The selling will be fast and furious at the mammoth Antique Auction set for Saturday at the Olmsted County Fairgrounds, where more than 10,000 items will be put up for sale.
The vast majority will come from the private collection of Michael Dammen, a longtime Rushford antique collector and dealer who died in July. Saturday’s auction will be a fast-moving affair with essentially two auctions running simultaneously. Pictured are some of the many items for sale, including jewelry, musical instruments, furniture and more. Some are comparing it, in scope and size, to past Mayo family estate auctions.
“It is off the charts,” said John Kruesel, owner of John Kruesel’s General Merchandise & Auction Company, which is organizing the auction.
Never been to an auction? Uncertain how to behave and what to expect? We talked to experts and got the lowdown on the best ways to prepare and navigate an auction.
1. Know the products you are interested in purchasing. Before you buy anything, you want to know what the objects are. Inspect the items or property prior to bidding. Many auctioneers offer a preview of the objects up for sale a day before the event. A preview is set for Saturday’s auction on Friday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the fairgrounds. Much of the collection can also be viewed online.
“We don’t want to mislead anyone. We want people to know what it is they’re interested in,” Kruesel said.
2. Have a plan for taking possession and removing the items you successful bid on. Ideally, buyers should be prepared to take possession at the moment of purchase. “There are people that come the next day when I’m taking down the auction and pick it up on Sunday, because we have furniture here and other objects,” Kruesel said. “But it has to be…removed at the close of business.”
3. Most auctions require that bidders to pre-register with the auctioneer and be assigned a bidding number. The bidding number is written on a card that the bidder can hold up to indicate to the auctioneer an intention to bid.
4. If you’re interested in an item, don’t wait until the last minute to make a bid. Kruesel said the pace of selling will be fast, with as many as 100 objects being sold an hour. And if you’re serious about an object, begin with a strong opening bid, Kruesel said.
“You might think you’d be happy to own something at $500. Then give a starting bid of a $100, and you’ve got the attention of the auctioneer rather than $10 or $50,” he said.
5. Be prepared to pay for your item, either with cash, Visa or MasterCard. “There’s a lot of adrenaline going through the air when you’re there,” said Caitlin Callahan, manager of Kruesel’s. “Even if you’re not spending your own money, you’re going to get a contact high just being there. You might get pulled into it. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have cash on hand.”