This is the latest news about EBTH. The online auction environment is still extremely strong. This, in my opinion, is what happens when you try to grow too fast and make some poor management decisions. We feel for everyone that lost their jobs and we hope EBTH can rebound from this as they are a good company with a good concept. This is just one of the risks when you accept venture capital.
By Andy Brownfield – Reporter, Cincinnati Business Courier Aug 7, 2019, 2:10pm EDT
Online estate auction house Everything but the House is currently seeking a buyer to satisfy its creditors. While it does that, business continues as usual with users selling items through the website. The company is taking steps to make sure those sales go on without disruption.
Cincinnati-based Everything but the House (EBTH) on July 23 filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery a petition for the Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors (ABC). That essentially means that the company is looking to be acquired or sell its assets in order to pay off creditors.
EBTH is an online estate sale auction house where people looking to liquidate an estate or downsize could have the company come in, catalogue and photograph all of the items they want to sell in exchange for 40% of the sale proceeds.
A spokesman for the company told me that sellers can proceed as normal without fear of disruption from the ABC. "
Seller proceeds are held in escrow accounts separately from business operating funds," spokesman John Williams told me in an email. "Therefore, seller payments are protected and not subject to impacts from the private financial performance and obligations of the company."
If EBTH isn't able to process and sell any items before securing new ownership, the items will be returned to the consignors at the point of origin or the company will facilitate transfer to an alternative sale venue of the consignor's choosing. EBTH will also offer an option to donate or dispose of items in lieu of facilitating sales.
Everything but the House filed the ABC because it was about $5 million in debt on a loan from Eastward Fund Management. A July 23 memo to employees shows that EBTH sought for six months to raise money to continue operations but was unable to do so.
Williams had no update to the ABC process, but in a July 25 letter to employees EBTH CEO Scott Griffith said the company had received inquiries from parties interested in the EBTH assets and the third party handling the sale of those assets had contacted more than 100 potential buyers.
EBTH filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) with the state of Ohio indicating that 230 employees split between a distribution center in Blue Ash and a warehouse in Linwood could lose their jobs. The company in the WARN notice wrote that those employees could be retained or rehired if EBTH finds a buyer.
According to the petition for the ABC, EBTH has a total of 350 employees across locations in Cincinnati, Illinois, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Texas. At its height, EBTH had nearly 1,000 employees in 27 markets.