Get it for a Steal
Even when the economy is tip top, everyone loves a great price. These days, we like bargains even more. Here’s your guide to the best sales and everyday deals on clothing, food, gifts and more in the state.
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Be an Auction Ace
How? The experts tell.
DO Your homework. Know what you want before the bidding frenzy begins. “Knowledge is a good thing,” says Edward Stinson, owner of Mid-Atlantic Auctions and Appraisals in Greenville. “The most important thing is to buy what they love and will enjoy.” Most auction houses provide detailed listings of lots weeks before an auction, and many hold in-house previews. Get in early and ask questions, says Glen Watson of Watson’s Auction Gallery. “Most auctioneers will be happy to assist you,” he says. “And we have resource guides on hand for particular items, if someone wants to do their homework.”
DON’T Jump the gun. There are nuances to the bidding process. More experienced bidders will wait to get in on the bidding, Stinson says. Bidding too early or too high might drive the price tag up. Also, have a maximum bid in mind. “It’s so easy to get swept away in the frenzy of the auction,” he says. “Write down the items you want beforehand and how much you’re willing to pay.”
DO Understand the market. Demand for furniture and housewares is low and some great items can be had for a song. “I’m surprised at how little things are bringing right now,” Stinson says. “We have beautiful 200-year-old furniture selling for a quarter of the cost of a new piece of furniture. It’s a buyer’s market and it’s the best time of a lifetime to find furniture.”
DON’T Be intimidated. You can’t get something unless you raise your hand. “I think the biggest tip for a first-timer is not to be scared,” Watson says. “It can be intimidating for people, worrying whether vets of the auction circuit might jump in and steal their bid.” A little preparation and poise goes a long way. —Matt Amis
Page 15: Survive Black Friday