The digital world makes it incredibly easy to buy furniture. . . .ANY kind of furniture from the comfort of our own homes, through the internet. With tools like eBay, Craigslist, Facebook market place, and a host of online retailers, any type of furniture, in any condition, is discoverable and easily purchased.
Most of us have experienced an online auction, such as eBay or publicsurplus.com. But how many of us have ever been to a live auction? If you haven't been to a live auction, then I highly recommend you find one to attend. You can usually find announcements of upcoming auctions on Craigslist and Facebook. A simple Google search on "live auctions in my area" will also point you in the right direction.
Live auctions are much more than getting a good deal on a piece of furniture (or just about anything, for that matter). They are an experience. There's a certain ambiance of excitement when you hear the chant of the auctioneer coupled with the buzz of a crowd. Besides, physically walking around and looking at the items is more interesting (at least to me) than viewing items online in an eBay store. It's easier to inspect items for damages, etc.
When you attend an auction, the first thing you'll do is register at the clerk's table. This is where you give credit card information so they can charge you when your bid wins an item. In exchange for your credit card info, the clerk will supply you with a bidder's card. The bidder's card has a unique number that the auctioneer will reference if/when you win the item. For example, the auctioneer might say, "Sold for $100 to bidder number 32, $100 to bidder number 32!"
Just like an online auction, be prepared to pay a buyer's premium. This is an additional amount, ranging from 3 to 7% of the purchase price. So, if the buyer's premium is 3%, you'll pay the clerk $103 for a $100 dollar item. Additionally, some auctions will tack on a seller's premium, too. It's standard practice, but important to remember as you budget your spending limit for the auction.
You never know what you'll find at an auction! You know the adage: One person's junk is another person's treasure. One of my favorite examples of this is a Seymour card table that was picked up for $25 and later sold for over $500,000!
So, while our world as turned itself into an increasingly indoors, e-commerce society where folks purchase their cars online through vroom, wellness products, like Melaleuca products, through Melaleuca.com, and used furniture through eBay--sometimes it's worth it to get out of the house and attend a local auction. You never know what kind of treasure is waiting. And even if you don't bring anything home, at least you'll have had a fun experience.
Going! Going! Gone!