EXETER, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Chuck’s Auction Service had an auction coming up. Then Linda and Jim Lewis learned buisness were shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Well we kind of thought, ‘oh what are we gonna do now?’ Because the key to an auction is getting a big crowd,” Linda Lewis, an owner of Chuck’s Auction Service, said.
Luckily, the service had previously begun to sell some times online, so after some discussion, the Lewis’ decided to hold their auctions completely online. They spread all the items up for auction on tables throughout the auction house. Lewis tells me so far it’s been a success, partly because people have more time to bid and don’t have to stay the whole time.
“Two hours isn’t enough time to get enough things through, so people are just so busy. As my husband says, now you can bid 24 hours a day,” Lewis said.
That’s until the auction closes, that is. Lewis says going online also makes it much easier to social distance from one an other.
“Cause we can keep things seperate, keep people one at a time coming for their things. And the same thing with setting up there’s just a few of us who work here,” Lewis said.
You can find all sorts of items at Chuck’s Auction service, from books to furniture to clothes. The online auctions allows for more people to participate as well.
“75 percent of the people who were bidders and buyers in that first couple of online auctions have never been here in our building. So we figure that we’ve got a way bigger audience,” Lewis said.
While there are many pros, owners tell Eyewitness News there’s a downside to holding the auctions online.”
“We always call them our Friday families because we would have repeat people almost every week and it was like your second family. So we do miss everybody,” Lewis said.
As for going back to having people back in the auction house, Lewis says for the near future that is unlikely.