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Mental Hording
Sat, 19 Jul 2014 18:57:22

Anyone whose known me for any length of time knows I love a good auction, bargain, garage sale, or other really good discount.  In fact, if it wasn't for the fact that money is tight, I would probably be at more auctions than I am, not to buy things most times, but just to be there, to enjoy the time spent at the sale, and sometimes even to engage in the hunt, to experience the thrill of the chase as I seek out that epic bargain.

At one of my most recent auctions, the third in a series of three at the same address, I came across something very interesting.  But before I get into that I want to add a bit of clarification.  One of the long standing inside jokes among auction junkies is that we love horder auctions.  IE, auctions at estates and properties of people who are known horders.  The primary reason why is 1) there's LOTS of stuff to choose from, 2) it's usually in multiples of the same thing (9 shovels, 15 socket wrenches, 20 hammers, 5 table saws, 50lbs of nails, etc), and 3) with multiples like that prices tend to be cheaper than a typical auction.

In fact, some of my best hauls have come from auctions like this.  However, not all horder auctions tend to be clean auctions though, as some come from people who are what I would call the "dirty" kind.  IE, they horde merely due to mental illness and not due to a requisite need for all the items they collect.  These are the kind of people who save every magazine and scrap of paper, every bottle, can, and broken soup bowl.  There was one a couple years ago over in a city not far from where I live that took the auctioneer almost two weeks and two huge dumpster fulls just to clean out the house and find anything useful to sell.  The rest was in good shape and plentiful.

The same was true of another I ran into a couple cities away where the entire barn and house were stacked to the ceiling with every kind of imaginable thing, with little more than narrow walking paths through the piles of junk and old papers that littered the place.  If the place had caught on fire it would have burned for two weeks given all the papers and other stuff crammed into it.  Either that or the flames would have been a mile high.  It got so bad during the auction that they were selling piles of stuff for a few bucks and moving along really fast just to get everything sold, which when spread out, covered nearly an acre.

Yes, an acre.  And they didn't even get everything out of the buildings either.  Some rooms were just sold as is, all contents included, and you were responsible for cleaning them out and taking everything with you.  Oddly enough I came away with four nice items, but it took a lot of patient waiting to get those.  So those kind of auctions are quite nice and you can walk away with a lot of great stuff if you're in the right place at the right time.

But the one that tops them all so far h ...(read more)

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