Sallins man and last year’s The Apprentice winner Eugene Heary is planning a monster auction this weekend to launch his new Kildare business premises.
Bill Cullen’s latest - and possibly last, after the reality show was axed last week - protegee, opened a 25,000 square foot auction showroom with an acre and a half of yard space at Tougher’s Business Park last month.
The giant showroom will be the permanent base of Auctionhouse.ie, the pitch which won the Sallins businessman the E200,000 investment during the show’s finale last December.
And it seems business has been booming for the former Bulgarian property tycoon, who returned to Ireland to take part in last year’s show.
“It’s been going very well, at our first auction in Galway we had 1,500 people through the doors,” Mr Heary told the Leinster Leader.
Auctionhouse.ie’s unique selling point is that it will try to sell anything at a knockdown price, giving Irish comsumers quality goods at a knockdown price.
Some of the items on its books at the moment include a child’s Harley Davidson motorcycle, the contents of a window manufacturing plant, tipper trucks, a sports boat, casino machines and a job lot of birthday, Valentine’s and Christmas cards. Another unusual item up for grabs is a Ford Escort RS2000 1979 classic car, from a Kildare collector.
“We are finding that a lot of wholesalers and shop owners come to us to sell excess stock, in order to avoid expense,” he said.
“When you walk through the doors you don’t know what you will find.”
Apprentice boss Bill keeps an eye on his investment, according to Eugene, and both he and fellow judges Jackie Lavin and Brian Purcell still “take a keen interest in the business”.
“People still want bargains. There is E9 billion of unspent savings in Ireland, and people are willing to spend if it is the right product at the right price.”
Eugene, who started out in property auctioneering, is also looking to move back into the real estate game.
The company has approximately 25 properties on its books at the moment, and will be releasing details of a July property auction next month.
He predicts buyers looking to get into the rental market will be interested in Kildare properties, from where people can still commute to the capital in half an hour.
“There is a 7 to 8 percent rental return,” he says. “People are not able to get mortgages so there is still a rental market out there.”
Potential buyers can check the auction’s catalogue at www.auctionhouse.ie to find when the lot they are interested in will go under the hammer. The company’s next auction will take place on Saturday, May 26.