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Meet Evan Bone of Piedmont Estate Sales

Today we’d like to introduce you to Evan Bone.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My passion for what I do began as a small child.  I was born and raised in Gadsden, Alabama, where I spent my weekends shopping at flea markets with my  grandparents.  I quickly developed a love for ‘things’…collectibles, antiques, cars, you name it.  If it could be bought, sold or traded, I was interested in it.  I can remember the sights and smells of those flea markets and antique malls like it was yesterday.

The rest of my free time as a child was spent selling real estate with my father, who started a real estate auction company several decades ago with his brothers and is still in operation today.  The National Auction Group, based out of my hometown, is one of the country’s leaders in auctioning high end real estate at live auction.  My family started the business from the ground up and they still operate it today, so you can say that is where my entrepreneurial spirit comes from.
I traveled the country with my father, selling high-end real estate at live auction practically from the age I was born. We sold everything from multi-million dollar homes to 40,000-acre ranches to large commercial buildings… you name it. So you can say it’s in my blood. I worked in and out of the family business until college, where I studied Political Science and Philosophy. After college, I pursued a career in Atlanta and have been here ever since.

Needing to hone my business acumen a bit, I joined Enterprise Rent-a-Car’s management training program, where I worked my way up to managing multiple stores and over a dozen employees. Amidst a great career and an upward trajectory, I knew deep down inside that I wanted to get back into the auction industry… and then Everything But The House (EBTH) came calling.

Known as the world’s largest online estate sale marketplace, where items are bought and sold through the online auction process, I knew it was a fit. I jumped on board with EBTH in its startup phases back in 2014 and rode the wave for four years, going from a small company of less than 100 employees in a single location to a giant in its industry with over 1,000 employees and 27 locations around the country. Before my departure, I was reporting directly to the CEO and overseeing eight markets along the east coast. But I still knew there was more…

In June of this year, I started Piedmont Estate Sales. Piedmont is a turn-key estate sale service, meaning that we offer not only the sale of goods inside a home but also trash disposal and donation removal. When we begin in a home full of belongings, our process takes approximately two weeks to completely clear the home and leave it broom swept for the next owner.

In a world focused on automation and the next great technology advancement, there’s plenty of room for good old-fashioned, person to person customer service. The moving process is very difficult, especially if the catalyst comes from death or divorce or some other life-changing matter. Not to mention there is a huge movement to downsize, and when you downsize, you can’t take it all with you. And that is what we focus on every day at Piedmont… How can we help someone who is in transition and make their lives a little easier?

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The biggest challenge I’ve encountered throughout all of this is the personal challenge.

The willingness to make the jump from all of the things that come with working for a larger corporation, to basically starting from scratch with nothing but yourself and your knowledge is a tough decision. And you actually aren’t even starting from scratch; you are starting in the hole. It takes a lot of time and money to start any type of business. It’s a huge risk, and to put it frankly… it’s a little scary.

But if you know your trade and you have confidence from working in an industry your whole life that you have the ability to improve upon that industry, then there’s nothing that can stop you. I wake up every day with a positive attitude and think to myself “How can I make my business and my industry better?” With a mindset like that, you are bound to spark creativity, motivation, inspiration… all of those good things that make life and business successful and fun.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Piedmont Estate Sales – what should we know?
Piedmont is a service-first, turn-key estate sale company. We focus on our clients’ needs first, whether that’s strictly a fiduciary need, or a need to fully clean out a home and prepare it for sale. We deal with all types of homes: from small homes to mansions to hoarding situations. Our team of pricing and moving experts are equipped to handle any situation in any location.

The estate sale process is very simple…
Step 1: Stage the home. This involves setting up tables, reorganizing, and basically preparing the contents for sale in a manner that allows the public to flow freely and comfortably through the home while they shop.

Step 2: Price the contents. Our pricing experts place price tags on each individual item, basing values off of their knowledge and online research.

Step 3: Sale Days. Sales run from Friday-Sunday, 9-4.

Our staff is fully dedicated to providing the best customer service, the fairest prices and the friendliest faces in the business. We don’t take one person or one item for granted, and we understand that our job is to balance a great buying experience for our customers with a great fiduciary return for our clients. It’s a tightrope, but it’s what makes every day different, and what makes it the best job in the world.

We separate ourselves by not only offering an estate liquidation service, but we also leave the home broom-swept and ready to be sold. We offer moving and storage options for any leftover items, and we can sell the house, as well.

So we really are a turnkey service, in the aspect that you can hire us to sell your items, store any items you wish not to sell, move those items into your new home when you are ready, and sell your old home. You no longer have to work with multiple vendors to achieve all of these services–simply hire Piedmont Estate Sales, and we will handle everything from start to finish and send you a check in the mail.

Additionally, we do not limit ourselves to estate contents. We offer business liquidations, auctions, and consignment. There is no job too big or too small; we have sold everything from an airplane to cars to the garden hose, and everything in between.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Jonathan Savoy of Professional Estate Sales deserves credit for helping me get my business off the ground. Once a competitor, then a mentor, and now a friend, he has provided support for me in numerous ways in my initial year of business.

David Wilson, John Youngblood, and Dianna Daggett, all former peers at EBTH deserve credit for molding me into a professional in this industry. Mike Reynolds, former CFO at EBTH, taught me the importance of studying and understanding data before jumping to conclusions about anything related to your business.

And my parents deserve credit for tossing me into this industry head first as a child, providing me with opportunities to travel the world and meet people that have influenced and shaped me as a person.

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