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Memphis-Based Auctioneer Sells Comic Book For Over $30K

SMG News Wire

World-renowned auctioneer Lance Walker told the Todd Starnes Show the incredible story of a woman who sold a comic book that had been collecting dust in her attic for $32,200.

LISTEN TO THE FULL CONVERSATION BELOW:

The following is a rushed transcript from the Todd Starnes Show, which airs noon to 3 p.m. EST daily nationwide:

TODD STARNES: [01:34:24] One of my favorite shows on KWAM in Memphis, Tennessee, is a Saturday auction program and it’s hosted by the Walker family, one of the nation’s premier auctioneers. I mean, you guys, Lance Walker, are kind of like the first family of auctioneers in America. And it’s a fun, fun show. And I told Grace, we’ve got to get Lance on. Lance Walker, welcome to the program. [01:34:49][24.4]

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LANCE WALKER: [01:34:49] Great to be here, Todd! And Grace said to keep it light and lively. So I bought you some Gibsons donuts, you know, when two Baptists get in the same room, it’s either donuts, fried chicken or both. [01:35:00][10.7]

STARNES: [01:35:00] Oh, yes. And I got to tell you, nothing finer than a Gibson’s donut. One of the best donuts in America and based right here in Memphis, Tennessee. [01:35:09][9.0]

Have you ever been to an auction?

WALKER: [01:35:10] They sure are – right down the block. [01:35:10][0.2]

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STARNES: [01:35:11] You know, they’re always mentioned whenever, you know, the big magazines, the foodie world, and they just do a great job. They do this one, they have a maple bacon donut. [01:35:21][10.1]

WALKER: [01:35:22] Oh I know, yeah. [01:35:22][0.2]

STARNES: [01:35:25] I have to go in for my annual physical after the show, so don’t tell my doctor. Oh, my goodness, Lance, you guys have been in the auction business for a long, long time. So, when I first heard about what you guys did, the only reference I had, when I was a kid, we would go down to Coldwater, Mississippi, for the big auction. And typically you were buying, it was basically a yard sale. And, you know, somebody was always trying to pawn off a velvet Elvis, which are probably now worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. I don’t know. But the auction industry is not anything like that nowadays. [01:35:59][33.4]

WALKER: [01:35:59] No, it’s completely changed. And that’s how we got started, Todd. Terri, my wife, who, by the way, was named the number one female auctioneer in the country several years ago. Her dad became an auctioneer, and we started out helping him hold up the pots and pans in the yard, and we caught auction fever. And all of our auctions were live for years and years. And then maybe 15 years ago, ten whatever, online auctions came out, and it changed our entire world. And we still do live auctions. I love doing that. You’ve attended some of our live auctions, but now online seems to be the way to go. [01:36:36][36.8]

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STARNES: [01:36:37] And your wife, I believe, is in leadership, is that right? [01:36:39][2.3]

WALKER: [01:36:40] She’s past president of the National Auctioneer Association. She’s now chairman of the board. And by the way, Todd, I am going to run for vice president here in a couple of weeks at our convention. [01:36:49][8.9]

STARNES: [01:36:49] So you have gone from first gentleman under her administration to soon to be Mr. vice president [01:36:55][5.7]

WALKER: [01:36:56] We hope so. This is an election, so I’ve got to win it first. [01:36:58][2.2]

STARNES: [01:36:58] So what I love about what you got, it is first class. And the first time I sat in on one of the auctions, I was blown away. It was so much fun, so entertaining. And we’re talking about high dollar, you know, I mean, you guys do the estate sales and stuff like that, but this is like really big dollar stuff as well. And Walkerauctions.com by the way is the website. [01:37:21][23.3]

WALKER: [01:37:22] Yes, we do. I wrote a course for the National Auctioneers Association called “Benefit Auctioneer Specialist” to other auctioneers and myself. And I probably taught hundreds of auctioneers. So we do large benefit auctions like you attended and those are fun. We just have fun with the crowd. We get out and we get people to donate to the charity by buying items and then having something that we call a “Fund a Need” where they actually just make a donation. And I’ve traveled the country doing those, and so we still do live auctions. I love doing them. But online, that seems to be the trend right now for most things. [01:37:58][36.1]

STARNES: [01:37:58] Last year at CPAC, I was interviewing somebody from, I believe, Missouri or Louisiana. And they knew you. [01:38:05][6.7]

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WALKER: [01:38:05] Yeah, we’re originally from Missouri. We just hold a ranch up in Missouri in the middle. We’re from Boot Hill, just about an hour and a half north of Memphis. [01:38:14][8.6]

STARNES: [01:38:14] Yeah, fascinating. Lance Walker with Walkerauctions.com. Lance, a couple of weeks ago, I was listening to a radio show on Saturdays on KWAM, and you were telling the story about a woman who had some comic books. You got to share this. It’s fascinating. [01:38:30][15.4]

WALKER: [01:38:31] This is what I love about the auction business. You know, today we’re selling a Harley Davidson and a tractor and foreclosing on the house we sold in auction and then we sell comic books. Now, let me tell you what happened. This was in not, you know, a very nice house. You know, the Berkly area, I think, if I’m not mistaken, just a modern home. And the lady said that when we were setting it up, she said, by the way, there is a box of comic books up in the attic. If you can get anything for those, please put them on. Make a long story short, we found the number one edition where Wonder Woman was featured on the cover. And we sold it online of course for $32,200. One comic book, our buyer was up in Maryland in the Washington, D.C. area where he used to hang out. And that’s what online auctions do. You know, we reached way out and he was such an avid collector. He drove down here to get his comic book. He did not want us to. [01:39:44][73.3]

STARNES: [01:39:44] Is that right? $32,000 for one comic book. It was just the one. [01:39:49][5.3]

STARNES: [01:39:50] So that lady, what was her reaction when you told her that this was not just, you know, a $2 comic book? [01:39:56][5.9]

WALKER: [01:39:56] She’s still in the hospital. She was in shock. You know, it was just incredible. That’s what I love about what I do. We sell all over the country. We sell everything imaginable. I’ve sold a vasectomy in a benefit auction. [01:40:15][18.6]

STARNES: [01:40:16] Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, What? [01:40:18][1.9]

WALKER: [01:40:21] I did this benefit auction once, and I think it was in Chicago. And the donation was this doctor who was on the board, was going to donate a vasectomy. And I thought, Oh, wait a minute, I just don’t know. This may be poor taste and I don’t know if I should do this, but then we said, oh, yeah, go ahead. Well, have fun with it. Well we did. The crowd went crazy. They were bidding on it. And so I’ll get down the last bidder and it’s this lady who’s probably in her forties or fifties, and I like to get in the crowd as you saw me and have fun with them. I go up to her and I put my hand on her shoulder. I said, Ma’am, why are you buying a vasectomy? She said, I want to give it to my son-in-law. The crowd erupted. Everybody laughed. I said, sold to the mother-in-law. I enjoy what I do, have a lot of fun doing it. [01:41:11][49.7]

STARNES: [01:41:11] It really shows. And of course, your son as well. [01:41:14][3.0]

WALKER: [01:41:14] Yes, he’s coming in. Yeah, he’s our tech guy. He a jewel. He knows all about how to set up our online auctions and answer questions there. And so we are proud to have him on board. [01:41:25][10.7]

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