In early spring of 2007 I decided to quit my job, sell my house along with nearly everything else that I owned, and to live out of my car while traveling the country. These are my stories (and pictures) of life on the road.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Going once, Going twice,.....

This past weekend I was looking for something to do so I got up bright on early on Saturday morning and drove up to Fairmont (about 40 minutes away) for an auction. I don't go to a whole lot of auctions anymore but they can be a fun diversion for a while and I thought that maybe I could get a good deal on something that I could resell on EBAY to make a little money.

I remember when I first started going to auctions about ten years ago that I never left without buying something; which wasn't always the best thing to do since I didn't really need or even want most of it and it really starts to accumulate. But what are you supposed to do when there are 3 big flats all selling for $1!? Surely there must be something in there that I can make use of. Wow, look at that! A great big framed picture of flowers (with a mirror frame no less!) is selling for $2! Surely it must be worth that!

And so it went back then, my house began to fill up with junk that I didn't, nor anyone else for that matter, have any desire to own. Eventually I started to get control of the situation and quit buying stuff unless I actually wanted/needed. This took a lot of the fun out of auctions because it was then that I started to realize there wasn't anything at them that I actually wanted/needed. I'd still go check one out now and then but generally didn't stay for more then a few minutes. When I left town and sold my house this spring I was simply amazed at how much stuff I had; most of it had come from auctions at one time or another. I'm really glad I was able to quit when I did.

Now that I'd been out of town all summer/fall though I'd missed almost the entire auction season so I felt it was only right that I attend a couple. Besides, like I said earlier, there was potential profit by finding a good deal on something just to resell it. The auction was at the armory building and even though it started at 8:30am the place was pretty full when I showed up at 8:00 to check things out. I made a walk around the items and made a little list of stuff I might be interested in. Then I got back in my car, drove to a free wi-fi connection, and did some quick research before heading back to the auction.

I knew my stuff wouldn't be selling for a while so I took my time. When I walked back in the door the 1st item was interested in was being auctioned off; a used KitchenAid Professional 6 quart mixer. These are the best of the best and sell for pretty good money used (not to mention new). I figured that if I could pick it up for $150 or so that could make about $50 selling it on EBAY. The bidding was up to about $115 when I walked in the door and it soon shot over my limit of $150, then it went over $200, $250, $300, and before I knew it it had sold for about $350. Holy crap, you can get a brand new one for that much and this one looked like it was missing an accessory or two!

Over the next few hours I watched as the items I'd marked as interesting one by one sold for more money then they were worth (to me or anyone on EBAY anyway). Sometimes auctions just go that way and I find it fascinating how much people will pay for some things while at other auctions fantastic deals abound. Maybe I could do a research project to determine the factors that make for these two types of auctions. If I could figure that out I could get great deals at one and then resell them for a huge profit at the other kind.

While I was waiting and killing time I got a little hungry so I picked up a Sloppy Joe and Special K bar at the lunch stand that was working the auction. As is nearly always the case it was run by nice old ladies who I joked and made quick friends with. It was their excellent recommendation that made me decide on the Special K bar over a chocolate chip bar. I think it was a good recommendation as the Special K bar was fantastic.

Around noon my final items that I was interested came up for sale. I'd been frustrated all morning watching stuff go too high and I guess I got a little carried away. I convinced myself the items were in nicer condition then they actually were and that the Ebay gods would smile on me, allowing me to get top dollar out of them. I paid my absolute top dollar for all three items that I bought and if I'm lucky I'll break even, though it's more likely I'll lose a few bucks on the whole deal. Oh well, at least I've got it out of my system now.

As I was walking out the door I stopped at the lunch booth for one more sloppy joe. When it was served I found it had about twice as much meat as the first one; at least the auction wasn't a total bust.

My other big event of the weekend was that while I was out for a walk I ran across another herd of cattle; though these seemed to have the opposite reaction upon seeing me as the crew I met the other day. I was walking down the road when I caught some motion out of the corner of my eye. When I looked I was surprised to see a small herd of cattle running out of the trees toward me. They stopped about 75 feet from the fence and stared at me with intense interest. I snapped a few shots and then started walking down to the fence to get a little closer to them. As soon as I started walking towards the fence the whole herd started to run towards me again until we met at the fence. They were very inquisitive and I had to be careful not to get nose prints on my camera lens when I stuck it through the fence. When it was time to go they trotted along the fence line next to me a ways before heading back into the middle of the field.

It was kinda sad to think about the fate of these curious and friendly guys and gals. I'm glad I ate my sloppy joes the day before and not the day after.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Above should be an embedded Flickr slide show I want to try out, it should work fine without any actions by you. Let me know if anyone has problems viewing it though. You should have options of stopping, speeding up, viewing file information, etc. if you move the mouse over the slide show or click the image. The actual Flickr set with the cows is here.


Edith said...

Al we have a kitchen aid mixer on our auction Sunday. Maybe you could get a deal on it. We have a tool auction Saturday and on the 17th we are selling the house. Are you interested in a house?

debbieuu said...

The slide show works perfectly on my Mac.

You've reached the end of the page but that's not the end of the stories. If you want to read more (and who wouldn't!?) then click on the archive links to the right hand side of the page. They're listed by month; the adventure starts in May.

The February archives aren't actually from this trip but are previous adventures I've had, which are worth reading as well.