A generation ago, the auction industry was something shrouded in mystery. A secret world with its own rules, language and signals, and a place where the uninitiated would risk buying an antique or a used car by accident if they scratched their nose at the wrong moment, a place that I imagined to be full of stuffy old men.
Then along came eBay, and suddenly auctions became fashionable. While the world’s most famous auction site is a place where people from all over the world can trade anything and everything, the rise of the online auction has also done wonders for the traditional auction, and made auctioneers like rosss.ie more accessible to all.
Here are five reasons why we love auctions, and why you should too!
1) It’s fun
Adolph Alfred Taubman was the former owner of Sotheby’s and memorably said “God help us if we ever take the theatre out of the auction business.”
Even if you have no intention of buying anything, an auction is a fascinating place to visit – it is no coincidence that TV shows featuring people buying and selling antiques at auction and attempting to make a profit make such compelling viewing.
2) Picking up a bargain
There is a general consensus that an auction house is the best place to go to get a bargain – after all, that’s why the dealers go there, but there is more to it than simply getting the same thing you could buy elsewhere but at a lower cost.
The added benefit to an auction is that you never know quite what you are going to find. You might suddenly see something that you never even knew you wanted, and at a price that puts the risk versus return very much in your favour.
3) Recession busting lifestyle shopping
Making a home look beautiful is tougher today than it has ever been, particularly for young first time buyers in the modern era of skyrocketing property prices.
Once they have managed to get a home, the last thing they are in a position to do is spend thousands more on furniture and accessories. One solution is to get cheap flatpacked alternatives, but this will not do anything to stamp individuality on a home.
Fortunately, vintage is all the rage, and what better place to buy some genuine retro furniture than at an auction?
4) Watching the sellers’ faces
It is not all about buying. Anyone who enjoys those TV shows will know that one of the most enjoyable parts is when an article sells for three times the expected value. The shock value that sometimes pops up is something that any regular auction attendee will recognise, and we all have our own individual examples and anecdotes.
5) A great community
Of course, everyone is competing, from the formal auction houses to the individual buyers, but one of the best parts of an auction is the atmosphere and camaraderie.
It is almost like being engaged in a competitive sport. For sure, you want to come out on top, but when all is said and done, everyone enjoys the game and is happy to have a cup of coffee, or something a little stronger, and a chat after the event.