ANOTHER memorable auction! (disaster averted)
Over the years, we have had many outstanding antique auctions, and up until now, TWO very memorable auctions, but now we have THREE!
Most memorable was 7 years ago,. our first auction in Pottageville. We had a huge auction all setup, only to be told the hall was double booked, and we would have to remove EVERYTHING from the hall that night. Horrendous, but our most memorable.
Second most memorable was also about 8 years ago,we were doing spring auctions in the curling club in Cookstown. They were building a new library adjacent to the curling club, so the grounds around the building were torn up due to construction. We had a very heavy rainfall two days prior to the auction, and the grounds were a sea of mud. We had everything in the hall, but I didn’t know how we were going to get the crowd into the hall, through the sea of mud! The construction crew helped build a temporary bridge and assist with making the grounds accessible, so it worked out. In fact, it was our second highest sales total, so it did work out very well.
Now our third most memorable…and it just happened! Saturday Feb 25 antique auction in Pottageville. Another very large sale, and everything set up smoothly. The morning of the sale weather was perfect. The crowd was pouring in very nicely. Half hour before the sale was to start…the power goes out. Of course, we have nothing to power the computer, so we can’t register anyone, we can’t take any payments, and we can’t go on with the sale without power!
We waited of course for the power to come back on…and we waited…and we waited. Finally got word that it would be at least 2pm before power was restored. Now what? The hall is full of people, and over 700 lots of merchandise! A nightmare scenario would be cancelling the auction, packing everything up in a dark hall, and trucking it all back to storage! I had a new furniture auction booked the next day, so we could not postpone the sale for one day.
A customer offered to bring over his generator, and hopefully provide enough electricity to run the computer, if nothing else.
Started up the generator, and after about three minutes…it died!
Ok, not panicking yet…but getting close!
So, another customer came up with some electrical gadget you plug into your car lighter, and it draws power from your battery. Hooked it up to a regular customer’s truck…and it worked! At least gave us enough power to run the computer, even though he would have to leave his truck running. Eventually, the truck would be running for 10 hours.
There are skylights in the hall, but no windows, so in the middle of Feb, we had to open all the doors we could, in order to let in enough light to proceed with the auction.
With the help of flashlights, and enough natural sunlight coming in through the doors, we were able to do an 8 hour auction and sell approx.. 700 lots!
It got very cold in the hall with the doors open and no heat, and no running water for the food booth or the washrooms, and of course at times was difficult to see, but we got it done! In fact, overall prices were very good, and we had a better than average auction!
We had a large crowd, and even in those conditions, our cashier Carol, and my sister Kris and brother-in-law Gerry, said they never heard one complaint from anyone! In fact, many people complimented us on going ahead with the auction, and were amazed we got it done! Many commented this was an auction they would never forget, and many even found the whole scenario rather exciting! Finally at 6:00 pm, and still without power, we closed the auction, as it was just getting too dark to work.
Auction goers are an interesting crowd. Sometimes adversity and a little discomfort can bring out the best in people! This certainly seemed to be our experience in this case.
So, a disaster was averted, and in fact we had a very good auction. Who would have thought?
At this time, I want to say, I have the most incredible staff and customers. Our staff worked very hard to pull this off, and the customers were patient, understanding…an even quite generous with the bidding!
This was one of our most memorable auctions, and it all ended up well.