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Tue, April 23


Courier/Les Stukenberg
Jan Paderewski holds up a lead glass lighted duck for auction goers to consider bidding on; the duck went for a steal at $15.

Courier/Les Stukenberg Jan Paderewski holds up a lead glass lighted duck for auction goers to consider bidding on; the duck went for a steal at $15.

PRESCOTT ­ It was the large green velvet lampshades that moved Kurt Vogel to pick up his big stick.

Vogel was in the midst of auctioning off a large selection of home décor items when he reached for his over-sized gavel to announce that a bidder purchased the lampshades for $1.

From couches to coffee tables to entertainment cabinets and lamps, it's about people from all walks of life showing up to find their treasure in another's junk.

Billie Jean Vogel and her husband, Kurt, own Batterman's Auction LLC in Prescott.

"It (auctioning items) is the most exhilarating experience you can imagine," he said. "Auctions are where people come to buy."

People are very active before and during auctions.

Vogel said his Web site gets about 2,000 hits a month from people gleaning information on auction items.

The household auctions Vogel presides over generate about $3,000 to $8,000 in sales and the fine furniture and antique auctions generate roughly $25,000 to $100,000 in sales.

Bob Greene, with Auction Productions Inc. in Humboldt is a veteran of the auction business.

Greene started in the business more than 30 years ago and works with his business partner John Gangel.

Acquiring auction items is an ongoing process for Greene, who said he probably spends about $50,000 a month in advertising his auctions in all forms of media.

Greene said people contact him from around the country to liquidate their antique collections.

"I work very hard and I usually put in 17 hour days," he said. "If you want to be successful in what you do, you have to put the time in."

His Web site got over a million hits for his action in late November 2006.

Greene said he does about four auctions a year and sales average from $750,000 to $1.5 million an auction.

About 500 or more people attend Greene's auctions. Roughly 1,000 to 2,000 people submit absentee bids and about 250 people submit bids through a 10-bank phone system.

Greene said the key to his success is the honesty and integrity he takes with his clients and the items he auctions.

"Honesty in this business is paramount if you want to succeed," he said. "We do things by the numbers and above the board."

Greene has a wide selection of items to auction including artwork, antique furniture and guns and movie memorabilia.

Kurt and Billie Jean started Batterman's in May 2006 after they noticed a lack of auction houses in the area.

He said people frequently call with items they want to unload.

"We can offer them an outlet to move their items," he said.

For more information, call Batterman's at

445-6787 or visit

Call Greene at 632-8000 or visit

Contact the reporter at


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