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News Article  
Howe ends 41 years of calling for Epic Auctions
By Eric C. Rodenberg

DANSVILLE, Mich. – The July 7 Pringle Estate Sale was a landmark day for veteran auctioneer Bob Howe.

In this village, located 22 miles southeast of Lansing, the 73-year-old Howe announced it was his last auction and that he had sold Epic Auctions and Estate Sales to his bidding partner of six years, Brad Stoecker.

Howe has been an auctioneer for 41 years, calling his first sale on Labor Day in 1977.

So, at 10:01 a.m., July 7, Howe began calling his last “official” auction for Epic. Howe began his first auction at 1 minute past the hour, and that’s the way he’s done it for more than 40 years. “I bet I’ve been asked a thousand times why is that 10:01 instead of 10:00,” he says. “That catches their eye – it’s different – and it works … otherwise, I wouldn’t be getting all those questions.”

Howe and Stoecker had two rings running most of the day, going through some 700 lots by 2:15 in the afternoon. The sale was a relatively big one for Epic. They conducted an estate tag sale for items inside the three-story mansion, and later, conducted the auction for high-end and larger items.

They were two separate sales, Howe said. The two pools are not mixed, and none of the estate-tagged items are offered at auction. Likewise, none of the items for auction are offered earlier.

Howe has been an industry leader in combining the two modes of selling, resulting in quick and easy liquidation of a client’s assets to a “broom clean” finish. “It’s been a concept that has been very good to us,” Howe said. “Last year, we did 75 auctions; this year, we’re going to up. Brad has a lot of strong, young help.”

For his last “official” auction (Howe says he may call auctions with Stoecker and other auctioneers, “It does get in your blood, you know,” he says.), the auctioneer had good stock to sell, including a 2002 Corvette convertible, a Cadillac and a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

The estate had been owned by a sporting items salesman and included several fishing rods and reels, archery equipment and targets.

The 2002 Corvette sold for $23,100, while a 2007 Cadillac sold for $5,500. A Harley Davidson Fat Boy Motorcycle brought $8,690. A 2000 Georgie Boy motorhome also brought $8,690, while a Zeroturn mower sold for $4,840.

Shop equipment selling included a band saw, $304; a wood planer, $605; a wood joiner, $275; a powered post drill, $300; a box of Dremel tools, $220; a Ridgid portable miter saw, $187; a modern anvil, $55; and a Stilh chain saw, $275.

A coyote mount was the highest-priced trophy-piece at $160, while a dear head mount sold for $96.

An aluminum utility trailer sold for $880, a Coleman smoker brought $165 and a Honda generator brought $220. A Stihl backpack blower sold for $248 and a portable ice shed sold for $150.

Choice out on a set of archery bows was $198, while choice of fishing rods went for $176. A Cabella’s camouflage coat sold for $121, while motorcycle chaps and a helmet brought $121. A wicker patio set sold for $319, while a log bench sold for $187.

Under Howe’s constant mentorship, Stoecker is prepared to take over the reins of Epic Auctions and Estate Sales. With that, it appears that Epic is on a pattern of continued growth.

Contact: (517) 927-5028