Hubby and I went to an auction today. We used to go a lot more frequently, but lately, we've only managed to go to one or two a year. It's a great way to spend the day, if you have nothing to do, and the weather is nice. (Neither was the case this weekend!)
Actually, I had never been to an auction until I met Hubby. It is yet another way that he has broadened my horizons. After we were married, most of our furnishings came from auctions.
It took me many years to have the courage to bid on something for myself. I discovered that it is very exciting to be in the middle of a bidding war. The danger is in claiming something and becoming emotionally attached to it before you've actually won it. I almost always claim MY item, and am disappointed when someone else leaves with it. The second danger is not setting a pre-determined amount in your head, a price you will not go over. Giving in to those two things may mean that you find yourself the proud owner of a treasure that cost a lot more than it is worth.
There's always a wonderful feeling of success to have the winning bid, but it's an ever better feeling to get your prize below your budgeted amount. It's a rare moment to come "under budget", but it has been known to happen
We have two pet peeves when going to an auction. The first one is when someone runs the price up to equal or above what the item would cost new. Why would you pay a "new" price for a "used" item? I don't know, but it happens alot. (Probably due to the dangers mentioned earlier!) Our second pet peeve is when someone accepts the opening bid of the auctioneer. NEVER do that!! The trick is to make him keep lowering the opening bid to a ridiculous amount, and then jump in.
I'll share a funny story. One time we took my mother-in-law with us to an auction. She found something, and was busy bidding away. Suddenly, we were aware of exactly HOW she was bidding. To my dear mother-in-law, all fingers are created equal. We were mortified to realize that she was using her middle finger to bid. Yes, she was flipping off the auctioneer with every bid, and was completely oblivious to what she was doing. Naturally, she found several things to bid on, and used the same finger every time!
Now, if it was summer, and outside, this story would have had an entirely different ending.