I just went to my very first auction (as a buyer; I've been as a reporter before) and bought this fine looking ceramic cockatoo lamp for $40! It was priced to sell at $170, ya'll.
I had never been to an auction, and it was really, really cool. It really showed me that if you are willing to wait on something, you can get it for a steal later by looking at ebay, thrift shops, Craigslist and auctions. This particular auction was for a stationary store that was foreclosed on, so all the contents in the store were sold with very low opening bids. One woman bought a tin outdoor table priced at $350 for $15!! She also got a pair of ginger jar lamps, priced at $190 each, for $25. It's worth it to keep an eye on the legal ads and classified pages in your newspaper, folks.
I had hoped to scoop up some ribbon and stationary, but it was all being sold in very large lots and I didn't want to go through the hassle of getting rid of the stuff I don't want. Otherwise, though, it was a great experience and sort of fun. I definitely jumped up and down when I won my lamp!
For comparison's sake, here's a similar lamp sold on Amazon:
It's $245 here.
Anyways, the point is: I am going to become one of those crazy auction haunters-turned-hoarders.