Feeling like we’ve exhausted our search for Dream House furnishings at local flea markets and antique malls, The Mister and I are ready to jump into the world of auctions. Judging by our first visit to an auction this weekend, however, we’ve got a little learning to do!
We were probably quite a spectacle Saturday morning. Me, shivering in my maroon cords and plaid jacket, our out of town guest, Amy, hobbling around on her crutches, and The Mister, wide eyed and confused by the entire process. We endured bitterly cold wind (gotta love unpredictable Midwest springtime weather!) and almost bid on a few things but the auction was not much of a success. Sadly, we left empty handed and hungry but also looking forward to the next auction.
Here’s what we learned in our first visit to an auction:
- The auction starts with the small boxes of junk and nick knacks and then works its way up to the good stuff. You can imagine our dismay when we arrived at the auction at 8:30, excited for it to start at 9:30, only to learn that what we really wanted to bid on wouldn’t start until 1:00 or later. This is one time when being early birds did not work to our advantage.
- There is no rhyme or reason to what goes for very little money and what goes for a lot. Sometimes the auctioneer would start at $5 or $10 and then quickly drop to $1 if she wasn’t getting bids. If you were fast enough to snatch something at $1, it could be quite a bargain. But it all happens so fast!
- You’ve gotta pay attention and jump in there! Perhaps it was because we had all gotten up so early to get to the auction, or maybe because we were freezing our asses off, but we were all a bit sluggish Saturday morning. There were a few items that I could have picked up cheaply but I hesitated too long and lost out.
- They’re going to tempt you with the delicious aroma of loose meet sandwiches! Although I resisted the hot dogs and other lunch fare available at the auction, The Mister and I did buy a cup of coffee. Still, the smell of sandwiches had my stomach growling the minute we arrived. All I could think about was the leftover pot roast awaiting us at home!
We left at about 11:00, long before they started taking bids on the furniture. With a list of things to do at home and early evening plans, we didn’t want to kill our morning AND afternoon at the auction. Now that I know that the bidding for big stuff happens later, we can plan accordingly for future auctions. Besides, by 11:00 we were all starving!
We’ll be back, auctions. And next time we’ll be prepared!
— J. Blandings
Images: Mr. and Mr. Blandings