Tina Mittelsteadt started WaSeekers, an online auction business, with a dream, a love for auctions, and help from the Small Business Development Center.
WaSeekers opened in April of 2022 and has grown exponentially. As the name implies, people can come to seek an item and bid to own it. WaSeekers is a brick-and-mortar store, but sells on consignment items from their customers, with a strong online presence. People can bring their items to WaSeekers and Tina will sell them via an online auction, drawing in bidders from all over the region and country.
Mittelsteadt said it all started with a challenge from her hometown.
“In 2020, The Waseca Chamber of Commerce offered a Small Business Challenge, looking for unusual and creative business ideas to get started right here in Waseca. And I thought, ‘I could do that,'” Mittelsteadt said.
While COVID delayed the start of the challenge, once they were able to resume, they started with classes once a week to develop a business plan at the Small Business Development Center. From there, she learned the tools and skills needed to run a successful business.
Mittelsteadt said they started with about 200 items every two weeks, where she would take pictures of the items and post them to the website. Then, people could browse and bid.
“We sell everything from puzzles to boats to RVs to mopeds,” Mittelsteadt said. “Things that people could use and things that people just want to have.”
Tina runs the business herself, with help from her husband, Todd, her mother, and several other family members that help out when they can. While she has no additional employees at this time, she said that could change as they continue to grow. They currently have 1,670 bidders signed up online.
“I just have a love for auctions,” Mittelsteadt said. “The community has been so supportive. I love the interactions with the people and consumers and seeing how they enjoy it, too. They feel like they’re getting a deal, and our consignors are earning some income, too.”
You can find more information about WaSeekers on their website or via Facebook.
1372 S State St
Waseca, MN 56093
Phone: (507) 833-7335