Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Buying Frenzy at a Textile Auction

Ever go to an auction? I am not talking eBay, I mean real life, with a real auctioneer. You get to actually preview the items you are bidding on in real life...Touch them...Look at the details.
This past weekend I attended a textile auction in Upstate NY that offered over 500 lots, 90% of them were quilts. Many were hanging in all their glory, most were delicately folded on tables and we were constantly reminded to "Please put the quilts back on the table you found them".
Some important things to keep in mind at an auction such as this is:

#1 - Be organized! Buy the catalog and take lots of notes...With so many items, you are not going to remember all the details.
#2 - Use a pencil! You don't want to be walking around 200 year old textiles with ink. Using white gloves is recommended but not required always, you don't want that 5 karat diamond (or that ragged finger nail) snagging a lace insert.
#3 - Do everything you need before the auction starts. I hate missing a beat, so I have registered, used the ladies' room, and have my Diet Pepsi and snack handy all before the auctioneer is up on his podium.
#4 - Preview everything well...Know what you intend to buy, know your maximum price, and stick to it. Stay disciplined so you don't get caught up in the heat of a bidding frenzy and overpay what you had wanted.
#5 - Have your Bidder's Number ready...and use it! Don't try to be cool with that one finger by your nose to bid...it only works if the auctioneer knows you and what you bid on and there isn't a lady with a big hat in front of you. Use your paddle or bidding number to bid. The auctioneer will be sure to see you and you won't miss bidding.
#6 - Don't be afraid to yell out to get the auctioneer's attention...he's human...he might not see you right away. If you don't know his name, a good old fashioned Brooklyn "Yo!" does fine.
#7 - Know the terms of the auction: Buyer's Premium? Payment methods? Delivery Options? You don't want any surprises at the end of the day.
#8 - Have lots of fun!
There is almost nothing more exciting that being surrounded by all those glorious quilts this weekend...and being able to touch them, handle them...and even bring a few home. I'll share some pics as soon as I take them.
Happy Bidding!
Material Pleasures

No comments: