HOME & GARDEN
BY BETHANEY WALLACE
EXPLORE AUCTIONS FOR HOME DECOR TREASURES Everyone loves a deal. And most everyone loves competition. Combine the two with local auctions, and it’s an all-American free-for all where folks are trying to beat one another for a budget-friendly victory. Find, out-bid, buy, repeat. For years, it’s been a pastime that’s brought together friends, business owners, and hobbyists. Anyone can go. And if you’re looking for treasures you can incorporate into your home decor, you might just give auctions a try. Thanks to retro styles that are coming back and trends that incorporate eclectic mixes into a single setting (and oftentimes, a single room), auctions have become the perfect place to buy home decor. They feature items from all eras and styles. These previouslyowned goods are generally cheaper than what you might find at a home furnishings store. Auctioneer Andrew Turner says he enjoys seeing all the unique items up for sale. He auctions off goods at his shop — Andrew Turner Auctions — on Guinotte Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri, every week. There, shoppers can purchase anything from furniture and antiques to collectibles and jewelry. “Auctions
are fun,” he says. “People come down and get caught up in it.” Turner’s auctions bring about 100 to 150 people each week, who are after any number of items. “It seems like there’s no end of stuff in Kansas City,” he jokes, crediting the amount of “stuff ” to Midwestern basements. “You just never know what somebody’s going to want. It’s always interesting.” Auction regular Michele Johnson says it’s as much about the finds as it is the experience itself. “I kind of fell in love with the process,” says Johnson, who has been attending auctions and estate sales for 20 years. “And part of it is finding that treasure you want.” Some of her favorite “wins” include an antique picture frame with velvet or a ceramic yard piece that reminds her of her family. The secret to finding great deals, she says, is to wait toward the end of the event. “When there’s less of a crowd, you can get stuff that they’re practically giving away,” Johnson shares.
Tips for Auction Newbies It may sound like an intimidating process,
but auctions are pretty simple, Turner says. Folks bid on an item by responding to the auctioneer’s calls, which are simply numbers spoken very quickly. Auctioneers will help buyers, many of whom come to appreciate each sale, he adds. If you’re a first-timer, consider attending a preview, if possible. Some sales have a printed list of what’s being sold, but looking at items in person will give you a better understanding of what’s offered. Auction fare is sold as-is. Turner says you should research prices, points of history, etc., so you know exactly what you’re buying. Next, when you show up for the sale, bring a form of payment and an appropriate vehicle — especially if you are shopping for large items. Then, sign up at the cashier’s table and take your bidding number. Having this number ready helps sales go more quickly for both the auctioneer and bidders. Finally, Turner says to just go and have fun. “There’s kind of an electricity in the air,” he explains. “You’ll catch on quick. Test the waters a little bit, and you’ll be caught up in no time.”