Farm Auction

At a farm auction you'll have the fun of a casino and find more opportunities than "Let's Make a Deal."

| November/December 1981

"SOLD" bellowed the auctioneer, "to the man in the blue jacket for $4.00. And that, sir, is one fine bargain."

I was the guy in the blue jacket, and I'm glad to say that the item I purchased was a pretty fair buy. For my $4.00 I got a used—but perfectly serviceable—pitchfork, a quality tool that would have cost me $15 to $18 in a store.

And there's no reason why anyone else couldn't duplicate (or better) my luck. The next time you decide to buy almost any kind of homestead equipment—whether it be a set of dishes, a cook stove, a rocking chair, or a pickup truck—try visiting a local farm auction. You might well latch on to a really first-rate bargain.

Over the past year, by simply raising a hand or cocking an eyebrow so the auctioneer could see it, members of my family have purchased two large rugs, three pitchforks, an axe, an oak pie safe, two chests of drawers, a chair, an oak table, six boxes of canning jars, a lamp, and a scythe ... and not one of our finds cost us more than $5.00!

Furthermore, while it's true that all merchandise was secondhand (some of it even required quite a bit of fixing up), everything we've purchased has been potentially usable. And when you consider that we paid much less than half the retail price for each item, you'll understand why I feel that a farm auction can be a shopper's paradise. In addition, spending a day matching wits with other bidders (and with the auctioneer) is far more entertaining than huddling in front of the TV ... and the chili dogs and made-from-scratch pecan pies served up by the church ladies who run the refreshment stand are (nearly) as good as my wife's home cooking.

If f you don't know what you're doing, however, you can drive away from your first farm auction with a truckload of trash, and you might even pay more for an old article than you would to purchase the same item new in a store. Also, there's a real danger of catching "auction fever"—an uncontrollable urge to pay too much for something you don't really want or need—as a result of getting caught up in the excitement of the moment.

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