Writer Joel Bourne visits the Volunteer Fire Department Auction in Trenton, North Carolina, to get the insider scoop on getting a great deal at a country auction.
The chances of getting taken at an auction are about 50-50. But there are secrets that will improve those odds.
PHOTO: JOEL BOURNE
Unlike absolute auctions where everything goes at the top bid, the owners at the Trenton sale have the right to reject any and all offers.
About 4,000 people came to the sale—one person reckoned about half came just for the barbecue.
The auctioneer and the trader agree on one thing: Let somebody else make the opening bid.
The 907 items at the Trenton auction ranged from a child's rocking horse to a 150-horsepower, four-wheel-drive John Deere tractor.
When it comes down to the bidding, everybody has their own technique and style.
It is interesting to note the difference between the advice of an auctioneer and that of a trader: whether to stand where you can be seen clearly; whether to put up your hands clearly or make a more subtle gesture.