Last Saturday I spotted an ad for an auction that sounded promising. It started at 10:00 and I got there about noon. I have learned that most household auctions around here start with the bigger pieces of furniture and the higher end items then they usually sell cars and guns about noon and then they start on the household junk - which is MY THANG. When I got to this auction it wasn't a household auction. It was the second of maybe ten or twelve auctions that they will be having at this location. This old man and his brother liked to buy stuff. And I mean anything - jars - so many jars - rope by the many dozen hanks, books and books and books. And tools, electric cords, and on and on. Just so much stuff. This was stuff out of a shop building, so it was more of the manly sort of junk. I found out that there is a house, three sheds. FIVE school buses, three semi-trailers, four outbuildings and a chicken house FULL of things yet to go. The old man, his brother and his children are all gone and the land and it's contents have gone on to a bunch of twenty something grandchildren who want no part of it. Really can you blame them? It is a lot. But not nearly as much as my family will have when I am gone. I KID! Ha ha!
The only things at this auction that interested me were old printers blocks. Tray after tray piled upon pile. They were scattered on every trailer and table. I love these things. I wanted some BAD. There was only one other person there that bid on them. No one else seemed to understand what they were or what they were worth. But old #512 did. MY NEMESIS. He said out loud, "I will be getting all those blocks." So, every time a tray or box of pile of blocks would come up, the auctioneer would say, "Where's my gal?" and then he would make eye contact with me and #512. Bidding would start at $5.00 and then I would drop out at say, $20.00, so he would get them. On and on and on. I was hoping he would take PITY on me and let me have a couple of trays, but Noooooooooooo. So, I decided if he was going to have them all - he was going to pay. I would bid up to $95.00 and stop - he would pay $100.00. Take that #512! He had money - lots of money - I on the other hand, had only $30.00 to my name. He bought SO much stuff, it was crazy. And as for his number - 512 - I was one of the last people to get a number and I was #198 - so apparently he is always #512 at very auction. So, if I am ever at an auction and I hear #512, craaaap! *I totaled up and I bid over $1000.00 on printers blocks. I don't have a thousand dollars. Obviously. In the end, I spent $2.00 on a box of manila paper and some envelopes. Whomp Whomp.
Today my favorite local auctioneer was holding an auction at a small house not far up the highway from me, so I headed out there about noon. This auctioneer holds up something like say a Syrup server and says, "Hey look at that old syrup server - you don't see those every day" and then he starts the bid at $1.00. He's like - this is old and neat and you might want it, but it's not worth a fortune, so let's not go crazy. They make huge piles of things and sell boxes of wrapped up dishes and you really don't know what you are going to get sometimes. I was the high bidder at $2.00 on a box of dishes and the other guy kept pulling things out, holding them up. I was still the high bidder at $2.00 when he pulled out a Pyrex mixing bowl with yellow polka dots - well, dontcha know EVERYONE started bidding on that dang box. I think it sold for $27.00 in the end. I was bidding on a box of old jars when they suddenly discovered TWO old Tom's peanut jars in there. I wanted them to stop digging and just sell the boxes! But, it is fun to watch. The lady that got the Pyrex bowl ended up clutching it to her chest with her right boob stuck into it the remainder of the day. I think she liked it.
There was a family there with a girl about ten. I watched her go over to people that had been forced to buy random piles of stuff for one or two things and ask them if they had anything they didn't want. People were more than happy to give things to her rather than take them home. They filled up an entire pickup truck with cast-offs which was actually quite genius. WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT AND WHERE CAN I GET A CUTE TEN YEAR OLD? (Lara - let's get your twins trained PRONTO.) And, now that I think about it, the Pyrex Bowl Boob Lady gave away the contents of that box I was wanting. DAGNABIT.
I bid on a box of old quilt blocks and feedsack squares and got it for $1.00 (I know, right??). When I went to pick it up, the box was wet and falling apart. The auctioneer scooped it up on a big piece of plastic and the other people all sucked in their breath - "THAT WASN'T INCLUDED" and he handed it to me to carry off. I went over to put in on the ground and a lady came running over asking me the cutting mat was for sale. I didn't even realize that it was a cutting mat - I thought it was just a piece of plastic. Anyway, long story short except it's too late for THAT - I sold it to her for $2.00. I ran (okay - I don't run, but I hurried my short legs) back to the trailer because there were two fabulous old ledgers I wanted. When I got there - they had been sold. Boooooooo. Later, after I paid for my purchases, we cut around the front of the house to leave. I walked past a pile of things and there were the ledgers in a box full of really old automotive repair manuals. The man sorting them was wearing a mechanics shirt, so decided he just might not be interested in those ledgers - so I asked if he wanted to sell them. He looked at them - looked at me and said, "There's nothing in them???" and said, $2.00, which I just happened to have already pulled out and had in my hand (JEDI MINDTRICK). So, I got my ledgers for a great price and I didn't have to buy anything extra. I never really thought about buying or selling from piles, but it is really a great deal for everyone.
So, what did I buy you are DYING TO KNOW, RIGHT??????
I got the old metal cart for $2.00 because it had boxes of cleaning supplies and file folders on it. People see the junk and not the good sometimes. The old metal suitcase was my splurge at $5.00, but I use them to hold things at shows, so I was happy to get another one. The Sunbeam mixer with two white Glasbak bowls (it works too) was $2.00 in a "choice" lot. I really bought it for the green milk crate and the mixer was a bonus. The old jars were in a box lot of something I don't remember.
The ledgers are on the cart - love them - I found a bank envelope in one when I got home and I about fainted. It was empty.....:) The wooden box that opens has all these nifty dividers and ABC markings. The old sewing box was in with the fabric I bought and the old tool box is really great it opens both ways and has cool drawers. As The Breadman was loading up two gas cans that I bought with the toolbox he said, "I'm sorry they threw in that old toolbox with those gas cans". Uh - how well do you know me dude? - I do not buy bright orange plastic gas cans! I buy rusty old junk. I saved some dishes and a few other things out of the box lots and sent the rest off to Goodwill.
It was a fun day out and a cheap one to boot. Plus - look at that stuff! :)