Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Insta-Awesome At Auction

It's been many years since I've been to a good country auction!  Recently I stumbled across a local ad for an auction company just up the road in Bacliff, Texas.  Hubby was out of town, Baby Girl was off with her friends, and the dogs were fast asleep.  It was a Saturday night and I had money to burn!  Perusing the online flyer, I saw many a fine item I knew had a place in my home- so off I went.  Prepared to splurge, I soon found myself in bargain heaven and scoring insta-collections at scrumptiously low prices!
 Upon entering the gallery, I assessed the crowd, sizing up my competition.  I can spot dealers and resale stockers and rule them out as competition because they predominantly swoop in on glassware and furniture.  I am on the lookout for other artsy-fartsy types such as myself with the telltale swag bag full of projects to keep idle hands busy.  Spying out other people who want rusty cast offs and layers of useless knickknacks, I see no others.  I am alone on the pond of possibility.  All the fish are mine for the taking!
I was prepared to pay $50 for the camera box lot- a heaping mound of Kodak gems including manuals, lenses, and vintage video cameras.  I scored at $15!  The bottles were a steal at $3 for all! The only real battle I had was over the skeleton keys.  Resalers know they are a quick flip- I just had to go high enough to force other bidders out of their profit margin.  Still a bargain at $10.
This sweet Argoflex camera is by far my fave purchase!  Not only was it the target of my attendance- but it became the battle of wills, the defining moment between me and the auctioneer. The worst possible scenario for an auctioneer is to have awesome merchandise but only one bidder interested.  By time this camera came up for bid it was well known I was the lone vintage hunter in his audience.   He knew it would be undersold but had to control just how low it would go.  I knew I could score- but I had to get as low as possible before he pulled the item. We sized each other up as the Argus made its way to the block.  He started high- calling out for $30, scanning the audience, staring into my eyes with a burning intent of, "You will not walk away with this one too!"  It was a serious threat masked in that toothy grin of his.  I stared back with a challenge of, "You can go lower...."  Finally dwindling down in numbers, scraping the bottom at $10, I knew I had to pounce as  the auctioneer was verging on the pull. 
 This was the last camera offered for the night.  The remaining cameras, antique typewriters, and bubble glass frames would have to wait until next Saturday's auction. A good auctioneer knows to give away just a sweet taste to leave bidders hungering for more.  I was a little disappointed but knowing that the life of the auction is bidding drama, I will be thankful for this week's bargains and return next week to bid again.

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