If you’re ever at a loss for inspiration…go to an AUCTION! Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never been to one, the auctioneers are very kind and you can stand around the “regulars” until you get the hang of it. I scored some crazy good treasures this past weekend. A 10 foot vintage ladder (that I cut in half to wrap around a corner), an old door and a steam trunk (that I painted and is perfect to hold extra blankets AND added some additional seating).
A few tips:
- Set a budget BEFORE going! Stick to it.
- Use the back of the auctioneer card to jot down what you purchase, along with the amount. This is helpful to keep you on budget, but also to make sure you only pay for what you actually bought (it’s easy for an auctioneer to accidentally write down the wrong bidders number, so you can double check all the little slips at check-out)
- Pay cash. There’s generally an additional up charge if you use a card, so whenever possible use cash.
- Have a plan (or an idea of a plan). You should only bid on items that will fit in your vehicle! This seems like an obvious tip, but there have been plenty of times that I imagine my SUV much larger than it actually is! If you don’t have a truck, as long as you have a back up friend with a truck who doesn’t mind helping you get your treasures home you’ll be golden.
- Take your time! When at all possible stay until the end of the auction..this is when the crazy stupid deals often happen. Most people have left because they’ve spent their money, so a small group of people will gather around and get awesome boxes of things for a buck or two!
I encourage you to at least try one sometime – I promise it’s worth the experience! I oftentimes find the best auctions at http://www.auctionzip.com