Have you ever walked into a store, a bar, another person’s house, or some other interesting place and thought, “Yep. I could die happy right here.”? This was my experience the first time I walked into an auction. There was some dude yelling far too fast to understand. There were random other dudes making strange gestures at that man and causing him to yell at an even faster rate. There were crazy people with long beards, grimy hands, and cheeks stuffed with chaws the size of NY (I’m not just referring to men), and there was “junk” everywhere. I love “junk.”
Somehow, in the insanity of that moment, I thought, “Yep. This is for me.” I loved it like I love bacon, cheese fries. Which is to say I loved it a lot. I approached a little old lady who was standing guard like a pitbull over a stack of old, moldy National Geographic magazines. She glared at me and began to look through the stack loudly proclaiming how gross and disgusting they were while I tried to ask her what I needed to do to get a number so that I could bid. Finally realizing that I wasn’t there to steal her stash of mold she warmed up and explained the process pointing at a table in the corner.
I procured my number and began my addiction. At that auction I bought:
A huge box of coffee mugs and Pepsi glasses for $1. I sold a Betty Boop mug from that stash for $18 and a vintage Santa Claus mug for $6.
An old and rather disgusting set of dishes for $0.50. They cleaned up nicely.
A hide-a-bed couch for $5. It weighed as much as my car and was uglier than Lurch on a bad day but still had plastic covering it, was in awesome shape and it was only $5!!
An old steamer trunk from the 1920′s for $50. This was, by far, the best find! It was locked when we bought it and when opened it revealed a treasure trove of antique items including several baby dolls, a teddy bear, a lace table cloth, children’s costumes, books, and jewelry.
I recount this experience because it was my first. It was the beginning of what has become a fun, exciting and sometimes lucrative hobby. I left that auction filthy from digging through the junk, exhausted from wrestling the car disguised as a couch out of their house, and with a cheshire cat style grin on my face. I also want to say that this was in the days before reality TV. I know, GASP, I am that old…sad but true. The appearance of shows like Storage Wars, American Pickers, Auction Hunters, etc, has changed the face of auctions. On one hand I’m totally thrilled about this. Auctioneers were a dying breed. Auctions, for the most part, were fairly sparsely attended and the people there were generally 50+. Now, there is new blood coming in. Auctions
have found a new voice and a new audience which is truly awesome. On the other hand tho….finding a deal has become far more difficult! The days of something valuable going for practically nothing because no one knew what it was are almost gone. It’s a real fight and a real adventure to find the best
auctions and the best pieces to bring home.
Challenge accepted! This website will be dedicated to my auction addiction. I want to chronicle my adventures thru auction land and show off some of my amazing finds as well as list my pieces and what they sell for. I would love to hear your questions, comments, advice, and even criticism on what I buy. I am a researcher of all things interesting and old so if you find a piece and want to know what it is, toss it in the mix! Let’s see what we can find together!