PONDERAY After travellingfor more than three years and spending months at a time in the Sandpoint area, Mike Hoernke and his family decided to settle down and start a business.
"We've been all over the country and finally found a home here," Hoernke said, adding that they "fell in love" with the area.
The Hoernkes opened 7bAuctionin the Bonner Mall this week, with a soft opening on Monday and a Greater Sandpoint Area Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday.
Having been in the auction world since the early 2000s andworking his way up to becoming an auctioneer, Hoernke said it is his "passion." Hoernkeattendedauctioneer school in Florida where he worked at an auction house before living in Europe for a couple of years, getting to know the international auction world as well.
The family moved to Sandpoint a year-and-a-half agoandafter getting to know thecommunity, Hoernke said hesaw a need for a place for people to buy and sell used merchandise. He thought an auction house would fit in "nicely," he said.
Consignments are welcome at 7b Auction and theywill help people outwith estates, surplus, business liquidation, overstock, storage units, collectibles, coins, gold, silver or with a single item. The family also enjoys volunteering at the Panhandle Animal Shelter and Hoernke said they plan to incorporate charitable work into their business.
"We like to give back as much as we can, because Sandpoint has been so accommodating to us ... everyone has just been so open hearted," he said. "... It is all just give and take you can't just take; you have to give back."
His wife, Nikki Hoernke, is a dog walker atPASand saidtheir daughters,Shawnee and Caylee, enjoyvolunteering as well, spending time with the cats, providing socialization and helping with some of the feeding and cleaning duties.
"They love it," she said. "If it was up to them, they would go there every day."
The first auction,which will open April 26 andend May 1,will include 250 to 270 lots, MikeHoernke said, though that number will increase in future auctions. The goal is to eventually sell 800 to 1,000 items each week, he said.
The main selling platform isonline through 7b Auction's website ormobile app.By usingan online platform, he said,it is more convenient for people who are looking to buy aladder or a chair, for example, without having to sit around an auction house for several hours.For those who would rather place a bid in person, Hoernke said they are welcome to stop by the auction house as well.
"We are trying to accomodate everybody,"Hoernke said.
Items up for auctioncan be viewed either online or in house.All items listed will start at $1, and while some items may have a reserve, Hoernke said it will be "minimal."
Those who "like and share" 7B Auction's Facebook pageor place a winning bid at the upcoming auction will be entered to win a new, 39-inch LED television.
The auction house is located in the Bonner Mall near JCPenney, 300 Bonner Mall Way. For information, to preview items online,ortodownloadthemobile app, visit the website at7bAuction.com.
Mary Malone can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.
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