Auction Addiction

Auction bidding may not be recognized as a disease but it can be just as detrimental as other addictions/diseases such as excessive equipment upgrading or shoe buying, ball cap saving, or obsessive-compulsive vehicle washing. If you can’t resist bidding on or buying something at an auction you may have “auction bidding disease.”
Symptoms accompany every addiction, disease and disorder. Auction bidding disease can be identified if you know what to look for.
Auctioneers, family, friends or neighbors can contribute to the problem if:
•Auctioneers point out items of interest to you prior to the sale; know what items and brand names you prefer to buy and what you’re willing to pay.
• Auctioneers know you on a first name basis because you frequent most of the auctions that they run.
•When auctioneers can’t get a bid they always look at you or announce your name asking for a dollar bid in order to keep the sale moving.
•Neighbors or friends ask you to bid on something for them instead of going themselves because you’ll be there anyway OR
•They encourage you to do the buying so they can do the borrowing because they know how much joy bidding/buying at auctions brings you.
Warning signs to be wary of during an auction:
•You arrive to look over the stuff before its even been set out.
•Your bidding number is always a single digit.
•Auctions are the only public events friends, neighbors and relatives are most likely to see you.
•Your idea of quality family time is going to an auction.
•You know which organizations serve the best lunches at auctions OR
•So as not to miss an opportunity to bid on “the good stuff,” you don’t bother to eat lunch unless a family member is willing to bring it too you.
•You hold out using the restroom until the auctioneer gets to something that doesn’t interest you, then beeline for the restrooms but return before they move onto the next item OR
•You avoid drinking coffee, iced tea, lemonade or water so you don’t have to give up your front row spot in order to use the restroom.
•You buy a box of miscellaneous junk because you like surprises.
•You do your Christmas shopping at auctions.
•You’re willing to stand around all day for a specific item to come up for bid and don’t consider the long wait a waste of time.
•Your kids can’t keep up on taking the things you bought to the pickup.
•People having an upcoming auction are hoping you’ll be at theirs.
And lastly, you should look around your home to see if any of the following apply to you:
•You designate a file to categorize all your auction receipts for tax write-offs.
•Some of your auctions buys are hauled directly to the junkyard for storage.
•You have one or more of everything.
Auction bidding disease can also affect your kids. They may grow up scarred from having to pack so much junk to the pickup for you that they choose a clutter free lifestyle. As adults, they may not appreciate a good auction buy and if they do go to one, getting them to bid on anything may be a hard sell.
column originally published 5-11, 2009

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