We recently had an auction company move into the old Jackson Motors location. Right before the recession, Jackson Motors built a brand new dealership in Martell. Guess what? They closed down, like many other dealerships in the nation, leaving two, large, vacant buildings in our otherwise small county. The old building was unique and we wondered what could go in there. Then the auction came to town!
On Friday's, the Dude goes to 'preview' the stuff that's going to be auctioned on Saturday. Sometimes it's good stuff, other's it just plain junk that I can't imagine anyone wanting! The Dude goes sometimes just for the entertainment value! You'd think that small towns wouldn't have the same Auction Characters that larger cities do (imagine Storage Wars personas!), but we have them just the same!
We went the very first time they opened. I spent the first two hours just watching people and their 'style'! The auction gets about 50 people every week. I've been back another time, Dude has been a dozen.
We have the cryptic bidder, who doesn't want anyone else to know he/she is bidding. They have developed very discreet methods of bidding. One guy has his bidder number on the back of a clipboard that he keeps on his lap. When he bids, he lifts it up and appears to look at something on the board, then quickly lowers it. Another person, keeps the bidder number card in his front pocket and slides it up an inch or so when he bids. Then there are those who come in and hang in the back so others can't see them and don't talk to anyone. They exude an aura of, "don't talk to me". I'm not sure what they are hiding, but this is such a small community that I don't think they really invisible!
Then, there is one lady, who when she bids, holds up her bidder card vertically at arms length and keeps it there until she's done. Everyone at this point knows she will bid until she gets what she wants, and she usually gets the items, so they bid a couple of times, then stop. I think she's a local antique/thrift store merchant.
Another one has affixed her bidder card to a badminton racket. I think if you were close to her that thing might be dangerous as she whips it into the air! She is also a local merchant.
Then, there's the attention hog. The one's who only nod their head with a poker face, bid quite often on certain things, the auction staff know they are going to bid so they perch themselves close to these buyers awaiting for their bid. Once they do bid, and another bidder follows up, the attention bidder will not bid again right away, there will be a lengthy pause, with the staff member standing there looking at them. After a few moments, the bidder will simply nod. Perhaps, actually lifting a bidder card to bid is just too much physical exertion. It's almost as if this bidder enjoys the undivided attention of the staff, not to mention the other bidders who are waiting to see if they will counter bid.
It is an interesting study in human nature. And certainly makes for some weekend entertainment in small, country county. Oh, and the deli is just down the street!