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Friday
Feb142014

If you give a mrs. huizenga a store

 

If you give a mrs. Huizenga a doll head,
she’s probably going to want some teacups to go with it.





On her way to get the teacups, she might pass a rocking horse, and think,
“We have the perfect Valentine to put with that!”

 

On her way to get the Valentine, she might pass a Tiffinware vase, think of Valentine’s Day flowers and romance, and remember that there are candlesticks to match it.



On her way to get the candlesticks to match the vase, she might pass the rack of perfectly pressed shirts, and think how nice it would be to hug someone wearing one of those shirts.

 


And in thinking of hugging that person, Mrs. Huizenga might think that hugging often leads to snuggling, and remember that there are two lovely red plaid wool blankets coming up in next week’s auction.





In going over to fondle the blankets, she might remember that snuggling is nicer with a hot cup of something, so she goes over to choose a mug from the fantastic collection of brown glazed coffee cups on the teak shelves.

 


And then, thinking of a rockin’ Valentine’s day with flowers, candles, and romance spent snuggling someone in a great dress shirt under cozy wool blankets while sipping a hot cup of something made her remember she was on her way to get teacups for the doll head.




So she did.

 

 

 

Friday
Jan312014

The How-To Do Auctions More Betterer Guide 



We've had such a great run of auctions, and made some changes recently. Because a change is as good as a rest. Changes such as having Sunday afternoon auctions as well as Thursdays. And having Jonathan Hagey of Kingpin's Hideaway as our auctioneer. And asking friends like the Seventh Sister Bakery to serve up some sweetness on Sundays. And enjoying a change of beers, looking for local breweries such as Mill Street Brewery to keep it bubbly. We have new consignors, and are working to clear out our own smalls from our sizeable back room, which means there are great deals to be had!




So, we have a great venue, we put on a show, and we bring you the goods and services. Great, right?

But it's not an auction without bidders. And it's not a great auction without our bidders having a good time, and getting what they want. As an auction house, the Hookerson-Blough Auctions at Mrs. Huizenga are there to help you get the goods at a rate competitive to dealers and stores. This isn't about retail - this is about rehoming and recovering value. If we've called ourselves "alternative retail" in the past, can we call this "alternative flea" now?

It's pretty simple, we've explained it before. You show up, look at the items, and follow the auctioneers lead and hopefully end up getting them for what you want to pay. But there are better ways to do that.

Sign up for our emails. We'll remind you. We'll tell you stories, and show pictures. We don't bug - we just let you know when an auction is scheduled or if there's another special event at the store.

Go to the store! Does it have a lot number? It's an auction item. Look at it. That's previewing it. Or, see the online pictures in an album on Facebook then stop in the store during the days before. Not every item is online. Just be sure to come in the hour before the bidding starts, to register to bid. Examine the items carefully, and don't be afraid to ask questions, take out your measuring tape, or plug things in. Everything is sold as-is, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with them. It just means we didn't manufacture that thingy and can't verify it will work perfectly forever and ever.





DO talk to the staff! We've often taken a few minutes to learn about the items ourselves, or may have some experience we can lend. And we can at least tell you you'll look swell in that Mary Maxim sweater.

The auction items usually aren't that expensive, so taking a chance is fun. Our average lot price is $40, which means for every $300 Danish teak desk we offer, there are a lot of $10 retro breadboxes. A tray lot of glassware can be split between friends, or given as gifts, and it probably costs less than buying just the individual item once it hits another retail store. Often our bidders make deals between themselves on the sidewalk on the way home. We're okay with that.

Read the room, while you're at it. Some nights it's busy - full of dealers who need new stock; resellers who are looking for certain clients; collectors who've spotted their next conquest... other nights it's full of tumbleweeds, and you can call out your bid and we'll probably take it. The auctioneer leads the way - it's his show - but he's also looking to the audience to see what they're interested in and excited about. Let him know, and we'll build the auction around how we feel it's going. While auctioneering is a hard job and it's easy to get thrown off pace, we like a little witty repartee with our auctions. And it's also okay to indicate to a staff member that you'd like an item to come up sooner rather than later (we don't auction in order by lot number.)

 

So come, have fun and lighten up -it's only an auction. Though knowing your limits is a thing, too. It's very easy to get excited and come away with a $25 teak carving of a naked lady in teak with no idea where you'll put it (as even staff members have done...) If you have regrets, we're kind enough people to help you work it out, either with the underbidder or by figuring out your options or by helping you remember why you were excited in the first place. If you feel like you went over the top, well - remember that the auction value is often a third of retail value. People with stores buy from auctions and then mark them up! And that's okay - The value of an item is what it's worth to you, after all, and it all helps small businesses - Mrs. Huizenga, the consignors, and the auctioneer and food sponsors who support us.

Thanks for playing along.

Thursday
Nov142013

Almost Famous

From time to time, we get an item in that's hard to embrace. Something that has "character," but perhaps lacks charm. More a Michael Berryman than a Doris Day. 



This dresser found its way into the store, and we admired it's um...useful size. It had a good...um...personality. We praised its potential.

Then we realized that we had to urge people a little harder to see the hidden attractions with a $25 price tag. And put it on the sidewalk.

But this past week it came back inside, as it was the perfect size for supporting a card display at eye level. And within a day, someone came in and recognized its star potential.


Yes, this character actor is moving on from mrs. huizenga to star as the dresser in the bedroom of a drug den on Hemlock Grove.

We're very happy for it.