If you've attended sales, you've probably run across on where somebody pays more for an item, often a power tool or maybe a welder, than you could buy one for at the local farm store. Maybe it's not the same model, but it's the same general quality. And also you know they don't give warranties or refunds at farm auctions.
Now I'm not one of those who likes to watch someone pay more than something sells for new down the road, than walks up and taunts them 'You could have bought that for x dollars today at the local farm store.' I saw it happen to a young farm wife once. She was just doing what her husband had asked her to do- go to the auction and buy a welder, since he was busy getting ready for harvest. This young punk couldn't wait to get in her face and laugh at how much she paid. She actually cried!
At the same time, I find it interesting to note how people behave, and how they get caught up in the spirit of the auction, trying to outbid one another. At the Benton Central FFA consignment auction a week ago Saturday, one such event unfolded. There was a huge amount of livestock items consigned of sale. There was a small but sturdy lamb stand that I had my eyes on. We already have one, but this one could be left in the corner of the barn during trimming season right before the fair when there are plenty of lambs to shear and trim.
I looked at it carefully. The reason it would be good to sit in the corner and leave alone was because the legs didn't fold up. They were welded on. Nearly exclusively, stands made today have legs that fold so that the stand can be transported easily.
A fellow sheep shower and I know were both standing there. Both had the same idea. For $50 it would be a useful thing to have in the barn. We were about ready to flip a quarter to see which one would bid about $50 to buy it, when the auctioneer's chant ran straight to $75. Before he was done, the bid reached $140. The new owner seemed proud enough of it. New ones with folding legs cost about $200.
"I wonder if those last two bidders checked the legs to know that it doesn't fold up," I asked a friend of mine.
"Too bad," he replied. "If they didn't, I guess they'll be doing some heavy lifting."