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Making Money with Auctions

By Carrie Copenhaver

We’ve all heard the saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Spend some time hitting the yard sale and estate sale circuit and you will find out just how true this statement is.

We live in an area that has a lot of these types of sales. It is a fun and exciting treasure hunt every weekend. You would be amazed at the types of wonderful deals we get at the events. Here is how you can make the most of your money and earn some extra cash as well.

Check your local newspaper classified for the weekend’s events. We use this information to get started but find my yard sales aren’t advertised. You never know what you are going to find so it’s best to go every weekend you can. Keep an eye out for yard sale, estate and auction signs. Most of the ones you go to you’ll find just by driving around.

Auctions and Estate sales are often advertised in the classifieds. You can also find out which companies in your local area have the most auctions and look at their websites. They will usually post their upcoming auctions.

I find the best bargains at both the yard sales and the auctions. Estate sales can be tricky. Some of the estate sales I’ve been to have items that are relatively expensive compared to the yard sales and auctions. Auctions that have low attendance are the best. There is less competition in bidding when there are only a few people in attendance.

When you go to an auction, arrive early and register. You will need to show an ID to get a bidding number. Before you open a bid on an item, wait until the auctioneer has gone down as low as possible. Be patient and don’t get roped into bidding too much. Know in advance what your budget is for each item you bid on. A good auctioneer will try his best to have you bid more. Be objective, not emotional.

Carry plenty of cash. Cash speaks the loudest. If you are interested in an item, don’t hesitate to offer lower than the asking price but it works best if you have cash on hand to complete the transaction.

Often items are being sold by third parties who may not know the value of the item being sold. It’s a great way to find those hidden treasures that you can profit from especially collectibles, pottery, art work, etc.

Find a niche and focus on it. You will make the most money on items that you know the value of. The best research is done by buying and selling. If you feel something is overpriced, don’t buy it. Offer less or leave it there. Profit is made when you buy an item and realized when it’s sold.

Some items which are generally sold far below value at an auction include old dishes, dolls, stationary, old magazines and books, vintage clothing as well as a lot of other items viewed by some as treasures and others as junk. When you go to an auction you generally have to get into your mind what you want to pay and then never go over the amount you decide to pay. You still have to think about the marketability and the profitability from the products you buy at auction

For the craft show vendor who promotes their own hand-crafted works of art, a yard sale or garage sale can provide things such as yarn, needlework, scrap wood, tools, plaques, picture frames, paints, and other materials which can be used in the workshop of the talented vendor. As a vendor looking for deals, one of the best places to find one happens to be in the yards and garages of others.

Once you have purchased your items, you can sell them at several different venues. EBay is the easiest and most global marketplace. Getting an account and selling is very simple. To get top dollar, you will need to research the value of your product, take a good digital photo and come up with a creative story. EBay bidders love a great story.

Another venue to sell at is your local crafter mall or antique auction facility. Know what your market is looking for, find it for them and you will be paid handsomely for your efforts.

Treasures are a bound at yard sales, estate sales and auctions. All you have to do is use your creative mind to determine where you will profit the most!
Carrie Copenhaver is an entrepreneur, home based business expert, long time treasure hunter and veteran of the fair, festival, craft show industry. Learn how to make tons of extra income at

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