Thursday, December 23, 2010


I am fascinated by auctions. I haven't been to a real auction only charity auctions, but it is something I'd like to dip my toes in someday.

Charity auctions often see common donated items like a bottle of wine sell for hundreds of dollars. One of my jars of honey went for $65 at one auction. It's a charity thing and a chance for those with deep pockets to share their wealth.

I've participated on Ebay auctions and I've won a few but most go over the value I place on the items and I let them go to a higher bidder.

I think I need to find an auction mentor to show me the ropes before I make any big mistakes. I'd like to attend some farm auctions one of these days. Any cool stories out there?


Blogger Donna said...

I like livestock auctions. After Cliff retires, I'm going to make him take me to an occasional one. I buy things on Ebay, but I usually get the buy-it-now stuff.

5:30 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Sheesh. Around here in good weather you could go to four or five auctions a week in a fifty mile radius. Estate sales and livestock, mostly. It's good entertainment. Jump in and bid on something now and then. Not because you really want it, just to irritate somebody else.

6:41 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Wait.... jars of homey? What the...

6:42 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I'll fix that, Homey

7:33 AM  
Blogger mark said...

A good auctioneer is an artist. I reached this conclusion by watching an incompetent auctioneer in action.

9:39 AM  
Blogger g said...

My cousin is a livestock auctioneer in South Dakota.

A typical conversation when he gets home to his wife:

Hi honey, how 'bout a kiss?
Son of a kiss
Make that three kisses and i'll break cheap for the little lady in the checkered apron...

What's for supper...?
I hear hotdogs
I hear hotdogs and beans
I hear hotdogs and boston baked beans with sliced fresh bread.
Once we cut
Twice we cut
SOLD to the little lady in the checkered apron who just dumped the hotdogs, beans, and bread down the front of my shirt.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you ever find yourself in Bonners Ferry Idaho on a Thursday, stop in at Sater's auction, held every Thursday starting at 10 AM. It's quite the social gathering for the bib overall set. Often to pick over the possessions of some starved out Californian ready to head back south with tail between legs after a hard winter. Folks who live up there are as frugal as they come. It can be fascinating though, to see how high these tightwads will bid up a box of rusty junk once the mood strikes them. Conversely I heard many stories of rare treasures bought for a song. My friend Curt got a 1930's Rickenbacker electric guitar and top of the line 1959 Wards tube amp for $50. Curt doesn't play guitar but he quickly sold it for $2,500 to someone who does. The Internet has ruined most auctions but back in the hills of Boundary county some things are done same as they ever were.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Livestock auctions are where it's at. The one in Baker City is a must.

11:31 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Donna, best not take him to any more tractor auctions.

Darev, we had an auction house here for a couple months where the River Theater was, but I never saw any ads for their auctions.


Anon, that sounds like it's worth a trip out there, thanks.

Anon, I've seen some on RFD-TV, very cool, but I can't buy live stock. I have a horse that we will be selling in auction in February, but I'm suspicious of any horses that are sold at a horse auction and I wouldn't want to buy one.

6:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes we used to hold our calves til very late in the fall-then ship to the auction in Baker City. The weather can be atrocious, yes, but the arena was well lit and is well lit and even heated!-there was even a restaurant in the arena building and you could take the food back to your seat...|They'd start with smaller lots of stock-maybe one cow, a bummer calf-part of the fun was not knowing what was gonna come through the big door when the auctioneer would call for the next lot. I recall sitting there all comfy when the man called "here they come..." the big barn door would open revealing near blizzard conditions out in the corral-snow flying and wind howling as the wranglers shooed in about forty-fifty squealing feeder pigs and they'd gallop around the arena as the man called for bids and it was on!!!....they'd finish that, then the next lot would be brought in-You name the livestock, it was time the door swang open and a young fella on a fine appaloosa, he galloped in and circled around-the auctioneer asked if he was selling the saddle too and the kid hollered back, "sure, if the moneys right". The money wasnt right so after some lackluster bidding the kid rode off..the good stuff/heavy action was saved for last...It was awesome to see the calves you raised run in through the gates as the real players, the cattle buyers, moved forward in their seats and took a good look, then the bidding would begin--there's a lit board, like a highschool football scoreboard tracking the bids and the numbers would change fast--when someone one outbid everyone else the dude hollered SOLD, then the stock was herded to the exit gate but were bunched tight before they left so the total weight of the lot could be flashed to the crowd-we would figure the average weight of the animals and convert that to dollars in our was so much fun-we always had great calves because we had good cows and great pasture-and I'd feel so proud when the auctioneer would mention us and our ranch being some real oldtimers in the game. When it was all over I would be sent to the office to pick up the bank draft because the folks were busy visiting with the other stockmen...such a wonderful way of life-a way of life that disappears a little more every year as the powers that be continue to chip away at the lives of the people who's only life is that of the cowboy and rancher

7:18 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Anon, beautiful description. I admire your reverence for the whole thing. I've sat through the auction at the end of the County Fair every year and wonder how much longer will this go on. These timeless pieces tie us to our past. These are things of warm nostalgia.

6:12 AM  

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