Now I have been to auctions before. The "house" auction type. You look around the week before the event and you show up on the day, find a seat maybe grab a soda from the vendor truck outside. Kind of casual and easy.
I knew I was going to be doing something different and like I said in my previous post, "Always bring your girls."
We were stylin when we drove up the road to the storage place, and then traffic just stopped. Could not figure out the hold up.
We waited a few minutes ...there was some type of comotion going on. As we got closer...we realized the commotion was thrity cars plus trying to fit into the tinny lot of the storage place. People were not happy that the gate was not open and there were lots and lots of PEOPLE.
Lenian and I wide eyed both look at each other and said..."THIS IS IT"!!
After finding a place to park. We hiked it over the flower beds and landscaping to get to the front office.
We and got our bidding number...I am sure it is called something else,but I am still learning.
But here is the crazy thing.....my sweet friend and I looked like fresh meat.
You know that horrid awkward moment when suddenly everything stops...the chatter the noise level drops and all eyes are on you.
This was one of those moments. The high wedges the dangling earrings the bright pink lipstick....NOPE...we were out of our element and everyone knew it.
We heard the giggles and the "OH Reallys" and then came the "You gals look like you could use a few pointers..." type comments.
And we could have used a few pointers, but not like that.........to be honest I was kinda nervous at first.
But then the doors opened and we were nolonger the entertainment.
This is when it got exciting.
Floods of buyers huddled around lists that were taped up on the door to a storage unit. We were told that this is not common to do. It means that the storage place has taken an inventory of each unit to be auctioned and some folks think that is dishonest. I guess since the storage place is the one taking the hit due to the unit not being payed on and having to go to auction, that they might be tempted to take out what is valuable. Interesting.
This also told buyers what units had the best stuff and they could save their money accordingly.
The owner of the storage place cut the lock and open the doors. He stepped aside and let everyone get a look. He was very nice and could tell there were a few "NEW COMERS"...hint hint and made sure we got a good look.
The bidding started and it was very casual. Not the high action rhythmic chanting that you see on the shows. Just a guy who was hot and tired saying...$50...$60 and so on. One guy kept bidding and never bought anything. Someone told us he was always "bidding thing up". Again...learning....
Most of the lockers went for $100.00. Lots of furniture and totes. One 10 by 10 locker had a ton of stuff...like an entire house. The unit was very neat with totes stored along the walls to the ceiling and furniture wrapped in moving blankets. It was exciting to see the bids rising. Once it hit $500.00 some folks got frustrated and left the auction.
This is when a woman and her daughter struck up a conversation with us. They were hobbiest...which means they had fun buying and selling, but did not make a living off doing it.
The obvious frustration on the faces of the buyers and the murmuring made it all to real that the media frenzy and the hobbiest were driving the prices of theses units to an unreachable level for the bread and butter guys.
One gentleman with deep smile lines and a beard that went down clear to his waist said that this unit would have sold for $100 four years ago....and walked away shaking his head.
It makes you think.....this is their wall street. This is what feeds their families and gives them a roof over their heads. I felt bad. I was learning more then auctioning.
When the lock on the last unit was cut the crowd had diminished to about 20 people. I guess they were saving the best for last because this unit was full of tools. Now I am not knowledgeable in tools,but I can identify a drill press and I know what kind of cash this stuff can bring.
WOW!! the bidding just kept getting higher and the bidders were getting hotter then the steaming asphalt.
The wilted auctioneer was perking up...$300......$550...$600..and then it jumped $800 WOWOWOWOW....Hats were being thrown down, feet were stompin, cu$$ wordS were flying...IT WAS AWESOME!! (LENINA WAS HOPING FOR A FIGHT)
SOLD $1000.00!!! I think I cheered.
Lenina and I chatted with the mother and daughter duo and hiked it back to the car.
While enjoying ColdStone we reviewed our experience.
1.Dress the part. No wedges, nothing flashy...try to blend.
2.Get your game on! Be confident that you belong there.
3.Be sensitive to the career guys but don't be intimidated.
4.Bring your own lock.
5.Be careful! you are carrying cash, be aware who is around you.
6.Better yet..at check in see about paying by credit card, some will let you with proper ID.
7.If you have a CCW now might be a good time.
8.Be ready to get dirty. Pack gloves, mask, trash bags.
9.Bring a high power flashlight..handy to see in the back of dark lockers.
10. ALWAYS BRING A FRIEND!!!!