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A New Approach to the World of Antiques at Alexandria Auctions

The local auctioneer Alexandria Auctions is turning everything you thought you knew about auctions upside down.

Alexandria Auctions has modified its preview room to accommodate COVID protocols. (Photo: Grace Billups Arnold)

Alexandria, VA – When you think of the word auction, you probably also think about antiques or people at podiums talking fast. Well, the local auctioneer Alexandria Auctions is turning everything you thought you knew about auctions upside down.

Alexandria Auctions just celebrated five years in business in April 2021. Owner Josh Wilbanks credits his success to his online platform. As an online auction house, Alexandria Auctions managed to persevere through the pandemic.

Alexandria Auctions is located at 5622 General Washington Dr in Alexandria. (Photo courtesy of Josh Wilbanks)

With all bidding already happening online, Alexandria Auctions didn’t have to pivot as sharply as most other businesses during the pandemic.

But of course, there were adjustments to business: Josh had to rearrange the layout and limit the occupancy of the gallery for in-person previews; he also now offers curbside delivery to your vehicle.

Josh found a passion for auctions in his childhood, growing up down the street from an auction house.

He described the live auction scene as “exciting” and “fast-paced”; thus, his interest was piqued. “It was about selling and buying stuff, but it was also a form of entertainment,” he says.

Josh graduated from the University of Maryland in 2015 with a degree in marketing and later got his auctioneer certification at the East Coast School of Auctioneering.

When Josh opened Alexandria Auctions 5 years ago, he had no foresight into the global pandemic, but he knew that the online world was where auctions were headed. How does an online auction work?

Alexandria Auctions buys and sells unique antiques and family treasures, like the gold Rolex watch. (Photo courtesy of Josh Wilbanks)

It starts with something Josh calls, The Accumulation Conundrum: How or when do you know you need an auctioneer? When you have too much stuff and not enough space. Whether that is an entire estate or an individual item, this is where Alexandria Auctions comes in.

Offering a weekly treasure auction, services in estate sales, liquidations, gallery auctions, appraisals, private sales, and pickups and clean-outs, Alexandria Auctions works with everyone from families to individuals, from realtors and estate planners to attorneys.

“We operate in both full estate method and individual items,” explains Josh. “One time, we picked up 60 Persian rugs because that was all the guy had.”

The auctioning process is individualized, depending on the particular client. Josh says he likes to “focus more on the people. As I am meeting with the client, I like to listen to them. I try to build our service around them.”

Where do you begin when auctioning? To contact Alexandria Auctions, visit alexandriaauctions.com, where you can register to sell or to bid.

Josh’s favorite finds include mid-century modern style furniture, like this dresser set. (Photo: Grace Billups Arnold)

And what can you sell or bid on? Some items of particular interest include Chinese antiques and Asian decorative arts, vintage mid-century and Danish modern furniture, firearms and militaria (Alexandria Auctions holds a federal firearms license), sterling sets and fine jewelry, and U.S. coin collections.

Josh sees “a lot of cool stuff from a vast amount of time periods every day, but one thing I enjoy personally is mid-century modern furniture.”

Certain things cannot be sold, of course, including clothes, books, and general kitchenware. All items of no second-hand value are donated.

Whether you are looking to clean house or collect a unique antique, visit Alexandria Auctions to discover a whole new world of auctioneering.

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