At age 17, Joe Bodnar worked at a local auction carrying furniture on and off a truck. 30 years later he runs Central New Jersey’s largest auction.
Joe began auctioneering at 18 for small auction houses and three years later, in 1994, conducted his first sale as Bodnar’s Auction in Bound Brook, NJ.
From there Bodnar’s Auction moved to East Brunswick, then to Somerset, having outgrown its original location and finally to The New Jersey Convention & Expo Center in Edison, NJ as even more space was needed.
In 2020, when the global pandemic came, Joe and his wife Maureen had to quickly pivot and decide what to do in a world where they couldn’t conduct live auctions. This was something they were not used to, as the auction would see 800 to 1000 bidders at every sale! On top of that, they lost their location at the NJ Convention and Expo Center since it had become first a Covid Hospital and then a Covid vaccine center. There was nowhere to move to, they made the hard decision to move the furniture out of their house and into their storage facility and use their home as the auction. Immediately they started to catalog and photograph each item in their home, and sold them online in their home office. Joe wanted to still bring the auction atmosphere to the bidders, so he used a live feed from the very beginning.
About 2 months after they began online, they cleared out the warehouse they used as their storage facility, upgraded the building with climate control, and re-did the entire interior and exterior and turned it into their auction showroom where they remain to this day.
Bodnar’s was one of the first auction houses to conduct live auctions on eBay in 2004 and in 2012 was featured on the Travel Channel’s TV show The Toy Hunter as well as numerous times on AMC’s hit show, Comic Book Men with Kevin Smith.
Selling over 5000 items every auction for 26 years, as well as 500 items each sale online for the past 4 years as well as years of online selling prior gave Joe the experience to know what items are selling for in today’s market. His experience is more than just hands-on. He has also taken appraisal courses at NYU as well as many continuing education classes through the NJSSA and NAA in the auction industry.
Joe has been on the board of directors of the New Jersey State Society of Auctioneers many years and has been a member for over 25. He was voted President of the NJSSA for 2010-2011, is the current president of the NJSSA voted in a second time in 2023 and is a member of the National Auctioneers Association, New York Auctioneers Association, The Train Collectors Association and holds an apprentices Auctioneers License in PA.