Gareth Carr is hoping his new venture will clickety-click with Star Wars fans.
The city businessman has converted the former bingo Hall at The Green in Southwick into an auction hall and the Southwick Auction Rooms will kick off with a sale of memorabilia from the sci-fi saga this Saturday.
“We opened about six months ago and we were running from upstairs in what was the Savoy bingo hall,” said Gareth.
“We have just taken over the whole building and we are now one of the largest auction houses in the North East.”
The full size venue has the capacity to hold 300 people at a time and auctions will be held at 11am every second Saturday initially, with viewing between 10am and 6pm the previous day.
Gareth plans to move to weekly auctions in the near future: “We will be the cheapest, most cost-effective auction rooms as it’s free to enter items and the seller will only pay 15% of the hammer price when sold. No other fees are applied,” he said.
Given the huge popularity of Star Wars, I think there will be a lot of interestGareth Carr
“It is a public general auction, selling items from antiques and collectables to brand new items and business-liquidated lots.
“There will be a small refreshments counter open on auction days and the auction rooms shop will be open from Monday to Wednesday, where people can pick up some real bargains.”
Gareth has ploughed his own money into the business after time working abroad: “I had been working in Poland and when I came back, I just thought; ‘I need to do something for myself, I don’t want to work for anybody else anymore’,” he said.
“I started selling stuff on-line, then I opened a warehouse, then a shop. I started going to auctions to stock the warehouse and then thought I would open an auction house of my own.
“This was the perfect place and it has naturally grown and grown until we’re using the whole building.
“In the space of a year and a half to two years, I have gone from selling stuff from my living room to having this size of building.”
Gareth is predicting plenty of interest in Saturday’s sale, with the popularity of Star Wars having received a massive boost from the release of The Forces Awakens last year and Rogue One due in cinemas in December.
“Given the huge popularity of Star Wars, I think there will be a lot of interest,” he said.