Selling at auctions

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Forum topic by nate22 posted 08-07-2012 05:17 PM 1313 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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475 posts in 2902 days

08-07-2012 05:17 PM

Where I live there is a resale shop that just opened up in my town. And I talk to the guy that owns it and found out that he is going to do auctions once a month. So I am thinking of putting some of my smaller things in it like my bookcases and cutting boards. Have any of you guys done any auctions and if you have how did you do and would do it again. I am thinking I probably will do it and see what happens. Any advice is helpfull.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

9 replies so far

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3095 days

#1 posted 08-07-2012 06:16 PM

If the guy will go along with it, it can’t hurt. Make sure you know how the finances work so you don’t get any rude surprises when you get your share of the proceeds. You may need to set a minimum price to avoid getting pennies on the dollar.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View guitchess's profile


85 posts in 3735 days

#2 posted 08-07-2012 06:36 PM

If it’s not an auction that sells other stuff similar in value and type to what you want to offer, then you will loose money. Unless you put it up as a reserve auction, then you will just be hauling it back to the house.

Of course, these opinions are based on the “typical” auction houses and their clientele in my area. Quality wood products do not fare well around here.

Basically, unless you have very little invested, know the local auction crowd well, or just want to do it for the experience, I wouldn’t advise it.

Sorry for negative opinion.

View AngieO's profile


1267 posts in 2174 days

#3 posted 08-07-2012 07:57 PM

I don’t have a lot of experience as a woodworker (yet), but I do know a little more about auctions. I think what gitchess said is pretty accurate. There are so many factors. I have an auction house about 2 minutes from my house and I would never take my stuff to it. BUT… that’s because I’ve been to enough auctions there that I know what to expect. The crowd is largely people that want to buy CHEAP. There are not a lot of people that are willing to pay what a nice piece is worth.

Again… it depends on the crowd and if the items are similar in value. If this is a new auction house… maybe the guy that runs it will be interested in letting you set a reserve so that you don’t loose money. Usually there is a higher cost in fees for you. But since it’s a new place maybe he will waive those so you can test the waters and the benefit to him would be to have some quality merchandise to offer and get a good crowd.

Good luck!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20599 posts in 3132 days

#4 posted 08-09-2012 05:39 PM

Nate, I think the expectations are lower at an auction than if you put things in a store or a gallery where the buyers come in expecting to pay more. What you could do is try the E bay auction with a reserve set in behind the scenes so you don’t give your products away. I have a few I’d like to try it with too. If you hit that interested party that really wants your piece, you’ll get the price!!

Angie has a good idea to test the waters with that new auction house!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2541 days

#5 posted 08-09-2012 06:59 PM

I have two auction houses in my town, and they both are in the “low price” category. I know there are higher auctions in larger cities, but you normally have to be some sort of acknowledged artist or have a following for those houses to take your stuff.
I think of local auction houses as glorified garage sales.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View nate22's profile


475 posts in 2902 days

#6 posted 08-09-2012 08:34 PM

The way you guys are talking it sounds like people go for the things and try to get them cheap. If I put anything in it I will probably put my cutting boards in it. At least I won’t be losing money on those.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

View hhhopks's profile


651 posts in 2404 days

#7 posted 08-09-2012 08:54 PM

People expects things to go cheap in auctions.

I suppose a cutting board or two wouldn’t be too expensive for the educational experience.
From that perspective you win no matter what.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View lunn's profile


215 posts in 2335 days

#8 posted 08-10-2012 11:48 AM

A friend built a very nice cedar chest. Took it to an auction, high bid $100 then the house took 30 percent seller fee. The house charges the buyer 10 percent buyers fee. The buyer paid $110 plus tax . He didn’t make enough to pay for the wood!

-- What started as a hobbie is now a full time JOB!

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3273 days

#9 posted 08-10-2012 05:20 PM

The only local auctions that I know of that come close to making a profit are some charity auctions. You know the black tie, $100 a plate dinner with auction. Many times they’ll split the proceeds, but mostly it all goes to the charity. But mostly agree that everyone goes looking for a deal. I even started a business once by furnishing it almost entirely with great deals from auctions.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

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