New Era sells everything in Wednesday auction

Published 5:02 pm Wednesday, June 16, 2010

At 10:00 Wednesday morning, the auctioning of equipment and other items within the former New Era Caps facility in Demopolis began. By 12:45 p.m., everything had been sold.

More than 600 lots featuring anything from power tools to sewing and embroidery machines, from wheelchairs to storage cabinets, from hand trucks to 1995 Ford trucks were sold at cut-rate prices.

About 100 bidders were at the site, joined by untold numbers of bidders online.

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Bidders came from as far as Great Britain and Puerto Rico and people from Demopolis, including former New Era Caps workers, were on hand to see what they could get and how cheaply they could get it.

“We came looking for industrial sewing machines,” said Rene Villarreal, a manager for Dema Sewing Machines in Lancaster, Texas. “We buy and sell sewing machines. We had a good time here, because we were able to find some good buys.”

“I was looking for a sewing machine for myself to make repairs with,” said Bill Mackey of Demopolis. “I bought a used sewing machine, and I paid about 5 percent of what it actually cost.”

Members of the Heritage Global Partners auction services company that ran the auction said the auction went very well.

“It was very successful; a lot of money was spent,” said auctioneer Russ Dove, whose grandfather began the auction company. “It went pretty rapid, and pretty much everything sold.

“This was a little better (than the auction at the Jackson facility). We had a more lively crowd here, and I think it’s because it was the second one.”

“We had an international audience,” said Dove’s brother, Kirk. “We had people from the United States, the United Kingdom, Colombia, Mexico and Canada on the Internet. We had a good turnout, and the bidding was spirited.

“There was a good turnout because there was a wide variety of equipment up for sale. In addition to all the Barudan machines, there were sewing machines, but there was facility equipment, there were forklifts and palette jacks and shrink-wrap machines and conveyors. So, the broader the appeal, the larger the crowd.”

Kirk Dove added that the auction had been advertised for a couple of months after the auction at the Jackson facility, enabling more people to make plans to attend or take part.

Demopolis facility manager Alvin Williams said things went well.

“This is the second auction like this that I’ve been to,” he said. “We had a good crowd that turned out — locally and from out of state. I thought it went very well.”

Williams said there are two more items of business for New Era Caps before it is officially gone from Demopolis.

“First, all of this that’s been sold has to be delivered,” he said. “Over the next two or three weeks, we’re going to be really heavily involved with trying to ship all of this merchandise out to the people who bought it.

“The second thing is, we’ll start to work on the building. We’ve already started in a lot of cases, trying to neaten it up and make it as nice as we can and attractive to a potential group to come in here.”

The money from the auction will all go to New Era Caps, headquartered in Buffalo, N.Y. The total amount brought in was not available Wednesday evening.