|EDISON, N.J. — Central New Jersey’s largest auction house is going, going and gone, as auctioneer Joe Bodnar likes to say, relocated to a much larger home at the New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center.
“Right off the bat, we’re going to more than triple our size, upwards of 30,000 square feet if needed,” Bodnar said.
Bodnar’s Auction Sales’ inaugural sale at the new location in the Raritan Center industrial complex begins at 10 a.m. April 24.
Helping to welcome Bodnar to the new venue will be Somerset Patriots’ mascot “Sparkee” and race car driver Chuckle Stones, an overall track champion at the New Egypt Speedway. Bodnar has signed on as a sponsor with Chuckle Stones Motorsports. Stones’ race car will also be on display.
Location is another major consideration that spurred the move to the convention center, which sits at an intersection of several major interstates and state highways – the New Jersey Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway, Routes 1, 9 and 35, in addition to Routes 287 and 400.
Just a few minutes’ ride from the Outerbridge Crossing and adjacent to the campus of Middlesex County Community College off Woodbridge Avenue, the centralized location was one of the major reasons Bodnar chose to relocate.
The Convention & Exposition Center, Bodnar explains, moves the auction closer to those New York customers who cross the river into New Jersey each month for Bodnar’s wide-ranging sales.
Bodnar is making some big changes to accommodate his new location.
“We’’ weed out some of the lower-end merchandise and stick to better quality merchandise, cut out the garage sale stuff from coming through the door,” he says.
For the April 24 auction, Bodnar has been stockpiling a wide variety of high-quality antiques from four major collections. In addition to higher-end antiques and collectibles, the sale will also offer Victorian jewelry, English and period American furniture, cut glass, 19th century decorative arts and more than 1,000 toys from all generations.
Bodnar and his auction team are accustomed to selling 6,000 lots on auction day, comprising several collector categories.
“We’re looking to have better customer service for sellers and buyers,” Bodnar said. “Instead of running a five-ring auction, we’re going to try to contain the sales, rein it in so every sale is not going on during the main auction event, which begins later in the afternoon.
“No longer will there be two sales in the same room simultaneously. That can be daunting for the buyer; sometimes the auctioneers interrupt one another. What we plan to do is take each auction ring and contain it to its own separate room so they won’t be competing against each other.”
Another plus for Bodnar’s crew and consignors is the availability of 14 bays at the loading dock, providing plenty of room for unloading merchandise.
The Edison site also provides more parking with spots for 1,800 cars
Bodnar has come a long way since conducting his first auction as a teenager in a parking lot in 1996, moving to the East Brunswick Elks’ Lodge for several years, before relocating to the Ukrainian Center in 2002. The Ukrainian Center only had 8,000 square feet.
Bodnar has been honored twice in the past five years as the reigning Bid Calling Champion by the New Jersey Association of Auctioneers. Bodnar and his monthly auction sales are featured regularly on two cable television shows, The Toy Hunter on the Travel Channel and on Comic Book Men on AMC.
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