City Auctions vs country

Traveling around the country attending the different formats of auctions I decided to write about the difference I have seen in auction values between city and country auctions. It doesn't matter if it is an estate sale, storage units or just a Friday night house auction values are going to be higher in the cities. I attended an auction yesterday to try and win some bids on a large collection of books and instead my attention was drawn to the high prices the items were receiving. I did pick up some nice books but at a price a lot higher than I am used to paying.

This was an estate sale in a city with a population of around four hundred thousand people in a small southern state. The sale held some nice pieces of furniture and glassware and was attended by the usual cross section of people with the exception of antique dealers. In this area there are always more dealers at an auction since there are going to be more antique shops, fleamarkets, and now antique malls in and around larger cities.

One area I looked at was the box lots. Normally I like to jump right in on the box lots if I am looking to buy for a yardsale, or roadside sales. Before the auction started I had looked through all the boxes and saw there was nothing impressive in them. So I figured they would sell for what I call a normal price, around 2-4 dollars. Did not happen, none went for less than 5 dollars and most brought 10-15 dollars per box. Since I was there for the books anyway I did not have to worry about impulse buying on the box lots.

I get a lot people asking for appraisals on toys and pottery and this is what makes it so hard to give a close value for items. There are different formats for people to buy from now and with so many different areas such as the city vs rural problem then there are going to be different values. Most people at this time are going to sell on ebay, yardsale or fleamarket. As with the different locations there are also now in the marketplace different buyers. the newbie buyer that is just starting to sell on the internet or fleamarkets can kill a good auction. He or she will overpay and set the stage for the auction and the rest of the crowd has to follow their lead in value bidding. The worst is the buyer with the ipad in hand bding from eBay values. eBay is great for researching given the time but reading an ipad and bidding at the same time is not very smart.

In closing let me state that regardless of where the auction is held city or country there will be a difference in how much you pay. Now there is also a difference in city, town or country which is for another day so don't confuse the city and town values as the town values are closer to the country values. The grumpy old man needs to rest now.
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