Auction Stor sells unusable
assets for companies,
often for better prices

Companies with “stagnant inventory or non-productive fixed assets” have a new way to get rid of them: They can call the Auction Stor, a Hopkins firm started last September that sells assets on eBay with an emphasis on corporate clients.

“We’re able to turn that into cash in a much more efficient level than before,” says co-founder Chuck Welle (WELL-ee), chief operating officer. He targets assets that might go to a liquidator or scrapper for 5 to 15 cents on the dollar.

“We’re taking that into the eBay world, where you’re getting closer to the market rate, and for that we charge them a fee,” he says.

The rate varies based on product, but ballpark is 25 percent of the sales price plus the cost of the transaction based on eBay’s fees. Welle had been selling corporate assets on eBay for seven years with his other company, Opportunity Distributing, and saw a need for a targeted service.

They also handle eBay transactions for retail customers at two other stores, one in Chaska and one in Plymouth, but he expects 80 percent of sales to come from wholesale clients.

Welle is a veteran entrepreneur. He started Computer Renaissance in 1988, to sell used computers, at a time when not many were aware there was such a thing. His business partner is Mark Cohn, who was CEO of Damark International.

“It’s an evangelism situation for us now,” he says about Auction Stor. “A vast majority of business owners don’t have this on their radar,” that they can sell their used inventory on eBay.

Why does Welle keep venturing into uncharted waters? “I’m just a glutton,” he says with a laugh. “Going after something that already has a market” would be easier, he’s sure, but where’s the fun in that?

Chuck Welle, Auction Stor: 952.936.0221; cwelle@theauctionstor.com; www.theauctionstor.com

Beth Ewen