July 2, 2012

Tips for bidding at auctions

Auction house owner offers tips for bidding

PLATTSBURGH — Going once ... going twice ... SOLD!

Auctions are great places to find a bargain. But for those new to the auction experience, there are some rules to follow. Here’s a bit of etiquette for enjoying the thrill of an auction.

Steve Brodi knows auctions like the back of his bidding hand. He’s been in the auction business and the owner of Bridge Street Auctions since 1989.

Every week, new merchandise comes in from various consignees and estates. And every week that same merchandise goes out the door one by one at auctions. His Bridge Street gallery warehouse is usually packed to the rafters with everything from fine china to dorm-room refrigerators, bins of dollar-store knick-knacks to handmade rifle racks — you name it, he’s put it up for bid.

Brodi and his team sort through everything that comes in. The merchandise gets categorized by big-ticket items, finer objects of some value and everyday bric-a-brac. It then gets photographed and posted to his website,, for perusal. 


Bridge Street Auctions holds two auctions a week — the ever-popular Box Lot Bonanza at 6 p.m. Fridays and a Sunday morning auction of finer items and furniture.

“And no two auctions are ever the same,” Brodi said.

What exactly is a Box Lot Bonanza?

“Stuff,” Brodi quipped.

For example, one bin had a demi jar with no cover, wax figurines, candles, some Halloween decorations... Total sale?

“I’ll probably get $1 for that box,” Brodi said.

Dozens of such bins wait for bid every week.

Can bidders see what’s inside?

“That’s where the fun comes in,” Brodi said. “We display it a little bit, but you never know what’s inside.”

Bins have fetched from $1 into the hundreds of dollars. About 50 to 75 bidders show up every week for the bonanza. And no matter how big or small the stack, Brodi won’t quit until everything is sold.

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