This post was written by Steve Henry
One never knows what will be found on any given Saturday morning yard sale or a late Friday night at your local auction house.
I started going to these things a few years ago, just for something to do. How exciting it was! I was hooked the first day. I have found many bargains and treasures that I have re-sold on ebay. I once bought an old skateboard…the kind I had back in the 1970s. It was made of plastic, was skinny and was short in length. The lady was asking $2, but I gave her only $1. The only reason I bought the skateboard was because it reminded me of good times when I was a child. That night, I looked up the skateboard on ebay, and to my surprise, it was being sold for $50. I decided to sell mine and I got $54 from a college student in Colorado.
I do not attend auctions for the single pieces, but for what is called “box lots.” These boxes are stuffed with “junk” and usually you cannot see everything in the box. I usually pay between $1 and $10 for a box. I have found many treasures in these boxes including; old coins, antique pottery, video games, tools, antique tools, etc. Some of these things I keep and some I sell. I always wonder if one of my treasures will end up on the television show “Antiques Roadshow.”
Let’s talk about my favorite type of auction. This auction occurs at what is known as mini-storage units. Every month, these businesses advertise auctions on the contents of units that rent has not been paid on. Sometimes the auctioneer will sell the whole storage unit for one price. Sometimes they will do what is called a “piece it out.” A piece it out just means that the auctioneer pulls out things from the storage unit one piece at a time and sells it individually. I love buying boxes this way. The good auctioneers will not open the boxes, but sell them contents unseen. I have found many treasures in these boxes, such as old militaria, and have been able to do some good along the way. For example, one box I bought was full of pictures, some personal memorabilia and a program from a funeral. I looked up the information from the name of the deceased and was able to return the box to the daughter of the gentleman who had passed away 18 months earlier. She was very elated and thought she had lost these things forever.
Below is something I discovered in one of my boxes. It is a whole notebook of drawings and prints from the 1970s…most of which are of characters from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, The Lord Of The Rings, The Fellowship Of The Ring and The Return Of The King. I would like to know more about the drawings and prints. There are many other drawings, sketches and prints in the notebook, but do not have any idea of who made them or where they came from.
Finds like this keep me going to auctions and yard sales all the time. I just never know what I might find.