POMONA, Calif. – Dan and Laura Dotson, the husband-and-wife celebrity auctioneers who’ve risen to fame in their co-starring roles on A&E’s hit TV show Storage Wars, are moving into new territory. Together with their longtime friends and fellow collectibles experts from Justuff of Redlands, Calif., the Dotsons are launching a new one-day mega-show – The Yard Sale Expo & Flea Market at the Fairplex At Pomona.
A family-friendly event that merges yard sales with antiques, vintage and commercial items, the Yard Sale Expo & Flea Market will debut on Saturday, June 29th on 50 dedicated acres of the conveniently located Fairplex in eastern Los Angeles County. The show’s hours will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The idea behind a mammoth swap meet that welcomes yard sale, flea market and antiques vendors came about after discussions between the Dotsons and members of the related Pierce, Heard and Matthews families, whose four generations jointly operate Justuff the Yard Sale Store.
“Throughout southern California, it has become increasingly difficult for people to hold yard sales at their homes,” said Karen Pierce, co-owner of Justuff and a partner in the new operation. “Between municipal and homeowners association restrictions and the fear of being cited or fined for parking or sign violations, it’s just not possible for most people in our region to sell the items they no longer need. We’ve started the Yard Sale Expo to give everyone an affordable place where they can sell all sorts of things.” Note: Vendors may not sell firearms, explosives, food, automotive or illegal items.
The Expo offers owners of antiques, collectibles and mom-and-pop shops an additional venue in which to market their merchandise to the right types of buyers. Not only will it provide them with an additional place to “turn” their merchandise, the show will also help attract a new clientele to their own bricks-and-mortar stores.
Dan Dotson said there’s yet another type of vendor he and wife Laura expect to see at the Yard Sale Expo: the regulars who buy at their storage locker auctions. “Everything from A to Z can turn up in a storage locker, but most of the time the buyers don’t have a permanent location where they can sell the goods,” said Dotson. “At this show, everything has a chance to sell, from household items to fine antiques. We think some exciting discoveries could turn up. It’s bound to happen.”
In addition to the freedom it provides sellers, the Yard Sale Expo is expected to draw far more potential buyers than the average family could ever attract at a traditional yard sale. “People from all over can bring their yard sale items to one venue and have them seen by potentially thousands of people. They operate their businesses the way they wish, but without the worry of having to deal with advertising, signage or providing parking space for shoppers. We take care of all of that,” said Pierce.
Buyers will like the idea of so much merchandise being in one centralized location, Pierce said. “No driving all over town in hopes of getting to the good stuff first. You park your car and forget about it till your yard sale and flea market shopping is done,” she said. Onsite ATMs provide added convenience for shoppers who may run low on cash.
The event is being planned with all ages in mind, based on input from four generations of the family behind Justuff: Tomi Heard, her parents Tom and Karen Pierce, grandmother and family matriarch Billie Mathews; and Tomi’s 4-year-old Hudson Heard.
“The ideas that have come from multi-generational brainstorming have been very creative,” said Tomi Heard, describing some of the amenities planned for the show. “In addition to a fleet of gourmet food trucks offering a variety of delicious options, there will be a beer and wine garden, a live band for light mood music, and bounce houses and slides for children. We’ll even have charity bins on hand in case dealers would rather donate items than take them home. One thing we know for sure is that the shopping will be great and everyone will be well entertained.”
A special highlight is the live lunchtime auction of antiques and quality collectibles to be conducted personally by Dan and Laura Dotson. Anyone wishing to consign should bring their items to the Fairplex on Friday, June 28, or by 5 a.m. on Expo/auction day. The usual auction fees (seller’s commission and buyer’s premium) will apply.
Each $49 vendor space is a generous 17ft by 25ft, with easy entry and onsite parking for vehicles or trailers up to 20ft in length. Vendors may share a space, and they also may stay overnight in their vehicles, if desired. There is onsite security at the Fairplex. Nearby hotels, motels and the KOA Kampground Fairplex RV Park offer additional options for those who wish to arrive the night before the event.
The Fairplex At Pomona is located at the junction of I-10, I-210 and the 57. “It’s an ideal location, no more than 90 minutes’ drive from any point in southern California. Everyone knows it as the home of the LA County Fair,” said Pierce.
General admission (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) is $5. Children under 12 enter free if accompanied by an adult. Early bird admission (6-8 a.m.) is $8. A parking fee applies at Fairplex At Pomona.
Vendors may view additional information and sign up for the show online at www.theyardsaleexpo.com. Tel. 909-222-0924.
Storage Wars, starring Dan and Laura Dotson, airs on A&E, Tuesdays at 9 p.m. Eastern, 8 p.m. Central time.
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