Auctioneers having fun with new dollar store

Friday, August 22, 2008

Business at Trumann Public Auction was going gangbusters for Matt and Tammy Fisher. They were drawing about 150 people a night and pulling in about $10,000 a night.

But when they decided to open up a dollar store next door to the auction three months ago, things got so busy that they discovered they just couldn't keep up with both businesses.

It became a scramble just to find merchandise for both sites.

They decided to shut down the auction house and focus exclusively on the dollar store, the aptly named Trumann Auction Excess Outlet.

"It just got to be too much," Tammy Fisher said. "We were working every day. And this was doing a lot better. So we shut the auction down."

"And there were way too many auctions in Trumann -- at least ten a night," Matt Fisher added. "It was just too many."

Trumann Auction Excess Outlet is serving a big need in Trumann, Matt said. Everything in the store sells for one dollar and is all brand new merchandise.

Customers can get name-brand clothing and accessories -- most of which still has the tags on it -- at a huge bargain.

"I had a lady come in the other day who didn't have money and needed school clothing for her children," Matt Fisher said. "She said she would be getting her severance paycheck. She bought like 65 items. I told her 'take 'em.' I had another woman from Memphis come in and buy $150 worth of items."

Fisher said he buys the merchandise from a liquidation broker. Most of the products are overstock or discontinued items from stores such as K-Mart, Sears, Target and Dillard's.

This week alone he got in 48 pallets of new merchandise.

"It's just about everything," Tammy Fisher said. "It's all new stuff when we get it."

Mainly though, they try and buy necessity items like health and beauty aids and clothing which they can then pass on to the consumer for a fraction of what it would cost if they were to buy it off the rack at the big chain stores.

"With the way the economy is going with rising gas and food prices, you can come in here and get a whole wardrobe for $30," Matt Fisher said.

The response so far has exceeded their expectations. They see new and repeat customers every day.

Fridays and Saturdays are so busy that sometimes it's hard to move around inside the store.

"Everyday we get new people coming in," she said.

Debbie Hall, one of those repeat customers, said she bought about $150 worth of clothes for her niece's shower and barely spent $10.

"Everything in here is a bargain," Hall said. "And they have been really, really nice to everybody who comes in here. They are easy to deal with and very helpful."

Fisher said he is looking to expand the business to Jonesboro.

"I'm looking for a building," Matt Fisher said. "I need a small building."

For now, the couple say they are having a good time finding items to buy for the store and helping out the community.

"I like digging through the stuff," Tammy said.

"This is something that the community can enjoy and yet get a bargain," Matt added.

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