A WILLIE GOOD DEAL: Will Halpin lives out his auction dreams

Published 2:28 pm Friday, July 28, 2023

Will “Willie” Halpin runs the Mississippi Pickers Auction House on Adams Street in downtown Vicksburg.

Halpin started the business last year and said it was something he has wanted to do since childhood.

“I was about 10 or 12, and my mother took me to an auction,” Halpin said. “It was like an estate auction, and I saw that guy up there.”

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“The guy” was the auctioneer in the midst of an auction chant, the rhythmic repetition of prices and filler words used during the bidding process.

“I said, ‘I’m going to do that one day,’” Halpin said.

Halpin had already owned the warehouse, located at 1124 Adams St., for several years and used it to store some of his own belongings. Last year, he decided to get his auctioneer license and turned the warehouse into a business.

“My first four or five auctions I had, everything was mine. And then people started sourcing stuff,” he said.

Halpin began visiting estate sales in surrounding communities. He would hand out his card to people running those estate sales and offer to purchase merchandise in bulk that did not sell.

He now procures a wide variety of merchandise, from furniture to tools to comic books.

“So with that being said, it’s blossomed,” he said. “I mean, it’s really taken off.”

Halpin said he can ship anything, meaning tourists without the ability to transport something large from Vicksburg can still participate in the auctions.

Halpin holds live auctions every second Saturday of the month. However, he said that the auction on Aug. 12 will be held online instead of in person due to hot weather since the warehouse is not air-conditioned.

The Mississippi Pickers website is mspickers.com, and online auctions can be accessed on Mondays at mspickers.hibid.com.