Brian Graves founded Everything But The House
in 2006 as an online personal property and estate sale service provider that combines the traditional estate or tag sales, the essence of an auction and the exposure and convenience of the Internet. In essence, you can be anywhere in the world and participate in an auction in Cincinnati. (Or be in Cincinnati and participate in an online sale in Jackson Hole, Wyo,. facilitated by EBTH.)
In 2007, Graves invited his friend Jacquie Denny to join EBTH. Before joining EBTH, Denny was an entrepreneur and owner of a tag sale business. Like Graves, she attended auction school at Mendenhall School of Auctioneering
in High Point, NC.
For the first 15 months, EBTH was a tag sale business, and buyers had to attend the sale at the various homes to purchase items for the listed, or negotiated, amount. EBTH would place photos of key items on its website to give buyers an idea of what kinds of items would be for sale. After one year in business, EBTH had an email database of about 800 regional customers.
Even though EBTH was delivering strong results to local clients through the tag sale business, Graves and Denny both thought they were leaving money on the table because of limited regional participation and sale accessibility. At that point, they incorporated the online sale platform into the EBTH website, and the company’s success grew.
“With the opportunity to reach an international audience, the convenience it afforded bidders to access items over the course of seven days, and the fact that in almost every case, 100 percent of a home’s contents were sold, online sales caused more conventional methods to pale in comparison,” says Brian Graves, founder of EBTH. Today, EBTH registers about 800 new bidders from around the world per month.
With the addition of online sales, EBTH facilitated about $7 million in total sales in 2012 and has grown to include 50 employees and sale coordinators. In the next few months, EBTH will be opening locations in Lexington and Fairfield County, Conn.
Graves spent most of his professional career working for a Fortune 500 company, where he held various positions in information technology, management and quality improvement. He became interested in the resale business when he bought a house built in the 19th
century and began to look for antique furnishings at local auctions.
For several years, he bought and sold antiques at local antique fairs, antique malls and fine art auctions, where he acquired a vast knowledge of all things old. The local antique industry began to see a downturn in the late ‘90s, so he decided to auction off most of his antiques and focus on buying and selling “hard-to-find” antiques on the Internet.
Today, EBTH holds 10 to 12 sales per month directly from a seller’s home, plus about eight sales per month from their warehouse/showroom/office space on Kieley Place. Items are grouped into sale categories, such as mid-century modern and contemporary art, sports memorabilia, and furnishings, décor and collectibles.
Over the years, EBTH has sold some interesting pieces, including a signed and numbered screen print by Andy Warhol, titled “Teddy Roosevelt”
from the “Cowboys and Indians” series, 1986; a rare Tiffany and Co. stained glass panel
; and a set of 19th century dueling pistols
. EBTH has also facilitated sales for local celebrities, including former Cincinnati Bengal & All-Pro running back Rudi Johnson, and the Shillito, Gruen, Emery, Procter and Sawyer families.
If you’re interested in buying something from EBTH sale, visit them online
and start bidding (every bid begins at $1). You can also see the items in person at sale previews, which are listed online. If you’d like EBTH to facilitate your estate sale, contact them here
By Caitlin Koenig
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