Navigate an Antique Auction

How To: Navigate an Antique Auction

It’s always such a gift when Momma comes in town. One of our favorite things to do is drive around and look for old furniture or “curbside treasures” as we call them. I guess you could say we bond over restoration of old furniture! If ever there was a woman who believes in people or old gems, it’s my momma. We shop. We learn. We sand. We paint. We repeat!

Naturally, when I learned about a local antique auction I had to invite my momma. We had a blast! By the end of the weekend we had learned a thing or two about how to navigate these auctions and walk out feeling like a winner!

Excuse the sweat. It was a long exhausting day but we are giddy over our projects to come: )

TIP #1: In preparation, look around your home to see if there is any space in particular you are hoping to fill. Write it down in a notebook along with the necessary measurements. This will help you know for sure if a piece will fit your function come auction day.

TIP #2: Pack a tape measure, plenty of water and some snacks…it’s gonna be a LONG day!

TIP #3: Get there early to scout out the items you like and take any necessary measurements. Make sure to write those items in your notebook so when the auctioneer starts to rattle off items you know what to look for.

TIP #4: Before the bidding starts write down how much you would like to pay for each item and how much you would be willing to pay (this should save you from a regretful, competitive moment later on).

TIP #5: Act casual and try to contain your excitement until the item is yours (as hard as it may be). You don’t want to draw any extra attention to the items you are eyeing.

TIP #6: Plan on being there all day.

TIP #7: Don’t take the first, second or even third bid offered. You want the auctioneer to work the price all the way down before you jump in.

TIP #8: If someone bids on your item, take a breath (it’s not personal), and discreetly raise your bid.

TIP #9: Keep in mind the price point you set and if the bidding gets higher than what you thought the piece was worth, let it go. This can be one of the hardest things to do, but you will thank yourself later.

TIP #10: If an item you want is not being brought out, you have two choices. Either wait until competitive bidders leave (this is the safest option but be warned you could be there a while), or kindly pull one of the staff members to the side and request they bring out your item. This will ensure you get the opportunity to bid on it, but it might draw another bidder’s attention to something they might not have otherwise noticed.

I will say, due to a time constraint and growing impatience I requested one of my favorite items be brought out. Guaranteed no one had given it a second glance when buried underneath other furniture, but when brought to the auction floor it caught the eye of one too many bidders. Rest in peace beautiful treasure, wish you were comin’ home with me.

I did, however, drive away with a truckload of unpolished potential!

antique auction finds
Day two of the auction. Get ready, this mantel restoration is up next!

If you are interested in taking a closer look at what was purchased, the restoration process, and how it will fit into our home, make sure to follow this blog : )

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