Business Profile: Showtime Auction Services

Showtime Auction Services, based in Woodhaven, Mich., conducts just two auctions a year, in the spring and fall, at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds in Ann Arbor, Mich. The firm has become renowned for its auctions featuring advertising and country store collectibles. In fact, record prices for many items in these burgeoning categories have been set at Showtime Auction Services sales.

Typically, a Showtime auction will have a featured collector; for the Oct. 10-12 event, for example, Sandy Rosnick will be the featured collector. His collection is comprised of mostly country store tins in many categories. But in addition to the featured collector, a sale will also include several other advanced collectors, with only top-quality lots worthy of a Showtime Auction Services sale.

Michael Eckles is the owner-auctioneer of Showtime Auction Services. He has been working and/or attending auctions across the country since 1968. Over the last ten years, he has dedicated himself to becoming the best professional auctioneer he can be, in every possible way. “I really enjoy the excitement of auctioneering,” he said. “I only wish there were more I could do for the consignors.”

Eckles makes it a point to become familiar with all of the merchandise before it hits the auction ring. “I clean, photograph and pack each item, as well as write the descriptive text  for our full-color catalogs,” he remarked. “I’ve handled each item as many as five times prior to selling it. Most auction houses hire an auctioneer to fly in the day before a sale. That person can’t possibly know much about what he or she is selling.”

The auction industry exists in a diverse and complex environment, Eckles observed. “I believe it is in the best interest of the consignor to place their items in the trust of an auctioneer who can garner them the most money. I will not hesitate to direct an item toward another auction house if I think it will bring top dollar there.” He cited some examples to support this belief:

• A piece of folk art might fetch $25,000 on the East Coast but have trouble bringing a $1,000 bid in California.

• An old saddle might realize $3,000 in Wyoming, but may not get a single bid in Florida.

• A Native American basket that hammers for $3,500 in Phoenix, Ariz., might only command $750 in Massachusetts.

• A Red Wing crock could go for as high as $2,000 in Wisconsin, but maybe $300 in New Orleans.

Showtime Auction Services offers a wide variety of services, all at reasonable rates. The firm will appraise a consignor’s items; provide a certified copy of the appraisal; arrange to have all items cleaned, repaired and/or professionally restored; pick up the items; carefully pack the items; and deliver them to the appropriate auction facility.

Showtime will also research each item and write accurate captions and descriptions for them in the catalog; work with other auction houses to insure maximum exposure of all items in the flyers, ads and catalogs; manage any and all minimums and reserves on each item; negotiate the lowest possible commission to be paid; and arrange for a quick settlement for the sale of all items.

To learn more about Showtime Auction Services, visit, or call 951-453-2415 or 313-715-4486.