Written by Jerred Ziegler.
Collectors and bargain hunters often seek the thrill of a great find at second-hand sales. Now those deals from hundreds of estate sales can be seen from anywhere at any time. Everything but the House (EBTH) in Cincinnati, Ohio, hosts online, auction-style sales with items from across the country, taking the burden off of the seller by doing all of the work involved in organizing and executing a successful estate sale. Buyers register at EBTH.com, browse sales and place their bids, while sellers typically collect three to five times the revenue of traditional second-hand sales.
“You make a phone call and your work is done,” said Andy Nielsen, EBTH president and CEO. “In three to four weeks we’ve helped you liquidate an entire home’s worth of contents and you have a check in-hand with the proceeds.”
Sellers give the EBTH team access to items they want to sell, and the staff will sort them, take photographs and write descriptions for each item. The company creates a dedicated sale for each client, and the sales can contain anything from rare coin collections to a lifetime of household items.
Once it’s live on EBTH.com, the sale is active for seven days. Buyers can browse sales or do a search for exactly what they’re looking for, placing bids starting at one dollar for each item. When the sale is over, EBTH ships the items to buyers, sends any unsold items to donation centers and provides the seller with an itemized inventory list and a check for the sale’s revenue.
“We’ve taken a localized business and created a competitive global marketplace,” said Nielsen. “Instead of relying on 15 people to come through your estate sale on a weekend, we expose your items to bidders all over the world.”
Before co-founding EBTH, Jacquie Denny was operating a traditional estate sale business, holding weekend open houses to sell the contents of her clients’ homes. In 2008, she partnered with Brian Graves to create EBTH.com, realizing there was a more efficient way to hold estate sales that would maximize exposure through technology. To expand the company beyond the Cincinnati area, Jon and Andy Nielsen, along with their business partner Mike Reynolds, joined EBTH as part owners in 2012. They worked to raise capital and expanded the company to more than 22 cities in four years.
“We knew that in order for EBTH to grow to its full potential, we had to look outside of our own revenue,” said Nielsen. “Cintrifuse really helped us bridge that gap by introducing us to investors that could accelerate our business and support our growth.”
Buyers from over 100 countries have bid on items on EBTH.com. The company has more than 500 employees, and has more than tripled its revenue over the past two years. Hundreds of additional jobs will be created when EBTH opens its new 100,000 square foot distribution center in the Cincinnati suburb of Blue Ash later this year. Nielsen says the Cincinnati area offers countless opportunities for tech startups, and has helped EBTH become one of the fastest growing companies in the region.
“There are resources of a large city here, such as access to capital and great talent, but also the connective tissue of a small town,” said Nielsen. “People field your phone calls, meet with you and genuinely want to help. There’s a lot of positive momentum in southwest Ohio to create a new economy and a supportive environment for startups like EBTH.”