I haven’t been in the job long; in fact I only started at the beginning of June this year and there are a number of things in the auction business that have come as a bit of a surprise.
The main one is the sheer volume of furniture and smalls that come into the sale room to be sold every week. The turnaround is phenomenal and the amount of work that goes into each sale by all the staff is impressively efficient.
The knowledge that the staff hold is vast and invaluable to both Thompsons and the customers. They are able to offer advice on items of such a wide variety and the advice is always honest. Sometimes too honest as everyone wants their items to be worth a fortune and unfortunately that isn’t always the case. Especially when the auction business can be extremely unpredictable, an item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. So it all depends on who is in the saleroom on the day. Or who has placed bids via the website www.thompsonsauctioneers.com from our online catalogue.
The market for second hand goods is ever changing. A brief look at Ebay will tell you that the current and evolving trend is unsurprisingly Olympic memorabilia. Just this week there was a Team GB Gold Medal winner’s stamp collection: Compendium 2012 Olympic Book that sold for £115.00 and a pair of unused Olympic Mountain Bike Tickets from 11th August 2012 that sold for £205.00. Who would have Olympic tickets and not use them is beyond me; I applied for loads of tickets and didn’t get one!
The memorabilia isn’t restricted to this year’s London Olympics; in the sale on 17th Aug at Thompsons we saw a 1936 Berlin Olympic badge sell for £45.00. On the 27th Aug we had a signed British Olympic legends picture that sold for £30.00.
We have also seen a lot of interest in Union Jack printed items, furniture, clocks, and canvasses for example. I don’t know if it is due to the Olympics or The Queens Jubilee but they seem to sell like hot cakes. I love anything with a Union Jack on so I am among the masses it would seem. We had 2 Union Jack side chairs in the sale on the 3rd August, one sold for £80.00 and the other for £90.00.
2012 has brought a new sense of nostalgia and patriotism to the British public, I’ve seen many a Facebook status professing how proud people are to be British, so along with Olympic memorabilia and Union Jack items, it appears that all things British are selling well. For example, the sale on the 3rd August saw a red post box cookie jar sell for £12.00.
In conclusion, I have learnt a lot already and enjoy working in an ever changing environment where two days are never the same.
We now look to the end of this Great British summer and wonder what other trends will transpire.