By Erika Webb
Century Liquidators Auction House in DeLand is the place to get lost and find things.
A December 2010 Facebook status update read: "Beautiful wood wardrobes with mirrors in stock now. They came from a wonderful historic hotel in St. Augustine."
Granted, those are long gone but that description and other tempting offers - "new bars with two stools for only $299" and "beautiful black wrought iron canopy beds in stock now for only $249.00" - create an irresistible urge to splurge, or at least go browsing.
For those of you trying to save money on gas, this place amounts to 84,000 square feet of garage sale, complete with a huge parking lot.
Manager Trudie Wagner said they've been in the "old Scotty's building" for four years, after outgrowing two other locations - one in Lake Helen and one just down the road on SR 15-A.
Whether buying or selling, it seems owner Dave Fletcher can't pass up a good deal.
"We wouldn't sell it for more than we would pay for it," Ms. Wagner said. "Dave's willing to negotiate on anything. Our price isn't set in stone."
Mounds and mounds of clothing behind the cash register had Ms. Wagner very busy on a recent cold morning. Century Liquidators' Rags to Riches program, initiated Oct. 1, allows people to trade clothing for cash. That clothing is packed up into 15-pound bales and hauled to Orlando to be sent overseas to those in need.
Ms. Wagner said it's just another thing Mr. Fletcher does to help others.
"He's willing to help anyone," she said. "We've donated beds to people and helped schools with auction donations, like gift certificates people can bid on. One of the middle schools uses our parking lot to build floats for the Christmas parade."
Customer Stan Gunby, who was there to cash in some of his excess clothing, offered proof that Century Liquidators has "at least one of everything" in stock.
Pointing toward the front door he said, "There's even a traffic light if you need one, if you're running out. A lot of people think there's only furniture, but there's everything here."
Everything including three 1926 Model T cars and a truck out front, every type of new, used or antique furniture imaginable, lamps, appliances, paintings, dolls and other collectibles, bicycles, books, new and used bedding. Even a sassy-looking Shirley Temple portrait shares space with two gargantuan wise men near the register.
And speaking of wise men, Ms. Wagner said holiday décor will be on display around the second week of November.
Mr. Fletcher leaves no stone unturned when it comes to finding merchandise. This day he was flying back from Arizona after procuring more furniture from a resort there.
"We get stuff from auctions, private sales, estate sales and liquidations," Ms. Wagner said. "We buy out time shares, hotels, motels. Disney is our biggest one."
The steady stream of people coming into the store on a weekday morning begged the, "how's-it-going- what-with-the-economy-and-all" question.
"We have so many regular customers, garage sale people, snowbirds and those who've followed us since we were located in Lake Helen," Ms. Wagner said.
Four months ago, Mr. Fletcher opened another store at 1205 N. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand. One guesses that, whether space or need, he's compelled to fill it.
When asked what he loves most about his business he said, "People helping people."
Visit Century Liquidators at 880 N. Spring Garden Ave. and 1205 N. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand. Call (386) 873-2932 or like them on Facebook.