Don Reinhart is known beyond Headwaters for his stint as the no-nonsense auctioneer on two seasons of TV’s “Storage Wars Canada”.
The old Reinhart Auctions sign still sits on an empty lot near Highway 10 and Mayfield, the former location of the business. But the two-generation operation now lives in a warehouse on Heart Lake Road under the watchful eye of patriarch Don Reinhart. Known beyond Headwaters for his stint as the no-nonsense auctioneer on two seasons of TV’s “Storage Wars Canada,” Don is best known locally for his eclectic monthly online auctions of consigned pieces. “Good items, no junk,” as he puts it on his website.
Owner: Don Reinhart
How he started: “My dad was an auctioneer. He died in 1964 and I started in January 1965 at 19. Basically it’s all our family has ever done since 1952.”
Trained in: “I’m probably one of the few left in Ontario who are self-taught auctioneers. I never went to an auction school. Street educated, you might call it. At an auction school they try to teach you a chant, they try and teach you filler words [the words you put in-between the bids]. If someone can’t understand you, they won’t bid.”
Best known for: Don’s live farm and farmhouse auctions are rare but well-known throughout Ontario. His primary auction format is online, usually anywhere from 500 to 800 lots per auction. Over the years he’s sold new and antique farm machinery, antique cars, and oddities including an airplane seized by police and even caskets. “You name it. All kinds of stuff.”
Favourite collection: In his auction hall Don has a wide range of toy and model cars, trucks, diggers and excavators. But his real pride are his Pepsi bottles, containers and paraphernalia dating back to the earliest days of Reinhart Auctions. They remind him of the refreshments his mother served when he was a kid.
Pro tips: Research before you buy, he says. Try and get a good look at the item, make sure it’s not damaged and it’s not a reproduction. Then set a goal in terms of your dollar limit and don’t get too carried away. If you say $100, don’t be afraid to go $110 or $120, but not $175.
His new normal: “Things have ticked up a little. We’ve been doing curbside pickup only. There seems to be a lot more interest than there was six months ago. People are actually calling about doing live auctions, but until Mr. (Premier) Ford says we can, we’ll hold off.”