Owner’s Investment: $30,000
McEwen Auction Company—located in the former St. John’s Church on Oswego’s west side—offers the ideal location to enjoy the thrills of an auction for first-timers or seasoned vets.
Owner Corrina Pauldine began hosting weekly Monday night auctions in November, and continues to introduce Oswego to the buying and selling of the auction business.
“Typically on a Monday night auction I try to have anywhere from 300 to 400 items. I can sell about 100 items an hour, if not more. It’s a quick process and I’m a fast seller,” Pauldine said.
People will bring items to Pauldine that they wish to sell, and she will auction them off to the highest bidder. Pauldine makes a commission off the items she sells, and will then send a check to the item’s previous owner. She said that is the beauty of her services: The owners make money too.
After finding the perfect location and attending the Texas Auction Academy, Pauldine said it took in excess of $30,000 to get up and running. She had to acquire an auctioneer’s license through the city of Oswego, secure insurances for the business and her employees, purchase equipment and set up a computer system.
Pauldine said she uses special software called Auction Flex wherein a clerk will input the sales she makes during the auction and the purchases will be in the system for her cashier to check the buyers out.
She also had to purchase and set up a speaker system for buyers to hear her on stage.
After writing and presenting her business plan, Pauldine received a loan through the Oswego Community Development Office to help cover start-up costs.
“The business is beginning to sustain itself, which is good,” Pauldine said. “That is the goal, and I foresee it doing well. Hopefully this time next year I won’t be worrying about anything financially.”
Step One Creative worked with Pauldine to develop her branding and identity. It designed her logo and website, which features her maiden name, McEwen, which she said was important to her.
Also important to Pauldine is that she sets herself apart from competition by being personable and approachable. Often times she will be mingling with the people who attend her auctions beforehand, and helping them load their cars afterward.
“Stylistically I am just different in the way I sell. I’m a woman in a very male-dominated industry. I think people just enjoy seeing a woman doing it. I’m just a passionate person. I think being one-on-one and being personal with people sets me apart,” said Pauldine.
In the first year, Pauldine said she does not expect to see a full return on her investment. However, possibly in several years, she looks to turn a profit.
She said right now her bills are being paid, and “that is a good thing.”
As long as you have goals and check back on them frequently, she said, they should be attainable.