Monday, June 10, 2013

Outside my Southern Comfort Zone

To coin a phrase from a Brad Paisley song, I went outside my Southern Comfort Zone on Saturday at an “estate” auction.  It was the first auction that I’ve attended as a “picker,” and I learned a valuable lesson.  Never, ever go to an auction with a wallet full of cash because you just might spend most of it.

My first “win” was a table full of new NASCAR (Dale Jr., for fans) T-shirts, hats, key chains, etc., for $16.  It was an impulse buy, since as the aforementioned song says, not every Southerner is a NASCAR fan.  I’m not real excited about this lot, but it got my feet wet, and got Ella excited about bidding.

I then bid on and won a new in box Coca-Cola Barbie for $8.  I had priced it at $22 on Amazon earlier, and knew I could make a decent profit at that price.  However, the owner of the Barbie wanted $15, nullifying my bid, before countering at $12.  I declined.

Next, a vintage Radio Flyer tricycle rolled out, and I bid and won at $18.  The seller, however, nullified my bid again, countering with $20. I begrudgingly accepted it, hoping I could recoup my purchase price.

Much junk was auctioned off before the next item that I really wanted came up.  It was a large display box full of small collectibles, including some sterling silver pieces.  I won the bid at $66.  I also won a huge jewelry box full of watches (some vintage) and other pieces of jewelry for $95.  I got into a bidding war with another buyer, and while Ella had a good time bidding for me, I probably overpaid for that particular lot.

All told, I spent about $250, which was about $250 more than I had planned to spend.  It was a fun evening, however, and even though we spent much of it swatting at June bugs and hoping the auctioneer wouldn’t think we were bidding, we’ll probably attend again once I save some money.

Otherwise, the weekend was pretty routine. Yard/garage sales on Saturday morning were plentiful, but fairly uninspiring, and I probably wouldn’t have crawled out of bed had Ella not wanted to go.  Still, I found a few sellable items, including some high-priced new toys.

For the past week, Ella has been trying to organize and categorize all the kids books that I bought from the retired teacher.  I knew there were a lot of books, but had no idea there were so many until Ella had them all spread out in our great room.

This photo was taken from upstairs looking down into the great room.
Her goal is to group them, type them in, and take pictures so all I have to do is list them.  It’s a huge, boring job, and I’m thankful that Ella does this kind of work for me.

Speaking of Ella, tomorrow is her birthday.  I won’t say how old she is, obviously, but she still looks as young and beautiful as the day I met her.

Have a great week everyone.


  1. What the....? I've been to dozens of auctions and never have I ever heard of a seller "nullifying a winning bid." I've heard of a reserve price and I've heard of proxy bidding for people who are not there, but I've never heard of what you described. That's just weird.

    As for that photo of your great room, it makes me want to run to the ER to get some oxygen because I can't breathe just looking at it. Holy moley!

    Your wife must be a saint. Happy birthday Ella!

  2. Good grief, you won the auction and then didn't win? That would be frustrating!

    Yikes on the books - hope Ella takes a break on working on them for her birthday! hope she has a happy one and many more!

  3. After looking at that great room and reading Ella does all the typing and picture taking, I think she deserves the best on her birthday! Happy birthday to Ella!