Tekserve collection 74% sold through LiveAuctioneers; fans bid farewell to NYC institution
Yesterday, New York City bid adieu to the iconic Tekserve store as Roland Auctions NY dispersed the institution’s extensive and eclectic inventory to bidders internationally. With a wide range of inventory, the auction total exceeded expectations and doubled estimates. From a melted Macintosh to neon Apple signs to a vast Macintosh Museum collection, the auction attracted a wide range of bidders in person and online through LiveAuctioneers. In fact, an astonishing 74% of the collectible electronics ended up selling via LiveAuctioneers’ global bidding platform.
New Yorkers with fond memories of the storefront, and those who have since left the city but retain strong nostalgic attachments to Tekserve, were eager to participate in the auction and hold on to a piece of history. During a very busy move-out day at Tekserve, we caught up with Will Roland, Special Projects Director of Roland Auctions NY, to learn more about the auction and why it fascinated so many bidders. Read more below.
Auction Central News: How did Roland learn about the store’s closing and acquire the right to sell the collection of vintage electronics?
Will Roland: “We were approached by the owners. They sought us out, and we made them what was comparatively a very enthusiastic proposal. A young specialist on our staff who works as our web developer took one look at the collection and said, ‘We have to sell this stuff. It’s going to be unbelievable.’… It’s a familiar story in New York [for a store like Tekserve be closing]. The rent triples, and it’s no longer sustainable for a company to stay in its premises. So they are shifting into a B2B solution.”
ACN: Were you and the sellers of the Macintosh Museum happy with the results?
WR: They were very pleased. I think they would have been happy with even $25,000, and we were happy to double that. The sell-through rate through LiveAuctioneers on the tech portion of the auction was very high — 74 percent. It grossed slightly more than $60,000 (inclusive of the 25% buyer’s premium).”
ACN: Any stand-out lots that you were surprised by or that raised particular interest?
WR: “The Melted Mac fetched the highest price for a single computer in the sale, $1,200 (plus 25% buyer’s premium). It represented an intersection of technology and design — it was both functional and beautiful. It had a unique appeal. One publication described it as ‘Dali-esque.'”
The museum of vintage Macintosh computer models achieved a final group hammer price of $47,000 (plus 25% buyer’s premium). In case you were wondering who bought the collection (pictured at top), we can tell you it’s going to a good home. It was purchased through LiveAuctioneers by the CEO of a start-up company.
Roland is a family-owned New York City auction house, founded in 1973 by brothers William “Bill” Roland and Robert Roland. Will represents the second generation of Rolands to work for the company.