Fun On A Dime: Hints and Tips for Buying at an Auction + MY FIRST LINKY!!


My heart was pounding.  I thought I was going to get sick.  I was so nervous — my palms were sweating.

I was bidding at my first live auction.

Now, I’m not sure if an auction can actually qualify as “fun on a dime”.  Especially since it was more anxiety-provoking than fun for me (although when I won, it seemed pretty fun)!  But if you follow a few simple guidelines, you can keep it frugal and fun!

1)  Know what you want to buy.

Unless you’re quite adept at buying and reselling items, most novice auction attenders should know why they are attending the auction and what they want to buy.  You may even consider just going and watching the first few times you attend an auction to get an idea how it works (and what’s going on)!

I have attended various auctions through the years, but I had never purchased anything.  This auction was different, because it was in a very small town where the school had closed down.  I knew they would probably have some preschool/lower elementary tables, and I had been looking for some for a while.

2)  Research the items you’re interested in buying.

If you’ve read through the sale bill and found an item you are interested in, make sure to spend time searching out the best price for that item.  You’ll also want to go to the auction preview (if there is one) to find out the condition of your desired item. 

For example, to buy a new preschool table and have it shipped to my house, the cheapest option I found was right around $100 and new chairs were about $20 each.  It was my goal was to pay under $30 for the table and less than $7 per chair.

3)  Set a budget.

Decide how much you’re going to spend…and stick to it.  I would suggest an overall budget for the whole auction and a budget for each item you’re interested in purchasing.  I would also suggest using cash. 

I found it quite interesting to watch the proceedings and see how crazy the bidding wars became!  There were items going for well over the price you could buy them new. 

You see, the process is designed to get your blood flowing and heart pumping — it becomes like a competition and you want to win! 

But you’re not the real winner if you spend more than you wanted to and bring home a closet full of junk (I guess you’d have to start your own 30 Day Clear-the-Clutter Challenge)!

Overall, it was a good learning experience for me.  I was able to get the table and eight chairs for $68, and I haven’t regretted the purchase at all!  We’ve used it every day!

Do you like auctions?!!  What are your tips and hints?

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I’m so excited about my first linky!!  I’m going to be posting a link-up on every “Fun on a Dime” post.  If you’re a blogger, this is your opportunity to link up one of your frugal and/or educational ideas for families or kids! 

What’s really going to be great about this (at least I think it’s exciting) is that I’m posting the same linky on this blog and The Amazing Mess!  So, you’ll get double the exposure — because we’ll be able to see your idea here AND more readers will be able to see your idea on The Amazing Mess.

Now…just in case you’re not sure how to do this, it’s pretty easy!  Pick out the post you’d like to link and copy the address.  Follow the linky, add your post address, and title.  Then, you’ll need to follow the instructions and pick out a picture from your website (send me an email if you can’t figure it out)!

Please make sure your link goes directly to your post (not your homepage), or it will be deleted.  Also, this is for activities and ideas for family and kids — not giveaways!  Anything deemed inappropriate will be deleted.

If you link up, try to visit a few of the other posts and leave a comment!  It’s always encouraging to get comments!

(If you are viewing this via email, please go here to link up your post!)

Let’s get to it….ready, set, link-up!!  :)


About Stacie Nelson

is the creator of MotherhoodOnADime.com. She is passionate about encouraging moms and giving them creative, yet simple, activities to do with their children. A bargain-hunter by nature, she enjoys sharing deals and freebies.

She also loves extra dark chocolate, jogging, writing, cooking dairy and gluten-free, and attempting to declutter her book-filled rooms. Faith and family are her top priorities, and she seeks to encourage others to live life on purpose.

Comments

  1. Melanie Haspels says:

    Yes! I enjoy going to auctions!! My tip is to not jump into the bidding right away. If the auctioneer doesn’t get his starting price, he’ll lower it until someone will jump in. Sometimes you can get things for less than the original starting bid.

    • Stacie says:

      That is a good tip! I noticed that at this auction I went to — sometimes he would start high and no one would bid. So he would go pretty low! I actually got a computer for $25 by utilizing that tip!!

  2. Melanie Haspels says:

    Yes! I enjoy going to auctions!! My tip is to not jump into the bidding right away. If the auctioneer doesn’t get his starting price, he’ll lower it until someone will jump in. Sometimes you can get things for less than the original starting bid.

    • Stacie says:

      That is a good tip! I noticed that at this auction I went to — sometimes he would start high and no one would bid. So he would go pretty low! I actually got a computer for $25 by utilizing that tip!!

  3. Courtney Stasko says:

    Love auctions! But for me it is mostly the thrill of the hunt. I love to get home from a storage unity auction where you win a whole box of items {because you wanted the item on top} and then you get to dig in and see what else you got.

    My tips: http://www.auctionzip.com, dont bid until the last minute: you dont want to drive the price up but jump in when hands stop going up and you still want it.

    Best Find: My parents go MUD: they hit the mud auctions in the spring in Lancaster and bought my kids an Amish made wooden playset for $300!

    • Stacie says:

      Wow!! That’s an amazing deal for a wooden playset — especially a well-made one!

      So, it is fun for you?!! It makes me feel nervous!! :)

  4. Courtney Stasko says:

    Love auctions! But for me it is mostly the thrill of the hunt. I love to get home from a storage unity auction where you win a whole box of items {because you wanted the item on top} and then you get to dig in and see what else you got.

    My tips: http://www.auctionzip.com, dont bid until the last minute: you dont want to drive the price up but jump in when hands stop going up and you still want it.

    Best Find: My parents go MUD: they hit the mud auctions in the spring in Lancaster and bought my kids an Amish made wooden playset for $300!

    • Stacie says:

      Wow!! That’s an amazing deal for a wooden playset — especially a well-made one!

      So, it is fun for you?!! It makes me feel nervous!! :)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] on a Dime: May 19, 2011 By Stacie, on May 19th, 2011 Welcome to our 2nd edition of the new Fun on a Dime link-up (I really need to get a button made)!!  There were so many wonderful ideas, I decided to [...]

  2. [...] on a Dime: May 19, 2011 By Stacie, on May 19th, 2011 Welcome to our 2nd edition of the new Fun on a Dime link-up (I really need to get a button made)!!  There were so many wonderful ideas, I decided to [...]

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