This article was written by Jay Warren of WSLS Channel 10 News and originally appeared on wsls.com.
Talk about a big difference. Wednesday the Ramada Inn was packed with people having their jewelry examined by buyers for Anderson, Carter, Tira and Associates Estate Buyers. Friday, the place was almost empty. Hastily written signs were posted throughout the lobby of the hotel saying “Coins Only” that left customers with jewelry and flatware annoyed.
Jill Greenley said she felt “a little frustrated because we went through the house trying to find stuff that we don’t really use anymore.” Greenley and others couldn’t sell their jewelry because Roanoke City Police admitted Friday morning that they made a mistake. They should not have issued a permit to buy precious metals to Anderson, Carter, and Tira.
They can thank Michelle Belton for figuring it out. Belton owns Companion Home Care in Roanoke, providing in-home living assistance for seniors. Her worry was that groups like Anderson, Carter and Tira would take advantage of older people like her clients.
“I had one that wanted to sell the family silver and I knew they wouldn’t give her enough for it and I knew she would regret it later,” she said. “I felt like it was my mission to protect her.”
So Belton started a mini campaign. Channel 10 got several e-mails from her and so did Roanoke County and City Police. “I started with the county. I went from the county and didn’t get satisfaction from the ground and went to the ceiling until someone would listen to me,” said Belton.
Finally it worked. Her argument based on a provision in Virginia Code that she persistently brought to the attention of authorities. It says “the business of a dealer shall be conducted only from a fixed and permanent location.” Certainly a hotel room at the Holiday Inn and a conference room at the Ramada are not fixed and permanent. So, the buying of jewelry stopped again for Anderson, Carter, and Tira. Police took back their permit.
Todd Tira, owner of the company, told WSLS that all the permit confusion has hurt business, but he’s not giving up and that they’ve tried to do everything above board and legally. They are now looking for a permanent space to lease so they can possibly come back. Tira said, “We won’t be scared off. It’s not a one time shot. We’re looking to lay the groundwork for the future.”
It is important to note that neither the BBB nor police received any complaints about the estate buying organizations’ fairness or deals.
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