Isn’t it great when you accidentally stumble on something great? I mean by total accident? Something you weren’t even looking for. That’s what happened to me a few weeks ago. I was out running around with Mr. Louise Marie and couldn’t find this showroom we were looking for. I pulled out Google to try to locate it. One of the things that popped up on my search was Home Builders Auctions. This is not what I was looking for, but upon scanning my search page I could see it was a model home auction. I was intrigued, of course. #Iloveagooddeal
So, I gave up on the thing I was actually looking for, and I clicked the link. It took me to a page where I could sign up to receive emails for auctions in my area. So, I did. #duh #nobrainer Later that week I received my first email. There was a model home auction scheduled not far from me. I decided we needed to check it out. Haven’t you wondered what they do with all the furnishings from a model home once the home sells? I have. Now I was going to find out.
Off we went to the auction, not at all sure what to expect. We had no idea if we could get a deal, if the items would be anything we wanted, or even how it worked. It was an educational experience for sure. When we arrived, we got a bidder card. We learned there is a 15% buyer’s premium (that’s added to your bid when you pay) and tax. Next, we got our multi-page listing of every item for sale and toured the house.
As we walked the house, I saw that the people who clearly knew what they were doing making notes in their auction catalog. So, I whipped out my pen and just started circling the items we might be interested. Over 300 items were listed, and that gave us plenty of things to circle.
I had no idea when I went that this would be a post, so it didn’t occur to me until late in the day that I should snap a couple of pictures. Clearly I took these with my phone and I was at an unfortunate bidding location to get pics. So, I apologize for the quality here, but maybe you can get an idea. In any case, you can imagine a model home stuffed full of beautiful things. Each item or group of items is tagged with an auction number.
Some things sell individually, some sell as a set/group. Some things have multiple items, but you pay for each item at whatever your bid was. For example, if there are two art prints that go together, you would bid and pay at two times the money. So, if you won the bid at $50, you would actually pay $100 for both. Hopefully that makes sense.
The auction started at 1pm and lasted about 3 hours or so. It was non-stop bidding for the entire time. And, the auctioneer moved things along very quickly. You may wonder what was up for auction. I’ll tell you. Bidders had the opportunity to buy every piece of furniture. Every table, coffee table, couch, desk, and bed. This includes the mattresses and box springs. We could buy every bit of artwork on the walls and every decorative item sitting on shelves or on tables. We could buy bedding off the beds and towels off the towel bars. Pillows sell in sets.
With so many items to buy, I needed to be careful with my bidding. I didn’t want to spend too much too quickly and then not be able to buy later in the sale. I decided on each item how much I was willing to spend. My thought was that even if it was a great deal, if there was something I would rather have, then I’d have to let it go. Believe me, there were some GREAT deals. Imagine large 24×36 prints or canvas art going for $25! The bedding sets in full to king sizes sold for around $50. If you’ve visited a model home, then you know that many times it is custom bedding. The winning bids on items were all over the place regarding price. They seemed to have no rhyme or reason. I guess it just depends on the taste of the people who are bidding and how badly they want that item.
So, what did I get? I ended up coming home with a 60″ round table with 4 upholstered chairs. I wanted a round table for my breakfast nook, but did not go with any notion of buying one there. Also, it is not exactly what I had in mind; however, I couldn’t pass up the deal. I bought 2 lovely lamps for my bedroom, two floral arrangements, three large prints, two micro suede ottomans, a full size mattress and box springs, and a couple of decorative “jars.” I totally spent WAY more than I ever intended to; however, it was hard not to grab stuff when the deals were so great.
In the end, I am super happy that we went and I am thrilled with my buys. An auction may not be for everyone, but it was a fun afternoon. If buying items that are touched by lots of people (but not really used) doesn’t bother you then you can absolutely find some great stuff. The other thing that’s awesome about these auctions is that every model home is staged by a designer. You know that the items you’re buying will work together and will give you that designer look. Great deals, good looks. #winwin If you want to take advantage of this, just google it in your area and sign up to receive their emails.
Have you ever been to an auction? I’d love to hear about what kind of deals you found. I love to hear from readers so comment below and let me know. Also, please sign up for my email list so that you can get the newest posts delivered right to your inbox.
Until next time~
****UPDATE*** I went to my second auction this past weekend. It was WAY more crowded and the items were not all great deals. However, there were 4 homes being auctioned and we still managed to snag a few good items ~ mostly art this time. I’ll have to post pics of those later. Anyway, I think I am now hooked. 🙂