The sale.

I would like to know if there is an equivalent in other countries to the Australian Clearing Sale. I do know that most Australians who live in cities and large towns do not have any idea.

Allow this little red duck to explain.

Old Jack McKenzie died a month or two back – poor fellow. He’d been farming on the same block for a bit longer than anyone remembered. Jack’s boys had all gone off on their own, farming or working for a living and the girl was married to a no-hoper who had cleared off and left her with a couple of kids.

The farm was sold; i.e. the title to the land and the house and sheds all now belonged to some other bloke. But the equipment and any chattels that hadn’t been pinched were put up for sale by auction.

That was today. So, taking advantage of the fact that a couple of hundred locals from near and far would be looking for a bargain, I collected all the tools and chattels that were no longer of any use to me, because I no longer have a shed to stick ’em in, and put them into Old Jack McKenzie’s sale as well. Correct term being ‘as an outside entrant’.

Then I waited for mugs and clever people to come and buy. Now the idea was not to get as much money for things as they were necessarily worth. No, the idea was to get them out of my brother’s shed so he could put his own stuff there.

First off, everything is laid out in lines for inspection.

And let me clue you up. There is a lot of rubbish. After all this is stuff that Old Jack refused to throw away ten, twenty or fifty years ago when it broke.

Then the crowd come drifting in. The auction starts at 10 am and they start drifting at 8 am. Then they stand around talking to the neighbour over the other side of the hill; the fellow they haven’t seen for a month or so. Some bring the dog, some their kids and some their wife. And while they chat about the weather and the price of wool they quietly check out the items on show.

And while all this chatting is going on the one constant is the “Sausage Sizzle”. Every clearing sale has some group flogging a hot sausage in a slice of bread with onions and sauce. And coffee. It is usual for the local school mums who put it on. Or the local football club. It’s a fund raiser. Today was a first for me – it was put on by the local Men’s Shed. I’ll tell you more about them if anyone asks.  Anyway most people don’t come to buy anything. They come for the social occasion and a chance to have a squizz at the neighbour’s place.

Then the auction starts.

If he’s any good this will be entertaining.

Now a little example. Below I have added two items. They are the same thing just separated by about sixty years. One is manual and one is electric with hydraulics. Both press wool into large bales about 1.25 metres in length (50 inches).

The one on the left is like the one we had when we were kids. It sold for $100. The other one sold for $7000.

Now how did my sale go? It went well. I sold everything. I got what I wanted for some and a lot less for the rest, but I got rid of it all. So I was happy.

The old portable forge that I showed at the start sold for $120. I bought it for $5 at a clearing sale ten years ago. Here it is again.

An old hand blown forge

22 thoughts on “The sale.

    1. Yes, we have garage sales. But there you have to negotiate with person who comes snooping. At a clearing sale the seller doesn’t need to have anything to do with it.

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      1. I decided to get whatever I could. As a single old b living on the pension I can’t afford to chuck things out. Even a couple of dollars for a box of junk is better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick. If my WO and I were still connected I guess I’d be a bit more casual.

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    1. Yes John. They talk slowly enough but the best thing is the banter between bidder and auctioneer. And the fact that everyone needs to know clearly where the bid is.

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  1. We used to fundraise at auction and estate sales by selling barbecued burgers and hot dogs. There was also pie, cookies and ice cream for purchase. We were lucky when one of the local grocery stores would provide the meat and buns.

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  2. Always a decent sausage sizzle at any Bunnings on a Saturday morning, get decent snags from somewhere damned if I can fined them.
    Never went to a clearance sale in all my time in the bush of WA, and there were plenty of opportunities, I suppose it’s because I never liked the idea of buying someone else’s rubbish, that they didn’t want, I’ve never tried to flog off my rubbish, just chuck it in the bin if it can’t be recycled these days

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      1. I never rose above the rank of Trooper, I turned down an invitation to go to Duntroon in 53, I’d been turned down by the Fleet Air Arm in 52 as I’m colour blind, an officer and gentleman in the Royal Australian Navy was fine, an officer in the army held nothing for me, did my nashoes and said farewell and never became a General :twisted:. although I’ve no doubt that had I have stayed in I would have become one. Got a knighthood, Governor General wow what have I missed?
        Not much

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  3. Oh gosh! So many thoughts zinging around! I’ll have a house clearance coming up soon – that’s going to be tough, as neither of us like/liked anything going to landfill . . . your photos? I’m thinking – OMG – who bought the kelpie? Hope it was someone kind.

    Not to hijack your post, but then you got me to remembering the post I had done on country “acquisitions” . . . https://garrulousgwendoline.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/seeing-stuff-at-glen-innes-and-inverell/

    And then you got to the wool bales. How well I remember, in my days working for a wool trader and exporter, going down to the wool dumps after auction day, and hanging around in the shed . . . when all of a sudden you would hear the “twang” that precedes a bale about to blow its steel straps. Duck! Before any of that flying metal takes your head off!!!!

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      1. And I have to correct a typo in my comment. We did not go to the wool dump before the auction. Of course it was after we had bought the wool and were preparing it for export. Couldn’t sleep if I left that mistake hanging out there.

        By all means keep things for that unforeseen event. But storage is a problem where you are living. Keep going to these auctions and one day you will get a bigger fridge for next to nothing 🙂

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      2. No. I only went to get rid of all my stuff.
        And I changed ‘before’ to ‘after’. Maybe you could write a post about how those bales I showed were then compressed again to half their size for export overseas.

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  4. Drooling for a real sausage sizzle- we have nothing like them, sometimes a fireman in a cow suit flogging “hot Dogs”…not the same..

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