Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Good Day at Auction

I can never have a bad time at an auction. Even if a bunch of the stuff I want goes for far more than I am willing to bid, I thoroughly enjoy watching the action and am entertained by what some people are willing to pay for things I deem truly JUNK. I may be a pack rat, but I am a discerning pack rat.

Last Friday I went to a rare weekday auction (most are on Saturdays when I work at the post office).

This table of books caught my eye immediately, not to mention the ugly rooster lamp. The lamp barely got a bid, then shot up to 3 whole dollars (or maybe the winning bid was $2.50?) Anyway, the whole room chuckled when the item sold. The winning lady looked a little embarrassed but put a brave face on it. Who wants their taste in decor to be scoffed at? I might have bid if the base was anything other than a chicken-- too main stream for me!

The books ended up going for $5.00 "choice" then later $10.00 for the whole lot that remained. Since I have more books than I need right now (many I get very cheap, or free), I did not join in the bidding. The telephones were very tempting- especially since some were wired as lamps, but again, were too rich for me. Did I mention that I was cheap, er painfully frugal?

All of these items were sold in lots- a bunch of items were arbitrarily assembled (by the auction house staff) on a tray and sold as a group. The Coke collectibles went on forever. Eventually 6 lots of Coke stuff was sold, for pennies on the dollar. Many items were still in their original packaging. Hint to collectors: if it says, "collectible" on the packaging, don't buy it. Everybody and their brother will keep it "mint in the package" and it will NEVER have any resale value. Prime example. ANYTHING advertised by the Franklin Mint or those other clearing houses for painted plates, china dolls, thimbles, shot glasses and etc. Yeeesh! AccckkKKK!
You pay $65 per plate, but when you're hard up for money, you will be dang lucky to find a buyer who will give you $12.00.
Moving on....

This auction seemed to reveal that even small town auction goers had gotten savvy in their buying. This box of hardware went for over $18.00. That's a bargain in California, but not in Missouri. At least, not in my part of Missouri. :)

The one book I would have liked to have gotten, if I could have remembered who won the lot. It's okay to approach someone and say, "can I buy [such and such] from you?" I bought one item this way at the auction without buying the rest of the junk in the lot. And I only spent 50 cents.

The one that got away. I stopped bidding at $17.00 and should have bid higher. It sold for $18.00. A beautiful antique quilt with great resale potential. The quilt collectors hadn't shown up to this auction so all of the quilts went cheap.

Three and a half hours into the auction, I was starting to think about the pre-school party I needed to attend soon and was losing my focus. Many of these items sold while I only gave them a passing glance. I had also already spent over $35 on other stuff and was needing to haul it out to my car.

A unique lemon squeezer. Don't know what it sold for.

I left a proxy bid for this huge safety pin of keys, because I had to leave before the auction was done. Another example of what I used to get for cheap, selling for a lot of money (to me, anyway). The lot of keys and other dangly things sold for $13.00. Yikes! That means the skeleton keys I already own are worth more than I thought!

I will never know what the plastic container of gumball prizes went for. If it went for cheap, I don't want to know!

This lovely whisk broom also went for more than my proxy bid. Final price, $8.00. Oh well, I have plenty of treasures I did win. I'll share them in future posts (they are still hiding in the trunk of my car until I can slowly sneak them into the house!)


Marlynn said...

Girlfriend, thank you so much for the quick analysis of bidding at auctions. I have to admit, I have not been to an auction. However, the most fascinating point you made was how savvy everyone is becoming all over the country on the "antiques." Yikes, where are the bargins???

Margaret said...

What a fabulous informative post! I just wish that kind of bidding opportunity existed here, I'd probably have to sell the car just to get in the door!

I can't wait to see what you got?? all the didn't gets offer a drool-able glimpse into the auction house, love that lemon squeezer, I'm sure my family would drink more juice if I had one of those.

As for the keys, it never ceases to amaze me the price on some of them, a guy at the local market tried to sell me one for 5francs!! yeah right...

bad penny said...

wonderful finds...

I have never been to an auction. Had a look at some books in Oxfam today but they were far too expensive

Anna said...

COOL!!!! I wanna know who got the knobs??? the safety pin and keys are AWESOME - in Cali the "vintage" skelton keys go for $6 a piece.... My mother in law gave me about 10 keys recently.... I just about dropped dead.. and she was like jeez wish I would have know - I could have given them to you xmas..... she said she had over 50 at one time but she kept only the interesting ones and threw out the rest! (ugh! somewhere in a landfill lives 50 amazing skeleton keys..... wahhhhhh) what a great auction.... xo!! Anna

Jeanie said...

I want to know what you got! (I have a similar version of that rooster lamp at the lake with a much worse shade that was my parents. I can't get rid of it, but it would ONLY go at the lake!)

Looks like a fabulous auction and some good tips, too!

Linda said...

WOW! Great, great junk! Is that an old child's spinning top in the photo with the keys? The metal kind that you pump the center handle up and down? If so, those go for quite abit! Old metal toys can be quite a good steal!

kiwicarole said...

What a cool post! Loved my trip to the auction! :) Can't wait to see what else you bought and what you make?
Love your pear stamp too!! Very fruity lol

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Thanks for coming by my blog. I'm not sure what I'll do with all the napkins; I'm thinking of a frame that can easily be changed out so I can display a different napkin every now and then.

What a great auction you went to! I never go; things are too rich for my blood up here. But we have lots of great junk and 2nd Hand stores. I love that old quilt!

I'll be back!

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

OK, you made this auction really fun for us in our computer chairs, brilliant to take so many fab photos! At my first (and only) auction I was too stunned to take pictures LOL!
Those keys had me drooling and eventho I do not "need" books, I slepped a couple from a $ box home just yesterday....I get weak in the sight of old dictionaries and well you know = books!
Sounds like it was a lot of fun!!!
my word verification is: "exfunde" teehee!

Patti said...

I don't have much experience at auctions but I started getting itchy just looking at these photos!!!
Pack rat-ting is the essence of great mixed media, don't you think?

perilloparodies said...

OH, My!! What amazing treasures. LOVE; LOVE; LOVE the books!!! and those keys!! From one packrat to another... Yay for sweet treasures!! especially those so many other people don't care about that we CAN use!! :-)