Brookhaven 12-year-old conducts his first auction

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, March 23, 2021

What does 12-year-old Eli Miller like most about going to auctions with his dad?

“We get to bid on stuff,” he said.

He and his father started attending auctions together a few months ago in McCall Creek, Gloster, Osyka and Ruth, about once a week.

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The son of Dr. Eric Miller and Shannon Miller of Brookhaven, Miller is a sixth-grader at Lipsey Middle School who loves studying science. Diagnosed as autistic, Miller’s vocabulary at age 6 was less than 10 words. But no one would know that now, as he loves to socialize and recently conducted an auction of his own.

Dressed in a cowboy hat and boots and assisted by his brothers — Parker, 14, who held items up for potential buyers to see and Reed, 7, who helped sell concessions — the pre-teen auctioned off items one at a time to bidders seated in rented chairs in his mother’s driveway.

They even used auction paddles made specifically for him reading “Eli’s Auction” in the purple and gold of his favorite college football team, the LSU Tigers.

“Two parents who are Ole Miss fans, and somehow he winds up an LSU fan,” his mother said.

Miller likes to buy an assortment of items at auctions — gumball machines, a globe, a punching bag and an LSU beanbag are among his purchases — and much of what he sold at his own auction came from those venues, added to items from local flea markets and vendors, and some items donated by his grandfather.

“I sold everything,” he said.

Miller planned the auction himself and invited neighbors, friends and teachers to attend. The Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce donated a PA system for his use, which he got to keep.

He has already been asked to assist with another upcoming local auction, and he plans to have more of his own. But being an auctioneer is not a career goal for the middle-schooler.

“I want to open up Miller Biscuits,” he said.

He said he’s going to “take everybody down” with his secret recipe for sausage and biscuits.

He’s not telling how much money he made from his first auction, but says he’s saving it, for now, maybe to help open up his biscuit enterprise.

“Call me Mr. Cheapskate,” he said, crossing his arms.