We are discovering that auctions can be fun and a good place to find antique and vintage items.  However, we also have to be careful about getting caught up in the moment and making irresponsible purchases.  

Our First Auctions

On our first trip to an auction, I really wasn’t impressed from the beginning.  It was junky and just plain dirty.  On top of that, some of the buyers there kept driving prices up so much it was impossible to buy anything.  I really felt that some were consignors bidding on their own items to drive the price up.  It really left both of us with a bad impression.  We had wasted money on gas and dinner and many hours of sitting through the auction to come away with almost nothing.

We traveled hours to our next auction only to come away nearly empty handed again.  The small items that we were looking for were sold way too high for what we needed to spend.  This auction did have some nice furniture that went really cheap though.  If we ever get to the point that we are selling a lot of furniture we would go back to that one.  We are learning a little.

The Turkey

We tried it again when an estate sale host that we liked posted an auction.  Again, we drove a long way to get there.  This time, the auction was staged very well.  Everything was clean including the seating.  The items were also higher end.  We came away with quite a few items including our first “turkey.”  This time it was literally a huge taxidermy turkey that we paid a lot for because we got caught up.  Bad idea.  Luckily, we were able to sell the turkey for what we paid for it.  Anyway, this time the experience was a little more fun and a lot nicer.  However, I still wasn’t onboard with going to auctions to give us the inventory that we need.  

A better Auction Experience

Kenny recently talked me into another auction.  Expecting the same scenario, we gave ourselves a pep talk on the way not to make any crazy purchases.  This was definitely a more enjoyable auction and we came away with several real treasures in my opinion.  We found some artwork that we really liked along with a few pieces of small furniture, and other small items.  We are already planning to go back to this one sometime although we did come home with another “turkey.”  It wasn’t really a turkey but an antique refrigerator that is really neat; however, we have no idea if we will even be able to get our money back out of it.

Anyway, auctions can be fun and a good way for us to pick up interesting items.  They can also make a big hole in our budget if we aren’t careful. My advice to anyone planning to pick up inventory at an auction would be to attend with someone who knows what they are doing.  I would also say to find an auction house with a good reputation.  Finally, go with a budget in mind and stick to it.  

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