Time for the last part in our 7-week series Furniture Find Friday! Tonight we are going to be talking about auctions and all the good deals on furniture you can find there. And man, is there a lot to see! Megan and I travelled to an auction a few weeks back – it was 2 hours away, but it was advertised to be auctioning off 250 pieces of furniture. We deemed it worth the trip and good cause for a girl’s day out! My husband wished us well and we were off. This was my first auction in years. Many years. I used to go with my Grandma when I was a little girl. Megan was more of a veteran as her family used to go often. When we arrived we milled around a bit looking at all the goods. They was much to see. Some things were not at all appealing and others were. The auction we went to was Derfler’s in Pine Grove, PA. There were things inside and outside. We scoped the scene and then went to get our number. Megan and I shared a paddle as we were hunting for things for The Blessed Nest, our business venture. We then made a list of what we wanted to try to win. At an auction you have no idea what an item will go for or the popularity it will have. My advice is to go in with a budget in mind and know ahead of time just how much you are willing to spend. Our budget was no more than $50 and that would be for a really nice piece of furniture. I had heard so many stories about all the good deals people have found at auctions getting lovely old dressers for $5-10 dollars and such so I expected to get a lot for a little.
These jars full of buttons caught my eye.
These pieces made me drool a little. I knew they would not be in my price range, but I admired them anyway.
Outside there were many items strewn about – some good like those table legs and some not so much. You have to weed throguh everything as there may be a gem hidden! It is tedious work.
The auctions went on with one auctioneer inside where most of the furniture was and one outside for the smaller items. There was a gorgeous sideboard outside so I kept going outside and inside to see if it was up for bid yet. There was a lot of standing around and waiting, but we were highly entertained watching the auctioneer shown above. He was so funny. Honestly I can’t believe his voice held out. I just wanted to get him a drink of water. I was a little intimidated by bidding so I left Megan do the dirty work. She bidded like a pro! She would loudly say “YEP” in a gutteral voice when bidding – that surely would have caught my attention! Here is some advice – when in the middle of the bidding, remember your budget. It is super easy to get caught up in the moment in trying to win an item, but before you know it, you could have spent way more than you wanted. You have to use self-control here. We all want to win, but not at a hefty pricetag! You also have to bear in mind that there is a 10% buyer’s premium and taxes applied as well to your purchases. This adds up.
And of course people went for the more finished pieces which was good because we were willing to get the diamonds in the rough and fix them up.
This piece was lovely. I think it went for $180. Lots of people stood around it during bidding time so I knew it would be snatched up. It was absolutely stunning.
All in all, we learned a lot! This is some of of our haul. We also purchases a table and dresser not pictured. The most expensive piece we bought was the dresser for $30. We picked up lots of frames and pictures to make chalkboards from as well. It was super fun. We were there for about 8 hours – auctions do not happen quickly. You have to wait through all the bidding until the piece you want comes up. The deals were good although I hoped it would be cheaper. I am definitely going to check out more auctions in the future and feel confident to do so now that I have this one under my belt. Total spent for us – $130 with items including premium and taxes.
Auctions are a great way to find some pretty amazing pieces – go in with the right knowledge of how they work and what you are looking for and willing to spend and you could come home very happy. I would love to hear your tips and experiences with auctions…send them my way!
That wraps up our series on how to find great pieces of furniture.
Hope you find many treasures on your way!