As my brother-in-law James and I walked through the door of the action house, every head turned and stared. I don't know if it was James' extreme height (6 foot 7 inches), or my bright purple coat that attracted everyone's attention, but it was clear to us that we were not of the usual crowd. Both being auction newbies, we stood at the door for a moment scanning for a place to stand. As the stares became uncomfortable, we moved about the crowded room, prying eyes moving with us.
Once settled in the small space between desks, we listened to the auctioneer's chant. He spoke a mile a minute, calling out lot numbers and bids at his rapid speed. It took a few minutes (and the help of many viewing hours of Storage Wars), but eventually we began to understand and decipher the calls. We quickly perused the merchandise we were interested in, picked up our ballot, and waited.
With the impending arrival of Grandpa and Grandma McLean to the neighborhood, we were in need of some items to finish furnishing their apartment. A kitchen table and chairs was on top of the list, and there were three different sets that we were interested in. There was a black table, a round table, and an oval table. James and I decided that we had a $150 limit, that our preferences were first round, then oval, then black, and that, despite preference, we would bid on any of the tables just as long as we got one.
As it was, the oval table was first up to bid. The auctioneer started it at $100. No takers. $90? $80? Still no one. My heart started beating like crazy. No one wanted this table? $70? $60? My nerves were getting to me. $50? $40? Still no takers and I couldn't take it anymore. $30 and my yellow ballot shot up. Could he get $40, could he get $35? I was prepared to bid again but it wasn't needed as NO ONE bid against me. $30 once, $30 twice, SOLD for $30. We won the table uncontested and for only 30 Dollars! My racing heart couldn't believe it. It was unreal.
James and I each squealed and high-fived. We had won the table far below our max budget. Because of our good luck, James decided that he might try to win onc of the subsequent tables for his own apartment. As the bidding on the remaining tables commenced, we felt justified in our purchase, as the black table sold for over $100 and the round table, our first choice, sold for $350. We don't know how we lucked out with only paying $30 when the other tables sold for so much more. It was definitely a blessing and a miracle!
We hung around for a little bit longer, waiting to see what other goods we could score. Eventually we decided to call it a day so we could go meet Grandma and Grandpa as they arrived. As we stood in line waiting to pay, the second to last item of the evening was up for bid: a set of three matching lamps. Lamps were something that was also needed, so I shouted a bid from the back of the room--$5! This time there was a small bidding war but lucky for us, we topped out at $15 and the lamps were ours.
After paying the buyers fees and taxes, we ended up paying $55.81 total for the lamps, table, and chairs. What a steal! Even as a novice, it was a good day at the auction. It was an exciting and inexpensive way to be able to help out Grandma and Grandpa and a great way to furnish a house or apartment. And the best part? It was just plain fun!