Monday, July 14, 2014

Going … going … gone

The auction house on Saturday night was surprisingly bare, at least compared to our last visit earlier in the spring.  Empty areas that formerly held all manner of antiques and collectibles dominated the room, and only the actual auction area held any merchandise.

I thought it was a wasted one-hour drive.

As a small crowd gathered in the room, I listened to small talk, and figured out that the auctioneer was getting out of auction house business to concentrate on on-location sales, and that he was in the process of liquidating his store.  Much of the merchandise on the floor belonged to a dealer, and it was only after she had sold out that the fun began.

The auctioneer began selling the store to the bare walls.  Everything was going cheap, and by cheap, I mean really cheap.  Box lots and table lots were going for less than $10; a vintage sewing machine in cabinet went for $7.  After the table lots were cleared, he began selling the actual tables, usually for $2 to $3.

It was a whirlwind since the auctioneer was determined to clear the room that night, and he was rushing from one lot to the next, selling within seconds, and then moving on.  No matter how vintage or collectible, it sold to the highest bidder.

Ella was having fun.
We had a ball at the auction!

OK, honestly, I was, too, but I knew how much the truck could carry, and we already had a couple of boxes from a sale earlier in the afternoon.   With each piece and/or lot bought, I mentally played a game of Tetris, trying to figure out placement in the truck.  By the end of the auction, we had spent more than $200, and after loading the truck, the only free space was my front seat; Ella had to sit cross-legged on her seat because she had a large covered wagon lamp sitting on the floor.

What did we get? A little bit of everything, except for furniture, although we did buy a six foot folding metal baker's rack that I hoped would fit in the truck (it did, barely).  We got the typical glassware, linens, lamps, vintage signs, and too many knick-knacks.  I got a tote full of Atlanta Braves and Falcons collectibles, including seven signed baseballs, for $25.  I also bought a vintage railroad lamp for $2, and a nice Pepsi leather jacket for $7.
Gonna make me
some sodie pop
For myself, I bought a new SodaStream (makes homemade soda) for $5.  I had been wanting one, but didn’t want to pay $60 on Amazon.

We also bought a large brass raffle drum, which took up almost half our back seat. 

Needless to say, not all of it will fit in our current antique booth, which is already filled to the brim.  We had been discussing with John and Heather, the owners of the antique mall, about renting either a larger booth or a second booth, and on Sunday, Heather showed us a very large booth that will be available in August.  The rent on the larger booth is roughly $100 more than we are paying now, and having both booths will almost triple what we have to sell each month to break even.  It’s a scary move, but in for a nickel, in for a dime. 

Earlier on Saturday, we attended a storage unit auction, and watched 13 units go to the highest bidder.  Most were trash (no “wow factor”), but the 10X30 unit held promise … the promise of hard work and questionable profit (it went for $400).  Ella really wanted that unit, but, fortunately, I talked her out of it.

We also went to several yard sales, and I found, among other things, a vintage Macon Whoopee hockey stick decoration for $5.  Defunct sport team memorabilia always sells, and while it’s not as good as the Whoopee jersey that I sold for $300 two years ago, it should bring a nice profit.

Toward the end of the morning, we purchased three bikes (don’t ask me why).  The first bike was a small BMX-style bike painted up like the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard (OK, that’s why).  The second was a near vintage beach cruiser-type bike with a more comfortable seat than my current bicycle, and the third was a literally brand new girls bike; the bike still had the plastic on the wheels and seat.  We negotiated a price of $100, which included two new in package G.I. Joes (worth $30 each) that I had picked up.

Obviously, Saturday was a full day.  Sunday was spent sorting Saturday’s bargains, packing stuff, and working briefly on our booth.

Sales for the past week have been mediocre, but at least that’s a step up from awful.  We sold $92 worth at the booth, which pushes us into the black for the month.  Amazon and other assorted venues remain steady, but still not meeting my goal.  Ebay stepped up a bit, with a couple of good ka-chings, including my vintage Lite-Brite, and my Awana DVDs.

My vintage Lite-Brite sold quickly, but wasn't worth a whole lot
I bought these on instinct; they sold fast and for good money
I need a vacation, but I’d probably just work through it, so what’s the point?

1 comment:

  1. I would've loved to have been at that auction! Sounds like you guys got a ton of stuff for cheap!!