By Jesse Robitaille
Colonial Acres (CA) will host its first-ever live public auction on May 22 and 23.
The new auction house, dubbed Colonial Acres Auctions, will have “something for everyone,” said Kirk Parsons, co-owner of CA.
“We’re going on 25 years in the business,” he said, “so it was sort of a natural progression. We’ve tried almost every avenue of the coin business – we’ve done coin shows, and we started on eBay since day one – so it’s just one more avenue for us to venture off in.”
Parsons said the auction house will offer all kinds of material for every type of numismatic collector.
“We’re one of those Heinz 57 businesses, where we have items for collectors looking to spend $10 and items for collectors looking to spend $1,000. We’re one of those businesses catering to the whole industry,” he said.
“Whether it’s for a beginner or a long-term collector, we have something for everyone.”
Parsons co-owns CA with his cousin, Todd Sandham, who co-founded the business in Waterloo, Ont. in 1991. What began as an easy and interesting way to make money in the summer eventually flourished into a full-fledged business. In 1996, Sandham and his former colleague Cam Bevers opened their first retail shop, naming it after the Waterloo subdivision, Colonial Acres, where the two were raised as boys and where Sandham’s mother still lives. Today, Sandham and Parsons employ more than a dozen people.
Parsons said he and his staff plan to host two auctions each year.
“Depending on how the first few sales go, it’s something we would like to do two times a year.”
And with more than a dozen full-time staff already in place, CA can handle the increased workload, said Parsons.
“We have a large enough staff to manage the sub-business. There are at least 15 or 16 of us here every day.”
He said his customers are happy about the announcement.
“A lot of our regular customers are quite pleased we’re running it. They’re surprised it took so long to get into it,” said Parsons.
“Me and Todd both feel – and I’m sure it’s a common feeling across the coin world – the next 10 to 15 years will be very interesting times. We’re setting ourselves up, and the auction business makes sense.”
As collectors grow old, he said, their collections need to be dealt with.
“The Baby Boomers are getting to that age in the next 15 years where they’ll be downsizing, so larger collections will hit the markets. We want to be prepared to help the families or individuals, and auctions houses are the easily feasible solutions to handling these collections.”
The auction house will also benefit regular customers, he said.
“A lot of people come in with a higher-calibre collection and we’ll make them a buy offer, but they always wonder if they’d do better in auctions. Now we have that option.”
Colonial Acres Auctions is accepting consignments ranging anywhere from a single item to entire estates or collections for its first-ever sale, to be hosted at its Kitchener location at 991 Victoria St. N. Online bidding and mail bids will also be accepted.
For more information or to consign, visit colonialacres.com/auctions.