Celebrity auction kicks off new online estate sale service in Atlanta

Proceeds from Everything But The House’s sale of the Ed McMahon memorabilia will support the Orange Duffel Bag Initiative
Courtesy of EBTH
Courtesy of EBTH

Atlantans have double the reason to shop at an online auction starting April 7. First, an Ohio-based estate sale service called Everything But The House is celebrating its Georgia debut by offering memorabilia from the estate of TV personality and comedian Ed McMahon. Second, a large percentage of the proceeds will support an Atlanta-based nonprofit, the Orange Duffel Bag Initiative.

EBTH was the brainchild of Jacquie Denny and Brian Graves, two vintage sellers who met while frequenting tag sales around Cincinnati. In 2008 they launched an e-commerce alternative to traditional estate sales. The company now conducts more than 200 auctions a month in more than 20 cities—with registered bidders in all 50 states and more than 46 countries. Local EBTH staff photograph and post each lot, process payments, then pack and ship purchases. They also organize preview days for buyers who want to check out merchandise in person. Sales last one week, with all bids starting at $1.

“People get worried that there is no reserve, but the success of EBTH is that you really find out the true value of what you’re selling,” says public relations director Kathleen Ong. “They’ve sold some things for upwards of $89,000 on our site. There is a potential for a higher price because we have bidders from across the world.”

Ed McMahon’s family and wife Pamela, who lives near Atlanta, will be offering memorabilia from Ed’s personal archives, such as his lucky bow tie, a photograph with Marilyn Monroe, some favorite blue velvet slippers, military keepsakes from his pilot days during the Korean War, and other items. Tonight Show, Hollywood, and military aficionados will be especially interested, predicts Ong. Ed’s sale runs from April 7 to 13, and Pamela will sell some of her own items from April 14 to 20.

The Orange Duffel Bag Initiative provides at-risk teens and young adults with executive-level coaching to help them formulate and reach life goals. (Read Atlanta magazine’s 2014 story on this inspiring program, which received Emory University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award.) Pamela was impressed with the effectiveness of the program, particularly its potential to help individuals who have experienced trauma and returning veterans.

With EBTH now in the metro area, Atlantans will enjoy bargain hunting without having to drive all over town. Local pick-up makes finds even more affordable without shipping costs. Says Ong, “People generally just want someone else to enjoy their stuff because they’re kind of finished with it, especially if it’s something that they really loved.”