Sunday, February 10, 2013

Checking out Auctions--Review of Derfler's

I recently discovered auctions and they are my new addiction (after garage sales)!  I find them advertised in our local weekly paper and also on 

I have to admit, I thought auctions were like the one in the movie The First Wive's Club where you are buying really expensive antiques and artwork or Faberge Eggs.  I was wrong!  There are all types for all different price points and anyone can go.

Auctions are on anything and everything.  From livestock to jewelry to tools to collectibles to guns, to really anything you can think of.  I have gone to a few different ones that have mostly furniture and was very surprised by how incredibly interesting and totally different they were.  

Derfler's in Pine Grove, PA was the first auction I went to.  It is in a huge building that can hold 400 pieces of furniture.  When you arrive you need to register.  They take a copy of your driver's license and then give you a number that is hand written on a card.  You can bid by raising your hand and when you win you show the auctioneer your card for them to get your number to write on the item.  I was a bit shy at first, but everyone who works there or attends is so nice that they helped with any questions I had.

Everything is arranged in neat rows and two men walk around with the auctioneer and hold up or point to the item that is currently being auctioned.  The auctioneer does that crazy auction speak that is hard to understand.  You follow the auctioneer around the room as they go and you can remove your pieces as you win them.  There are a bunch of high school boys that move everything to the loading dock for you.  You pay when you are done (you don't have to wait until the end).
There are some pretty amazing pieces of furniture.  They come from people's houses that are looking to sell all their stuff at once.  The auction will even pick it all up.  This is a popular auction, so if you are looking to sell your stuff there, you can expect to get a decent amount of money for your items.  Although some stuff does go pretty cheap.

They have anything you can think of that you would use in your home.  Bedroom sets, dining room sets, kitchen sets, chairs, cabinets, dressers, end tables, mattresses, rugs, couches, recliners, decor, washers/dryers, frames, lamps, mirrors, artwork, etc.  Some are sets, some are individual.  Brand new or antique, perfect condition or not so great condition.  You should inspect the items you are interested in before you bid because all sales are final.

The auctioneer is great, he has been doing it forever and cracks me up.  He calls the bedroom suites suits.  I was there for four hours!  And it felt like only an hour.  It was so unbelievably interesting to see how much things sell for.  They moved very quickly, but the sheer volume of furniture just takes that long to sell.
Some sets of furniture sells into the hundreds.  A Grandfather clock went for almost $800!  But then other pieces can go for $1!  I couldn't believe that it happens, but it does.  An entire waterfall bedroom set didn't sell.  They were going to let it go for $5, but no one wanted it.  It killed me not to get it, but I just didn't have the room for it!

The types of people who attended the auction were regular people looking to get a great deal on some furniture for their house, people like me who are looking to buy a few pieces to redo/resell and furniture dealers.  The furniture dealers are the ones who buy almost everything.  The auctioneer knows them by name.  But they don't want to stand around for the four hours it takes to go through all the pieces, so towards the end you get a chance to get a really good deal.  

Also, you don't have to get there when it starts and stay for all four hours.  You can come and go as you please.  It just depends on if you wanted something specific and need to wait until they get to it.  I just went to see what I could get and hung around the whole time because it was awesome!

I have been to this auction twice so far.  They hold one every few months depending on when they get the building filled.  The haul for my first auction was four pieces:

They charge a 10% buyer's premium and also tax.  I spent $19.72 total for all four pieces!  I was very patient and made sure I didn't go crazy or fall in love with anything to be able to do this well.  I plan to paint and sell all these pieces.

The second time I went I did even better and got the following three pieces:

Don't hate me, but I spent a whopping $4.64 on all three pieces! I am going to paint and sell the dresser and table, but I am saving the headboard/foot board to paint for my daughter's room.  

I have been to a few other auctions held by different auctioneers and I will give you the lowdown on those as well.  I highly recommend finding a local auction to see what you can find.  No matter what, the furniture will cost way less than buying it new at a retail store.  Even if you don't buy anything, it's a fun afternoon out.

Linking to:
Too Much Time On My Hands
Life On Lakeshore Drive
Sassy Little Lady
I Heart Naptime
DIY Showoff
I Should Be Mopping The Floor  
Homemaker On A Dime
Coastal Charm
Navy Wifey Peters
Classy Clutter
Skip To My Lou
Kammy's Korner
Today's Creative Blog  
Kathe With An E
Not Just A Housewife 
Elizabeth & Co.
The DIY Dreamer
Southern Lovely
Beyond The Picket Fence  
I Gotta Create
Embracing change  
House of Hepworths
The Shabby Creek Cottage 
Fluster Buster
Miss Mustard Seed
The Shabby Nest 
Sassy Little Lady
Lovely Crafty Weekend
Simple Home Life
Six Sisters Stuff
Funky Junk Interiors
Classy Clutter
Bright Green Door

Featured by:
Coastal Charm
Kammy's Korner
Lovely Crafty Home


  1. Nice scores. I've been going to auctions for decades now, and you really can get some great deals.

  2. Thanks for sharing at my have inspired me to get out to some auctions:)


  3. You scored some beautiful pieces for a pittance! At those prices, you can sell them for a very reasonable price and still pay for the time and effort you will put into making them over. I hope you post the 'afters', lol.

    I also LOVE auctions, and have purchased most of the furniture in my house from local auctions. I (by accident) found the website, where you can search for auctions within so many miles of your zip code. I am fortunate that where I live (Texas hill country), there are quite a few good auctions every month.

    Good luck and happy auctioning!


  4. Amazing! I'm new to Wisconsin and I'm going to check out right now! How inspiring!
    ~ Megin of VMG206

  5. Sometimes auctions are too slow for me to sit and be patient. I like the ones held in fields where the crowd trails behind the auctioneer. One I used to go to went very fast. Items not sold were put on a table and then the whole table of items were auctioned off for as low as a $1. You really got some bargains -I enjoyed reading your post!

  6. I really like the desk & the dresser! Thanks for sharing @ Submarine Sunday!

  7. New follower here! I used to go to a lot of auctions and haven't been in so long. I'm reinspired!

  8. love that table! there's an auction near us that we sometimes frequent, but it takes too long to get to the items i want, usually.

  9. oh man, I wish I could get peices like that for under $20! I've been wanting to go to an auction for over a year now, and just haven't. Thanks so much for sharing this information!


  10. Wow! I want to figure out where there are auctions in my neck of the woods. I have never been, but you make it sound pretty fun!

  11. What a great post. Your purchases are so fun. You've got auction skills!
    Liz @ Quirky Vistas

  12. Some of my favorite purchases has been from auctions. Thanks for sharing at Fluster's Creative Muster. Looking forward to seeing what you link up next week.

  13. wowowowow!!! Such fantastic prices! great for you!

    The Joyful Thrifter

  14. I can't believe the prices! The auction house in my area has crazy prices. Things go for so much!

  15. Useful information shared. I am very happy to read this article. Thanks for giving us nice info. Fantastic walk through. I appreciate this post. Office Furniture

  16. WoW! You've convinced me to start checking out auctions! I LOVE the stuff you found. Thanks for linking up to the "Go Get Your Garage Sale On" Linky Party. -Jess

  17. Wow! Such amazing finds at amazing prices!! The little table is my favourite! I have never been to an auction but am now going to see if there is one local to me x

  18. Thanks for the information about the auctions very helpful.

  19. Hundreds of feet of shelving packed with new and used parts. Entertainment

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