Green Parrot Auction is now Webster Auctioneers, which will be host of live auction Sunday

Mitch Webster

Mitch Webster, owner and auctioneer at Webster Auctioneers, LLC, sits at the microphone of his building in Payson, Ill. Live auctions will be hosted monthly in the new building, which was formerly Green Parrot Auction. In the early 2000s, the building was the Green Parrot Gentlemen's Club. | Megan Duncan

PAYSON, Ill. — When the pandemic hit in 2020, Mitch Webster never dreamed it would forever change his profession.

Webster had one sale in 2014 when he and his fiancé Erica Garcia established Webster Auctioneers, LLC, (formerly Mitch Webster Auctioneers) in Beardstown after Webster graduated from Missouri Auction School. They were up to about 30 to 35 annual estate sales by 2015. Webster also sold cars for 25 years f,or a full-time job.

Ten years later, Webster is a full-time auctioneer. 

Webster Auctioneers now averages around 250 estate sales per year, with locations in Pittsfield, Beardstown and Payson. Webster is looking to expand into Missouri.

“It was just Erica and me doing online sales. I was shipping stuff myself out of my basement,” he said. 

The growth was a result of hard work and experience gained through his father, who managed a sale barn in Rushville. Webster said the auction business exploded during the pandemic. 

The online auction world took Webster Auctioneers across borders and seas.

Using the platform Proxibid, Webster Auctioneers has become an international business with 13 employees in the last two years. The success and efficiency of online auctions, however, has not totally replaced live auctions.

“We can go in a house and have it cataloged in two hours and put it online that night,” he said. “I still like the live auctions, although they take time to set up. There is a time and place for both.”

Webster bought in December 2023 the former Green Parrot Auction, 167 E. 1095th in Payson, from Randy Kessler. Webster will hold live monthly auctions in the building. The location is managed by Scott and Bobi Stevens, a husband and wife team who joined Webster Auctioneers in January 2023.

The first auction will be held Sunday, Jan. 28. The auction house will open at 9 a.m.,and the auction will start at 10 a.m. Items will include pottery, beer signs, Hot Wheels, toys, train sets, coffee grinders, butter churns, glassware, metal signs, tools and more.  A free lunch will be served.

Not only will the regular live auctions allow local people a chance to mingle before they bid, it will give Webster a chance to stand behind the microphone and use his auction chant.

“People think you’re just talking really fast, but it’s not that. You say a filler word in between, and my filler word is daughter,” he said. “You’ll never know that I’m saying it.”

The building itself is not new to a crowd gathering for live shows.

Before closing in the 1980s, the building was a family-friendly restaurant. It was revived in 2005 as the Green Parrot Gentlemen’s Club, hosting semi-nude live dancers. It closed down a few years later when their performances conflicted with the Adams County liquor license ordinance.

Non-explicit nostalgia from the Green Parrot Gentlemen’s Club remains in the building, including the bar area, booths and a stripper pole next to Webster’s microphone.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated from a previous version.

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