A booming industry in California: Auctions

On a recent Sunday morning, electricians from as far away as Santa Maria traveled to Templeton in search of a good deal.

Word spread that Hitchin’ Post Auctioneers had hundreds of pieces of equipment on the block.

And for four hours, the bidding continued on items big and small, including a utility truck, conduits and industrial pipe benders.

“We had nearly 100 bidders, and they stayed until the very end,” said Ken Erpenbach Jr., whose father, Ken Sr., owns the business. “People were bidding $75 to $80 on things, and we were selling it a box at a time.”

For San Luis Obispo County auction houses, auctioneers and traders in used goods, business has been brisk as buyers — some of them bidders for the first time — look for value, and sellers seek cash to supplement them in a recession.

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