Nov 3 2017 1:00pm

Auctions—Getting More Than You Bargained For

Auction Auction by Andrew Grey

Today we're thrilled to welcome Andrew Grey (Auction Action) to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Everyday events can greatly influence a writer's work, and that's no exception for Andrew's love of auctions. He's here to talk about his time at auctions and how they influenced his writing. Thanks, Andrew!

Auctions come in all shapes and sized just like men and as a lover of both, I thought I’d tell you about some of my auction finds.  My husband and I have been going to auctions for many years.  We are antique and bargain hunters.  There are many components to an auction.  The first is the viewing.  This is the period before the actual sale where items can be inspected and viewed.  Be sure to look the items over very carefully.  This preview has saved our butts many times over.  And its even provided some story inspiration.  See Dominic and I were at a preview of a small auction in Milwaukee just before moving fourteen years ago and I man came in who caught my attention.  I wasn’t writing at the time, but let’s just say he made an impression.   He was about the height of my husband who is 5’ 4”, but had a presence that filled the room, dark hair and intense eyes.  He was also interested in a pair of walnut Victorian chairs that Dominic had gasped over.  Now in the preview, part of the game is to not appear too interested in any of the items so others don’t bid the price up on you.  We looked over the chairs and moved on, checking them over for any flaws and finding none. 

The night of the auction, well that’s when the real game begins.  The objective is to get the items you want at the lowest price possible, but everything in the saleroom is geared to getting you and everyone else to bid higher.  The patter of the auctioneer, the energy in the room, the excitement the crackles the air, all of it loosens your purse strings just a little bit.   Experienced auction attendees understand this and set limits as to what they will spend and stick to them.  But even then, its easy to get caught up, especially if you want something.  So have a strategy before the auction starts.  Dominic and I had talked about a limit and we were all set. I do the bidding and when our item was called, the man from the preview placed the first bid.  He and another gentleman bid the chairs up and Dominic got more and more nervous.  The two of them bid the item to near our limit and then it stalled. I looked over at the man from the preview, winked at him and he gaped at me.  I raised my paddle once, placed my bid, and the auctioneer called for the last bids and pounded his gavel.  By the time he realized what happened, the auctioneer had moved on and I had the chairs I wanted. 

I like to think of auctions as a kind of battle and sometimes winning is paying the most for an item.  But the real win is always getting the item for less than you’d have otherwise paid.  Now just to show you that there were no hard feelings, Dominic and I were also interested in a desk and I lost that battle a half hour later, to the same man.  You win some, you lose some. 

I will say that I won again because when the time came to write Auction Action, I drew on my memories of him when I created Frederick.  And I do have to say that if I had been single at the time, I might have approached the stunning man to see if he was interested in a cup of coffee, or something more.  As it was I only got to look at him,  but what a picture he made and what an impression.  So try your hand at an auction.  It’s a great place to find a bargain and you never know what you might get to take home with you. 


Learn more about or order a copy of Auction Auction by Andrew Grey, available now:

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Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation. Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

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Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. Kareni
What a fun auction story! Thanks for sharing it, Andrew. I've never attended an auction; I fear that if I did, I'd sneeze and inadvertently be considered to have bid.
Jerrie Adkins
2. filkferengi

If you'd like to dip your toe into some fun auction action, try the charity auction at a convention. Science fiction conventions have them, so I assume romance or mystery conventions would, too. Set a limit beforehand, and enjoy yourself. Lots of times the auctioneers and runners are excellent theater, & it all goes for a good cause.
3. Kareni
That does sound like fun, filkferengi. I've yet to get to a convention but one day ....
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