From It's All Connected
Everyone Needs an Auction
The best way to find everything from food processors to furniture to fine art is to learn how to work an auction. I know it seems scary and we've all heard stories of people getting stuck with a white elephant or who scratched their nose and had to pay for a grandfather clock. Those are really folk tales and auctions aren't as difficult as they seem.
I started going to them in the late seventies to pick up furniture for my little girl's rooms. Scandinavian Modern was in fashion and no one wanted Victorian dressers and beds, so I could pick them up for a song. I refinished so many pieces I lost count. When I was broke, I'd buy more furniture and sell the refinished pieces. Without intending to, I became an antique furniture dealer. During a stint as a flea market vendor, I became familiar with "smalls", pottery, silver, housewares, linens and decorative items.
I've made lots of mistakes. That's usually because I didn't go to a preview or show up early enough to look items over carefully.
Let's take a little tour of an auction preview. This one is at my favourite house The Old Town Hall Auctions in Paris, Ontario. I've been going to this auction for over twenty years. The auctioneer, John Runnquist, is knowledgeable and honest. Yes, there are honest auctioneers! This auction has a printed programme and if something is found not to be as stated they will make a full refund.
It all starts here -
I look over some furniture -
Here's a table of "box lots" -
The old gas pump is neat to go beside the garage -
John will go like stink to sell the last of the stuff at the back. Anything here will be a bargain.
Those are antique ice skates on top of the photos and roller skates -
Pass on the interesting wringer washer but might go for the ice cream parlour set -
I'll go for the wooden crates if they are under $10 -
I'd like this wicker for my front porch but it has to be under $100. Pass on the brass bed that has rickety joints and no side rails -
Let's pray there are no toy collectors there and my sister can buy these wonderful items for her etsy shop, 2 Be Cherished, at a reasonable price! -
Ahhh, the sleigh and wagon will polish up beautifully and look fab for Christmas! -
If I buy this lot just to get the hat box from Picadilly, remember I have to take everything here -
I'll buy a $4 cataloque from John's wife, Winnie, to be sure I know what I'm bidding on. I'll go an hour early and look everything over again before the auction starts. I'll figure in a 10% buyers premium (fee to the auction house) and sales tax on the maximum amounts I will pay for something.
Remember, you have the advantage over all the dealers. You are looking for a good buy. Dealers have to be able to get double for the item when they retail it. You can always outbid us!
Start small, learn as you go and be ready to get hooked!!!
(Posted by It's All Connected on Friday, October 21, 2011)
Thanks so much Maureen for that informative post...this was one of my favourites on your blog because I've always had a fear of going to an auction for all the reasons stated in your first paragraph and I'm sure there are many others such as myself out there...but now, I'm itching to go to an auction!
Tomorrow, we're posting a different subject completely, also from Maureen's blog, because if you want to see how the How the Auction Went! you can check it out on Maureen's pages (most of you that read this probably will check it out right after reading this! I wouldn't be able to wait!)
Have a Great Day Everyone!