Friday, October 21, 2011

Zero For Three. I Am SO Done With Auctions. Status: Why Even Bother / Fail?


I spotted this fantastic Jere "Birds In Flight" sculptural piece in the pics for a local estate auction. Nearly nothing else at the auction seemed like it related to this piece or it's style and the auction was on a Thursday morning so I was hoping there wouldn't be many other bidders for it. Pphhhh...whatever.

DSCN4668 I didn't have to get up (or like not go to bed at all) at some stupid hour and stake out

a sale to get a shot at this but I still had to get up at 8am. Wait wait...look at what time I normally

post. I don't jump right into bed and fall directly to sleep afterward either. So 8am is kinda early

for me. Hell, 11am is kinda early for the Mr. But anyway, I didn't have to get up Real early but

I did still have to wait around all day. It took FFfffffoooorrrrreeeevvvveeerrrr to get around

to the birds! Obviously I don't mind spending some time on acquiring an item but usually the

time spent means that I have the privileged of the first shot at buying said item...and at a

reasonable price!


You've probably sussed out that I Did Not have the highest bid on the Birds. I was at that stupid

auction from 9:15am to 1:10pm waiting to see if I was going to be able to pick that sweet sculpture

up. I wasn't even trying to get it for a song. I figured it would get some action, sure...but Mr.

Modtomic bowed out when the bidding hit $350. My highest bid and my limit was $300. This

is a lot of money to me. Yes, I know these go for about $500 on eBay. I do not go to estate sales

/ auctions / flea mkts or anywhere I shop to pay RETAIL. Apparently I am in the minority. Like

I said I bowed out at $350 and the bidding continued as I walked out of the room (the

BATHROOM...who puts a C.Jere "Birds In Flight" above their tub?).


There were some other mildly interesting items at the sale. Nothing I was even lightly moved

to bid on though. If this Bang and Olufsen wasn't half taken apart and obviously ganked up /

forlorn I would have totally been all over it. But look how much dust is on it. See that black

plate on top of it...that's the bottom cover! Sigh...too bad.

DSCN4660DSCN4661 chair. Whateve. Orange're worn and look like you belong in a dorm room.

And this was the stuff I thought I should take a picture of!


Neat scale. Not too shabby. It was kind hard to get too excited about much of anything

knowing I had to wait and wait and wait and wait and wait for an opportunity to buy an item.

I think the head thing went for $25. It was hollow or at least sounded hallow when the

auctioneer picked it up.


There were a cool pair of swivel club chairs but they were in sad condition. The front of the

arm rests were worn through and thread barren. Not anything I wanted to deal with. Too

bad. They were solid a swiveled like very expensive chairs. Did I mention this was the third

Strike Out / Fail at the auction thing? The first was way out in Troy Mo. and was another

all day affair. There was nothing at that auction that I was interested in except a large set

of Franciscan Starburst dinnerware. What was so great about that set was a large serving /

salad bowl and a covered butter dish as I recall. What I do remember is hitting my limit

pretty quick and then upping it a bit before bowing out. That was a 9 hour day for nothing

but a bitter story. The second was a New Years Morning auction of a house full of vintage

modern excellence in south county. I looked at all the pics provided and figured out what

I wanted to bid on. I did a little "sold for" research on eBay and got my limits on the items

I wanted. When all the items were hitting the "sold for" numbers I had been seeing on

eBay I realized there would be no success at that sale either and just left after a couple

hours. Well, as I've said all along...auctions are for least those in my area and

for the items I'm interested in. Why would anybody pay retail at an estate auction? I'd

rather take my chances with eBay. What are your experiences with auctions? Any luck

in your neck of the woods?


  1. This is my favorite C. Jeré sculpture, so I was feeling pretty disappointed yesterday when I couldn't make it out. Looks like that was for the best.

    The estate sales, with the exception of the one last week with the Perspecta and the lounge, have been pretty dry for the last couple weeks.

  2. I am so with you on auctions. Every once in awhile I forget that I don't like them and go to one. Hours upon hours later, I remember why I don't go to them - it takes too long to get to what you want and then, the bidders go crazy and pay too much. Occasionally, if you wait until the end of the day, you can get something at a reasonable price because everyone has gone home!Sorry you didn't score the C. Jere.

  3. Auctions can be hit or miss, but the one good thing is that it levels the playing field in that you have an equal opportunity to purchase an item you are interested in. Meanwhile, I'll stick to scoring $10 Jere at the thrift!

  4. Cincinnati seems to have switched almost entirely to online estate sales which seem way better than actual estate sales. If what you want isn't too popular or you find an estate sale company no one really knows about you can still get a few deals.

  5. I saw this sculpture too! I didn't go to the sale b/c I live 1.5 hrs from STL (Effingham, IL). There is a good auction tomorrow...I'm sure you know which one I'm talking about.

  6. Call me crazy, but I love auctions. I do a lot of our auction bidding, so my SIL can spend time with my daughter and the boys. If you find one that's not well publicized, you can really score some amazing deals. I don't participate in them unless they publish a catalog online prior to the auction so I can see how many lots they have and how far down the list my items are. When I first started doing auctions, I showed up when they started and spent some long days on hard chairs, but now I can kinda guesstimate when to join them in progress.

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  8. That's too bad - love those bird sculptures. I absolutely love auctions. Typically you can get some amazing deals around here. I never get a chance to go anymore but at one time I went to one almost every weekend.

  9. I realized I was never going to get this sculpture if I didn't go the eBay route. My auction ended at around $480 but SO worth it!! I love and enjoy it daily. The seller shipped it Greyhound and it arrived without damage. That is another drawback of the eBay route--the shipping. Anyway, mine appears to be from the late 60's and has 2 signatures! I have seen the reproductions from Artisan House and they are not even close in my opinion, and they are the same price.
    Cheers ~ Audra in Springfield