Independents’ Day: Lyme Bay Auctions – if it’s in the blood, do it!

PUBLISHED: 15:00 14 September 2019

Simon and Susie Watson with their son Max at Lyme Bay Auctions. Ref edr 31 19TI 9214. Picture: Terry Ife

Simon and Susie Watson with their son Max at Lyme Bay Auctions. Ref edr 31 19TI 9214. Picture: Terry Ife


Lyme Bay Auctions & Removals and Windsor Auctions, Harepath Road, Seaton

Lyme Bay Auctions. Ref edr 31 19TI 9206. Picture: Terry IfeLyme Bay Auctions. Ref edr 31 19TI 9206. Picture: Terry Ife

Please introduce yourself…

We are Simon and Susie Watson of Lyme Bay Auctions in Seaton, Devon.

We have two young sons who are equally as enthusiastic about the auction house as we are.

We hold a monthly general sale and monthly online auction of modern interiors, antiques, collectables, jewellery, watches and artwork.

We auction more than 1,000 lots each month and we are one of the largest auction houses in the South West.

It keeps us very busy and we wouldn't have it any other way!

We feel privileged to be able to live and work in East Devon which is, in our humble opinion, one of the most beautiful places in the South West.

What made you decide to set up as an independent trader in Seaton?

We were very fortunate to be able to purchase the business seven years ago, having successfully established Windsor Auctions in Berkshire.

We now run Lyme Bay Auctions full time.

The business already had a loyal following, having traded successfully in the area for over 30 years, but gave us the opportunity to take an auction house to the next generation, primarily by establishing its online capability.

The business has gone from strength to strength and now has an ever-growing global customer base.

We have customers who have attended Lyme Bay's auctions for the last 30 years who are still coming each month.

This reassures us that our auction house still serves the local community whilst becoming an auction house that meets the needs of the next generation of auction-goers.

How do you see your business faring in the next five years?

We continually look to innovate.

We are operating in an uncertain financial climate and we must provide what our customers want, need and can afford.

We have a dynamic team who are not afraid of regularly shaking up the business and trying new ideas.

It keeps us on our toes and keeps our customer base growing.

We are regularly welcoming new customers to the auction house, many who have only ever seen an auction on television.

We pride ourselves on providing a warm welcome and offer lots of support for people making their first sales at auction or their 'first bids'.

A whole new generation of auction-goers has realised that as a business we upcycle, recycle and provide a hugely cost-effective way to furnish your home.

People are constantly surprised at the high quality modern furniture that is on offer each month, alongside the antiques, fine art, and vintage items that are expected at auction.

Our success over the next five years is dependant on us attracting the next generation of auction goers by being relevant to the challenges they will face.

What one piece of advice would you give to anybody considering setting up a local independent shop or business?

If it's in the blood, do it!

We live in a dynamic area of sole traders and we make up a significant part of the fabric of East Devon.

So if you have a passion and a business concept… go for, it can be the most rewarding decision you ever make.

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