NEW MILFORD — Since opening their business, Best Picks, offering retail consignment and estate liquidation, Paul and JoEllen Cimmino of Gaylordsville have stayed incredibly busy, and recently added several tools to keep their inventory moving.

This summer, they joined auctionninja, an online auction site that serves more than 17,000 members from around Connecticut. To date the Cimminos have held three estate auctions, which provide hand-picked furniture, antiques, vehicles and anything else the customer wants to sell. Each auction, Paul Cimmino said, has been more successful than the last. “They went great,” he said. “We did better than we anticipated. The customer made money and we made money. And we sold everything we put up.”

The term “estate liquidation” sounds rather technical, but the Cimminos take it literally, and work with the customer from start to finish. They go to the house, remove the contents of it with a truck and bring it to the store. Then Paul and his team continue the work, cleaning up the house and preparing it to be sold.

“We have to meet certain standards when we do this type of work. Basically, we’re making the house saleable. People don’t always want to do it, or they live away from the parents, who have had to move or have passed away, and they need help. Once the place is empty, we’ll pull the nails out of the walls, clean up loose wires ... do the painting, and get estimates for any larger repairs.”

“We’re not just grabbing the good stuff and leaving the house in a shambles,” JoEllen said.

“No, we do it all for them,” her husband added. “We don’t leave loose ends for them to deal with. We’re helping them not only with the house, the property, but with their mental state of mind. It’s hard to handle, when you have elderly family members that can’t maintain their homes anymore. The adult kids don’t live there, and they don’t know what to do.”

Meanwhile, JoEllen is in charge of the house’s contents; and that’s where auctionninja comes in. By this time, she has started to decide what stays in the store and what will go into the auction. Each item must be categorized, photographed and displayed, or stored until it is sold. “We have so much more to sell than we have space for, here in the shop,” she said.

Along with the online auctions, the Cimminos have a new website,, where the “best picks” are displayed. “We get a lot of very special items, lots of antiques ... all kinds of things,” JoEllen said. “We have the wishful pickings, which are things that people are looking for, but there’s a whole lot more.”

As the holidays approach, Best Picks’ retail store is brimming with special finds, collections and furniture. There are Byer’s Carolers, decorations, and a huge selection of glass in every color, nutcrackers and snow globes, ornaments and Santas, and the list goes on. Those treasures are among the rest of the store’s inventory, that includes everything from a natural wood slice coffee table, charming chairs and tables, cabinets, a phone booth, and an upright piano; jewelry, china and collectibles. The store’s appearance will change every week until the end of the holiday season.

The Cimminos work hard for the business, but they’re both pleased with its success so far.

“When we opened, we knew this was going to work,” Paul said. “We’re keeping things out of the landfills by repurposing them, finding new homes for them. We’re also helping people.”

“And selling online makes a difference,” JoEllen said. “If I have 100 pairs of feet walk through here in a week, that’s great, but there might be hundreds looking at the auctions and the website. It’s working well.”

Best Picks is located at 50 Kent Road, just north of Veteran’s Bridge in New Milford. They are open daily at 10 a.m., and can be reached at 860-799-5010.

Connecticut Media Group