PLATTSBURGH Stephen T. Brodi has been in the auction business for nearly 30 years and knows a thing or two about selling antique furniture to toy cars and everything in between. Perhaps that is why his business, Bridge Street Auction Service, continues to grow since its establishment in 1989. Offering an array of services from antique, antiquarian book, coin, consignment and estate auctions to commercial, liquidation and other forms of auctions, Bridge Street Auction Service is able to handle just about any auction a person can think of, said Mr. Brodi. Auctions are no longer viewed as a sign of distress, but often used by stores and mass merchandisers as a strategic method of marketing and merchandising items that no longer meet or match their objective, which is very important for business liquidations of assets and discontinued merchandise, said Mr. Brodi. Bridge Street Auction Service, which gets its name from its original location, is actually located at 1 Durkee Street, where it relocated to four years ago. The name stayed the same for customers to recognize the service they have come to trust and depend on for the past 18 years. The move gave Bridge Street Auction Service considerably more room to show and store auction items, from 3,000 to 9,000 sq. ft. Recently, the auction house held auctions for two different estates on the same day, with hundreds of items for bidders to choose from. Were so big now, were able to display and merchandise more items, said Mr. Brodi. The great thing about Bridge Street Auction Service, said Mr. Brodi, is that the business benefits both those wishing to sell their items and those wishing to buy. Those in the market to sell items have the option of either having the business transport merchandise to the Durkee Street gallery or have the auction held on-site, said Mr. Brodi. Regardless of where the auction is held, an auction gives the seller a greater chance at getting the most for his or her dollar, he said. One of the things that is strategic about the auction method of marketing is if you have a yard sale and you price this table at $5, Mr. Brodi said as an example, and all of a sudden you have 10 people that want it; you cant raise your price. The auction method of marketing is the only method of marketing that the price can go up and up and up until the last person has stopped bidding. With estate sales, in particular, holding an auction is the most expeditious way to sell items a seller wants to part with, said Mr. Brodi. Ive known people whove had yard sales for months, yes, really, months and ruined a month of weekends trying to do it, whereas we go in and we can do it all in one day, he said. Unlike other auction services that may glance over items to only desire certain items for their premier auctions, said Mr. Brodi, Bridge Street Auction Service takes sincere interest in helping people sell as much as possible during an estate auction. A lot of other auction services may walk into your house and they may look at one or two items and say thats what they want because theyre good enough to be put into a premier auction, but we offer full service because people will wonder what theyre going to do with the rest of their possessions, said Mr. Brodi. Thats where we come in. Mr. Brodis business, which offers free consultations, will examine all items that are in salable condition, auction what they can, and arrange to have the rest discarded at the request of the customer. When enlisting the services of Bridge Street Auction Service, the business helps by taking care of transportation of items, advertising the auction and handles bad debt expenses, collection payments and state sales tax associated with the auction. Sellers are even furnished with a computerized report listing items being sold in the auction. Working mainly on a commission basis, the auction service charges little else other than, when necessary, travel expenses due to the rising cost of fuel. Headaches are what Mr. Brodis business aims to take away, leaving those selling their possessions with peace of mind. One such instance, recalled Mr. Brodi, was an elderly couple who was told by another auction service they would sell their items if they could get them outside of their house. Being in their eighties, moving the items themselves was not an option. We went in and picked it all up for them, sold it for them and they didnt have to touch a thing, said Mr. Brodi. Another point Mr. Brodi made was that many people may not even realize what they have in their possession is even worth money. As the old saying goes, One mans trash is another mans treasure, said Mr. Brodi. Its easy to sell things you realize are worth money, but everyone else realizes theyre worth money. However, its a totally different situation to look at a tattered book you might throw away, only to find its a first edition book of Clinton County history and its worth money, said Mr. Brodi. In addition to special auctions, Bridge Street Auction Service offers regularly scheduled auctions. Antique auctions are held on a bimonthly basis, coin auctions every three months and antiquarian book auctions every four to six months. Box Lot Bonanzas are held Friday nights beginning at 6 p.m., overseen by Mr. Brodis wife Nina, an apprentice auctioneer. Weekly consignment auctions are also held every Sunday at 10:30 a.m., year-round, said Mr. Brodi. A lot of times, people are amazed we can pick you up on Monday and have you sold on Sunday, said Mr. Brodi. In addition, Bridge Street Auction Service provides payment usually withing 10 banking days of the auction date. As Mr. Brodi is a licensed real estate agent, his business is also fully capable of handling real estate auctions in both New York and Vermont. Eventually, he also plans to host automobile auctions in another effort to expand his service to customers. Whatever the type of auction, those attending an auction hosted by Bridge Street Auction Service are sure to have a good time, said Mr. Brodi. Auctions are family-friendly and even great events for couples to attend together. Every auction has its own ambience, its own flare created by the auctioneer and it appeals differently to different people, said Mr. Brodi. I like to think we appeal to everybody. Its one thing to be on the computer pushing a button, but its another thing to be in the crowd and being across the aisle from the person bidding against you, Mr. Brodi added in regard to on-line auction sites versus visiting auctions in person. Its a tremendous amount of joy to being the high bidder. Its a wonderful experience. As Bridge Street Auction Service accepts Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express credit and debit cards, many auction attendees are able to spend freely without worrying if they have to pay for an item immediately after it is won. With the exceptional deals that can be had at an auction, sometimes that amount leaves little to worry about at all. Auctions enable people to live beyond their means but allow them to stay within their means, said Mr. Brodi. In some cases, you might never be able to afford to buy something new, however, through the auction you can find it or something better for a lot less. The next big auction scheduled to be held at the Durkee Street auction house will be the annual Christmas Auction Tuesday, Dec. 4, beginning at 6 p.m. Auction enthusiasts will have the chance to bid on many new and used merchandise from tools to electronics, household goods, decorations and more. The auction will be one of a few special auctions currently lined up for the coming weeks. On Saturday, Dec. 8, the auction house will host an antiquarian book auction beginning at 11 a.m., and a coin auction beginning at 6 p.m. On Tuesday, Jan. 1, a premier antique and collectibles auction will be held, with more information forthcoming. Bridge Street Auction Service is easy to get to from Interstate 87. Simply take Exit 38S to North Catherine Street and continue on to Broad Street. Take a left at the light and Bridge Street Auction service will be two blocks down on the right. For more information about Bridge Street Auction Service or to arrange to have the business take care of an auction for you, give them a call at 563-0568 or log onto their Web site featuring the latest catalogued items and scheduled auctions at www.bridgestauction.com . To be added to the services weekly e-mail, featuring information about upcoming auctions, visit the Web site or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .