftentimes, these special auctions will include a “sneak peek” on EJ’s YouTube channel.
The Benefits of Auctions at EJ’s
Hoyer says that there are many benefits to participating in auctions—even if it’s a new way to shop to you. “When you purchase items at auction, you are most often getting them at fair market value,” he explains. “Also, it is exciting, fun and there’s just so much cool stuff! For example, right now we’re liquidating and auctioning off what might be the largest model train collection in the Southwest. These are items you won’t find at traditional big box retailers.”
For sellers, utilizing EJ’s auctions to sell their collections, estates, and more, often results in higher prices than if you tried to sell the items on your own—and EJ’s takes care of everything from the appraisal to the auction and all the steps in between.
In addition to their traditional auctions, EJ’s also offers a “buy it now” section on their website for specific collectibles. And, for those who haven’t been to the facility, Hoyer shares that is it decorated with some amazing items from various unique collections.
“Auctions don’t have to be intimidating—they can be exciting and fun,” Hoyer says. “At EJ’s, we treat everyone equally and believe in over-delivering quality customer service and results.”
EJ’S Auction & Appraisal is located at 5880 W. Bell Road, Ste. B, in Glendale. To learn more, visit EJsAuction.com or call 623-878-2003.