I knew this person that liked alcohol, the drinkable variety. Go into any middle-midwestern pharmacy and check out all the different brands and ‘flavors’ of alcohol. (Here’s a question, if pharmacies don’t sell cigarettes any longer, why do they sell alcohol?) This person I knew liked it so much (alcohol) that they had a drink in their hand, at any non-working moment. There was even a bottle in the bottom desk drawer at work! Alcohol became an obsession, controlling every free moment. The only way my friend could stay dry was to “stay away” from it.
I did this survey a few years back. It wasn’t scientific. Do you remember the Saturn car? GM had invested in this venture to make the car everyone wanted, at a price anyone could afford, no price haggling. Easy, you saw, you wanted, you paid the listed price. I posed this question to everyone I met, that owned a Saturn; “Do you like to go auctions”. I never found ANY Saturn owner that like auctions! I thought that was SO revealing. People who don’t like to “price compete”, don’t want to haggle on car prices–just tell’m what the price is, they’ll buy it!
I’ve been going to auctions since I my teenage years. I love the “heat” of the bidding…watching who’s focused on what, how the old timers position themselves. Farm auctions are my favorite, I even plan what hat to wear, a bright-colored is best, the “grab the spotters’ eye so he see’s your bid type of hat! I found it best to begin bidding on things you don’t want so the spotter gets used to “looking for you”
1. Dad had this old Farmall F-20 tractor, with (side) PTO (power-take-off) wheel and we needed (wanted) a (PTO) belt to run a ground-mounted buzz saw for cutting wood. We went to this auction that had a couple of belts laying on the hay wagon. The sale came to the belts and dad was no-where to be seen, I bid, more bids came, one guy wouldn’t give up, I wouldn’t give up. The spotters were watching us, the auctioneer finally saw us, he stop the auction. Ray Booth, auctioneer was a neighbor, and realized that dad and I were bidding against each other!
2. I needed some nondescript windows to create a couple of storm windows in my basement, I was a sole-bidder and got this window really, really cheap, come to find out, I had purchased 15 windows of assorted sizes, for the one low price of $5!
3. This one farm auction was poorly attended, the stuff was “well used”. I was feeling sorry for the auctioneer was well as the seller. I jumped in on some items for a couple of bids then jumped out. It looked like a couple of us were doing the same thing. The ‘holder’ got this big coffee can of “looky-here” stuff, I jumped in, this other guy jumped in, I bid a couple of times, and he jumped out, one bid before mine……..there I was, for $1.50, the winner of “looky here”, a coffee can full of bent rusty nails!!! We all enjoyed a good laugh.
4. The family attended this auction near the vacation-lake place. My youngest was about 5, he wanted to see what was going on and how. I held him up, pointed out the auctioneer, and the holder/spotter–SOLD!! I became the proud owner of a rusted, broken camping stove.
5. There was a time in our lives that my wife and I would go to antiques stores or auctions looking for some “stuff” that our newly married kids wanted. So it was, we attended an auction near my mother’s house, on a Sunday. We found this particular bowl, but there were twice as many people there as I would like to have seen. I got a good spot on the back staircase, did my usual bid on a couple of things to get the spotters eye, jumped in then out. Then came the bowl, three of us were bidding–finally I was the last bidder at a fair price, –going once, going twice–a new bidder jumped in–DANG!! They bid, I bid, my wife is trying to “catch my eye” to stop my bidding. Mom’s standing beside her, “what’s wrong, mom says”–my wife said, “he’s out of control, he won’t stop now!” I got the bowl! It cost me about $25 above where I had first stopped! I took the bowl and gave to my wife, who said “there’s nothing else here, we going to go”. I said…..”I’m not done yet, you go on.” I went back to “my perch” and waited for the that man to bid, I jumped in for 3 bids and jumped out. I did that a couple of times on his purchases, he caught on, I saw that his wife was now doing the bidding, I jumped in again…then jumped out. I saw they were leaving, as did I.. I felt better, the three things they bought cost them about an extra $20. And…..then…..I felt guilty; first, I went to an auction on Sunday, I don’t like Sunday auctions, second I felt guilty because I lost my temper….thirdly, I felt guilty because I deemed that I needed to “get even”. (but I did feel better..;)
I no loner go to auctions. I look at the Sale Bills in the paper, but I’m like that Alcoholic!! I can’t just sniff the merchandise. If I walk into an auction, I RARELY walk out, with buying, let alone bidding on something, ANYTHING. It’s an obession.
Oh, yeah, I’d never buy a Saturn (or it’s replacement) I need to haggle, even if I know I’m not going to leverage much…….it’s just the thrill!!!!!!!