Robert and Susan Doyle have dedicated their entire careers to auction marketing and promotion. Shortly after their marriage in 1972, Rob and Sue started a mail-auction company called Doyle Auctioneers and Appraisers. Conducting their business from home, they took consignments of entire collections as well as individual items from collectors and dealers throughout the U.S.
Rob and Sue distributed illustrated mail-order and phone bidding catalogs containing hundreds of lots to subscribers around the country. Subscribers paid $30 a year with a guarantee of at least 12 catalogs. The format allowed bidders the opportunity to mail in a completed bid sheet with written bids on items of interest. The cover of each catalog announced the phone bidding deadline. Bidders could call and check the status of their bids on phone bidding night. Bidding terminated when the phone lines were dead for 2Â minutes straight. Many of those phone auctions started at 5PM and ended in the wee hours of the morning.
In response to growing demand for selling collections in a live-auction format, Rob attended International Auction School in 1982. A bidding audience of Sue and daughters Patty and Kim helped Rob with his bid-calling lessons. The following year, Sue attended the International Auction School in South Deerfield, Mass., and a live auction business was launched.
Sue and Rob joined the New York State Auctioneers Association (NYSAA) and the National Auctioneers Association (NAA) in 1983 and have not missed an Annual Convention since. They have both served as President of the NYSAA, and Rob was the 50th President of the NAA. To increase their versatility as auctioneers, Sue became a licensed real estate salesperson in 1985 and Rob followed in 1986. The following year, Rob graduated from the University of Indiana’s three-year Certified Auctioneers Institute (CAI) program. Sue earned her CAI certification in 1995.
After earning his CAI, Rob completed the core courses of the International Society of Appraisers, and in 1988 he became an Accredited Personal Property Appraiser. By this time, the Doyles were beginning to realize that their workload cup had runneth over. They had their hands full trying to keep up with their growing mail-auction business, and the added real estate work, personal property appraising and live on-site auctions became a full-time occupation in themselves. A decision was made in 1988 to auction the mail-auction portion of the business and concentrate on everything else.
Sue and Rob founded Absolute Auctions & Realty, Inc. (AAR) in 1989. Its purpose was to handle all the services pertaining to auctions and appraisals. They continued to work from their home until 1994. At that time, they purchased a 6,400 sq. ft. building at 348 Main St. in Beacon, N.Y. and created an auction gallery. They refurbished the building, naming it the Absolute Auction Center, and conducted monthly antique & estate auctions and multi-parcel real estate auctions.
In 1996, Rob and Sue decided to also purchase Cal Smith’s Pleasant Valley Auction Hall (PVAH), located at 45 South Ave. in Pleasant Valley. PVAH was the oldest and largest auction facility in Dutchess County, N.Y. Bob Smith, Cal’s dad, started the business in 1946. Through a series of additions, he enlarged the facility to keep up with his growing business.
The first seating at the PVAH was on planks supported by saw horses and the bathroom was…well let’s just say outside. Cal Smith, Bob’s son, took the business over in August 1967 and continued offering quality merchandise within a country atmosphere while commanding strong prices at unreserved auctions. Cal added an addition in the 1960’s to make room for new offices. Cal and Diane Smith had a great reputation in the community and adhered to the same high standards and principles as the staff of AAR. This made for a very a smooth transition, and Rob and Sue were delighted that the staff decided to stay on and continue working at the facility.
For three years, Rob and Sue operated both the Beacon and Pleasant Valley auction centers simultaneously. However, it was determined at an annual strategic planning session that it did not serve AAR’s goals to operate two auction facilities within 28 miles of each other. In November 1999, Rob and Sue auctioned off the building in Beacon and concentrated their full attention on the Pleasant Valley facility.
Since the purchase of the newer location, fresh energy and ideas have transformed the former Pleasant Valley Auction Hall into what is known today as the Absolute Auction Center. Yet despite the addition of computers, phone and Internet bidding, slide show presentations and many other capital advancements such as new roofing and expanded parking, the auction hall has not lost its good old fashioned country charm.
When Rob and Sue decided to change the name of the facility in 2000, the goal was to reflect the diversity of assets sold by our 6 auctioneers. The Absolute Auction Center conducts both antique and real estate auctions; offers all types of vehicles, from boats to motorcycles to bucket trucks to BMWs; and has had incredible success auctioning everything from women’s designer clothing to Revolutionary War artifacts. It is truly a Center for the sale of Absolutely everything.
In recent years, AAR has refocused our attention on specialty collections.
Perfectly equipped for this type of offering, AAR welcomes anyone thinking of selling their lifetime collection to give us a call and allow us the opportunity to give your treasures the send-off they deserve.
Specialty collections were the foundation on which Rob and Sue built their business, from the early days of mail-auctions in their home to the state-of-the-art facility they operate today.
Let us put our decades of experience to work for you! With great appreciation for all who have contributed to AAR’s success, we are proud of what we have achieved and thankful for our good fortune.