Saturday, May 19, 2007

An auction adventure.

So I had a very interesting auction experience last night...we went to an estate sale in a community center up the road. Lots of gorgeous old oak furniture in excellent shape. We were semi-interested in one of the beds, and I had spotted a few other things that looked interesting, so we stuck around. There were not many buyers there, and the people running the auction seemed fairly clueless. Turns out it was their first one ever!

Stuff started selling, and it was absolutely going nowhere. I had seen this darling set of dishes from maybe the mid-sixties--it was pale blue-green with a silver edging and three sketched daisies set off on the side. Six place settings, cups, saucers, a darling teapot, serving dishes, and it looked like none of it had ever been used. It wasn't exactly my style--or era--but it was so CUTE!

So when the auctioneer got an opening bid of five dollars on it, and nobody else was bidding, I bid ten dollars and got the whole set.

Then this fever kind of took over me, because so much of the stuff was going so cheap, and I just kept bidding on odds and ends. Got some pictures, a huge weird print that Todd dislikes, a collection of ceramic tchochkes (why?)--oh, just a bunch of stuff that I probably would never have bid on but for the fact that for once in my auctioning life, there was almost no competition! The dealers there mostly wanted the furniture.

About halfway through, one of the dealers came up and asked me if I'd be willing to sell him the set of dishes. I told him to check with me at the end of the auction, because he was buying tons of furniture, and we thought that we might be able to cut a deal with him if he bought the bed we were interested in.

I kept thinking about the dishes--I had nowhere to put them, they didn't really go with anything I owned, but I wanted them because they were so pretty and shiny. I thought if nothing else, I could put them in a box and hold onto them for another ten years and sell them when mid-sixties china hits its peak as it's sure to do.

The dealer didn't end up getting the bed we wanted, and the bedroom set with the bed sold for $750, so we certainly didn't get it. And I just kept buying ridiculous stuff.

At the end of it all, the dealer's wife came up to me and asked me what I'd take for the set of dishes. She said she wanted them for herself, not to re-sell. We agreed to $75. She was thrilled, and I didn't have to figure out what to do with those lovely dishes.

The total for all the crap I bought came to $70. So I made $5 on the deal!

Then I went home and weeded my boxes of crap down to a small handful of stuff that I actually wanted to hang onto. I honestly don't know what possessed me, but I have to say...if you're going to lose your mind at an auction, it sure helps if you buy something you can re-sell to cover your madness!

I ended up keeping a wicker chair, several very old photos in frames, an old print, a huge weird old 1950's print that I may just get rid of, an ironstone tureen, a floral china platter, three blue willow china cups, and a couple embroidered pillowcases. A ridiculously small haul for $70.

Now I have three boxes to take to the charity store. And a lesson learned about auction madness.