During the 60′s, some drug stores whose business was not succesful,would hire an auctioneer to dispose of their inventory. I attended some of these auctions and on one occasion purchased some merchandise at a below wholesale price.
The auctioneer first announced that the entire store inventory,and fixtures ,would begin with a minimum opening bid of $5000. If no one bid this minimum amount, then previous separated sections of inventory would be,individually, auctioned. The auctioneer announced the auction opening, and no one responded with the minimum bid for the entire inventory. Just as the auctioneer proceeded to conduct the auction,with individual sections, two young men arrived, who said hello to the auctioneer, who apparently knew the new arrivals,and even said hello,addressing them by their first names.One of the young man asked the auctioneer, “What do you have to get for the whole place? $5000 was the reply. The young man who was attired in a country style out,looked around for a few minutes, and yelled, “I’ll bid $5000.No one responded when the auctioneer asked if anyone wanted to raise the bid, there was silence,and the auctioneer told the high bidder, you got it.
I recall that Stanley Hayman,owner of a cash register company,from whom, I had purchased cash registers, asked the high bidder, do you want sell the cash registers? Everything is for sale,was the answer.
One of the bargain hunters, told me that he had seen the winning bidder at other auctions,and his objective was to buy and sell. After he sold some of the inventory and fixtures, to anyone attending the auction,he would sell the balance of the inventory to many businesses in the suburbs.
I made an offer for the cigarette inventory,and a quantity of tussy deodorant.We agreed on the price,but when I wrote him a check, he yelled ‘NO CHECKS”,you might be related to the banker, “CASH” only.I gave him a cash deposit,and told the seller, I would return to my store, and return with cash,which I did. Many of the folks attending the auction,purchased assorted merchandise,at below wholesale prices. It was an interesting afternoon.
Again during the 60′s, I once hard that an empty store was available for rental, in the DC downtown area, around 13th and G Street,N.W, for only a three month period. I asked my friend Eddie if he was interested in being my partner,to consumate the temporary store rental.
We agreed, and hired Eddie’s brother and another young lade to operate the business. I traveled to New York where I purchased assorted gifts, cigarette lighters, clocks and novelties to stock the store, and we called the business “DISCOUNT CORNER”.
One problem occurred when a large shipment of china type panthers arrived in broken condition. The freight company stated the merchandise was probably not packed correctly.After some negotiation,the problem was resolved. The business sales were satisfactory,and I arranged to have the balance ofthe remaining unsold inventory delivered to Smith Pharmacy.At a later period a card and gift shop rented the space.
NEW YORK VARIETY SHOWS.
Occasionally my brother Sam, who owned a neighborhood 5 and 10, and I would travel to New York to attend a annual variety show,where different vendors sold all sorts of merchandise. Proprietors of smalland large retail stores would attend these regular shows to purchase merchandise of all types. My brother and I both would often purchase some interesting items to sell in our stores,not available in the DC area.
While in New York, we enjoyed walking around the busy New York neighborhoods,and visiting different restaurants,and sometimes attending an interesting play.
No comments yet.