Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Everything But the House #EBTH ... How to Go Treasure Hunting

 Welcome to New Find Saturday!  For all those thrifty shoppers, who frequent yard sales, consignments, and auctions, each week I'll share a new find...either something I've picked up or a new place to dig for treasures.

So if you’ve read my blog, you know I am a huge fan of an auction site called “Everything But the House” (ebth.com)  Today I want to share my latest treasure, which has been nicely incorporated into my family room, where we have a large brick fireplace.

I absolutely love the Victorian period.  The romanticism of a long gone era, with traces of its melodic charm left in one of a kind treasures like my new set of Cherub Andirons.  They are massive and stately, in brass.  You might say they’re a little too massive for our fireplace, but I would disagree.  I like the charm it brings to the room.  

I’ve shopped andirons online and saw them priced anywhere from $300.00 and up.  I considered my whimsical set a bargain at $80.00.

I have to admit my #EBTH habit has become a bit of a challenge.  It’s hard not to look and if you look, you are almost guaranteed to find the perfect something for your home, your wardrobe…just about anything you can think of.

What I like about #EBTH – they’re honest.  And that is saying a lot for this field.  Do your own homework and don't rely on the auctioneer or other bidders to tell you what it is or isn't worth.  As for EBTH, they clearly detail all flaws of auction items.  I can attest to this as the majority of what I buy, is purchased online before ever seeing it in person.  And on the rare occasion when something has been accidentally broken, they were quick to reimburse me for the items, with absolutely no hassle at all.

What I wish they did a little better – I don’t always feel like every sale is a bargain.  I see items go significantly higher on EBTH than a live auction.  I’m amazed they can bring great interest in vintage clothing, and further astounded when they can get more than two people bidding on someone’s gently used clothes (that would typically be hard to give away at a onsite auction).  I’d say that has a lot to do with their reputation and the quality of the estates and consignments they take on.  I'm still shaking my head over an outdoor sculpture that went for over $55,000 a few months back :)  They sell quality items, often antique or highly collectible.  They do their homework.  They provide as much information as they can and share lots of pictures, so you can get good idea of what you're bidding on even if you don't go check it out ahead of time.

If you want a better bargain - start with their newly seeded market cities.  For example, a recent West Virginia sale had very reasonable prices and for small items, there was just a small surcharge to transport and pick-up at their Cincinnati Warehouse.  Other shipping of larger furniture is pricey, but if you find something you really like and get it at a great price, taking a road trip isn’t such a bad idea.  And then you’ve got this great conversation piece for where you found a treasure, how you drove down in your pick-up truck, balanced it on your back, and sat in the back seat holding it in place in the back of the truck cab….wait, I think that was me the time I bought a bedroom suite.  But I digress.

If you want to know if you've bid enough - #Ebay is a great resource to get an idea of going rates for just about anything.  Just be sure that you search by "sold" listings as that is the only way to get a true pulse on what you might expect to pay elsewhere.  Sometimes you can and sometimes EBTH has something so truly unique, that you're willing to pay a little more to finish a room or look in your home.  

Online Access and Technology Rocks! - The appeal of bidding online from the comfort of my couch in front of my fireplace is a huge selling point.  I'm not saying I don't miss the banter with dealers on a hot day in the middle of nowhere, waiting for hours for the auctioneer to get to a decent lot.  Or waiting out said dealers until they leave and only a handful of folks are left to grab those box lots for a buck or two.  

Yard sales and church sales will always be your best and cheapest hunting grounds for a great buy or unique discovery.  Bu that will limit you to being a fare weathered bidder and your paddle will hang idle for months at a time! A live auction still holds a certain degree of charm if the weather is nice, and the auctioneer is a character, who likes to bait the bidders and joke with a crowd.  If you still want to find a good old fashioned estate auction, check out auctionzip.com and you can find every auction within the mile radius you select. 

I don’t like auction houses that host weekly auctions.  Most charge a 10% or more premium and I don’t like having to factor that in on the back end.

#EBTH has given me a solution to the winter time blues, when it’s too cold for an auction and the yard sales are still months away.

I’m hanging up my paddle for now, but dear friends, you really should check out EBTH.com.  It’s fun, you can follow items, and best of all, if you give me as a reference, I might be able to afford bidding again and "pop some more tags"!  HAPPY BIDDING and please share your pictures and stories with me!

I've even tried my hand in consigning a few items - stay tuned for results.  If you want to check them out go to https://www.ebth.com/users/sales/9133-cincinnati-ohio-jewelry-accessories-couture-sale/promote


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