This is a picture-heavy post, so if it takes forever to load, I apologize!
We went to an auction last Saturday and I am still riding the high from the thrill of the whole day!
I've been to a few auctions before, but I don't usually do any bidding, instead, nudging Andrew to bid on something and using his ears to hear the auctioneer for me. This, I think, was my first real auction in which I actively bid on things by myself, with Andrew at my side just in case I didn't understand something.
It was kind of bittersweet, this particular auction, because we actually knew the man whose stuff was being auctioned off. He was a bit of a hoarder, having owned a store at some point and instead of selling stuff at clearance prices when the store closed, he brought all the merchandise home with him. He also enjoyed going to auctions himself and if anyone knows how auctions are, it's easy to understand how fast stuff can pile up if you don't get rid of the unwanted stuff quickly.
A few years ago, he was having daily yard sales trying to unload some stuff and when we discovered his sale, we were near-daily customers of his. He was a great character and we really enjoyed talking with him, except when he didn't have his teeth in, I couldn't understand him, and left the talking to Andrew!
Turns out all those yard sales and all the many items we bought off of him was just the tip of the iceberg. I had no idea that he also had a trailer, several sheds, a cattle barn, a car port and don't forget his house, filled to bursting with stuff!
He died almost a year ago, and it has taken the family this long to finally sort through and then hire an auction company to come and help clear out all the stuff he had piled in the house. Having been a previous yard sale customer of his, I knew there would be lots of good things to buy and made sure to clear the calendar so we could go.
I even asked my Aunt and Uncle to come down and help Grandma to watch the kids because I knew I wouldn't want to bring the kids there. An auction is really no place for kids-- there's no where to play, too many breakable things and it's easily to get distracted having to mind small children and keeping them amused while trying to follow along to the auctioneer's calls.
It was a truly friendly atmosphere, since we knew a lot of people from town that were there and people were laughing and talking. There was food and drinks for sale, it was a cool day, and the auctioneer was as laid back as could be while at the same time keeping things moving along at a brisk pace.
When we first got there, I was blown away by the amount of stuff out on tables and on the ground. I knew there would be a lot of stuff, but this was beyond what I imagined! While some of it was cheap store merchandise, a lot of it was good, quality antiques and vintage goods.
There was everything from Fenton glass, crocks, furniture, crafting things, store merchandise, tools, guns, knives... it's nearly impossible to list everything. I wish I had taken a picture of the whole grounds, but I was focusing on individual items, trying to remember where certain things were so when the auctioneer moved to those locations, I could bid on them.
We didn't get everything we bid on, but I was really happy with what we brought home. There were a few surprises in some of the boxes and once I sell those items in the booth, they'll more than cover what we paid which will make everything free and give me a little profit, too.
In case you're not familiar with how auctions work, let me give you a quick run-down:
They put a bunch of similar items into one lot and even if there's only one thing you want in the whole lot, you have to bid on the whole thing! So if you win the bidding, you are now the proud owner of the one thing you wanted and 10 unwanted items. See how quick a place can get filled up if you don't get rid of the unwanted items right away?
This photo above is an example of one lot. We bid on this, because we wanted the pitcher and glass set, but the bidding went too high for us. I think the winning bid was over $30. Had we won this lot, I would have sold the extra bits in the booth and kept the pitcher and glasses.
The auction lasted all day, but we left around 2, feeling like we had enough and we needed to get back home to the kids. We have a little regret in leaving before it was over because there were some things we didn't get a chance to bid on and then we found out the auction ended at 3:30! Only an hour and a half more and then maybe our vehicle would have been a little bit more packed!
We sorted through the stuff right away, even left behind 2 boxes of stuff at the auction that we didn't want. Some of those items have been in the shed or the basement or wherever for years and there was a musty smell on the fabrics and the boxes had spiders and bugs and even mouse droppings in them. No way were those boxes coming in the house!
After sorting, we ended up with 2 trash bags destined for the landfill, any plastic was recycled, and all paper and cardboard was burned.
We had a really good date at the auction, met a few new people, talked with old friends and really had a great time. The auctioneer has that talent of making you feel like he was looking right at you and I never once felt like I needed Andrew to help me bid on anything. In reality, he was looking at over 100 people, but I sure felt like I had his undivided attention!
His family were all there and we got to talk with them a bit, but I wonder how they felt to see all those people bidding on their parent's things. Or maybe they were just so happy to finally see the stuff gone? Mostly they hung back on the porch and watched the bidding. I'm sure they already picked out stuff they wanted to keep.
In any case, Andrew and I are definitely going to try and attend more auctions this summer. Especially the ones held by that particular Auctioneer. It sure was fun to come home with a loaded car for only a small price and having things to keep and still having plenty of merchandise to sell in the booth.
And to finish this off: How about those creepy doll heads? Never did see who bid for them!