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Buying at Auction – So Fort Worth It

Buying At Auction – So Fort Worth It

Buying at Auctions for your Home is the Best Thing Ever!

Christy Smith for So Fort Worth It

I’ve been on the hunt for hidden treasures for our home for over 20 years. I’ve always been interested in antiques, and good deals – shopping like a boss is in my DNA! But I really got serious about finding furniture and other home goods when I married Jason. Filling a new home is no easy task, especially on a newlywed budget. That’s when I discovered the magic of auctions.

I grew up in a diversely furnished home, and naturally, I fell into the habit of, well, furnishing diversely. Walking into a store or a showroom and coming out with an entire roomful of furniture has never been my jam, and it shouldn’t be yours either. There’s nothing creative about matchy-matchy, IMO. I love and appreciate all of the different things I’ve collected over the years in my home. From my great grandmother’s curio cabinet in our bathroom to special pieces from our travels – some of it fun and funky, some of it basic but essential, but all of it representing a beautiful memory.

I’ve found that auctions are the best way to shop for one-of-a-kind finds. I’ve also been able to score some sweet deals over the years. There’s always something for everyone – and I always find plenty of things that need to come home with me. And sometimes, they do!

I have developed quite an effective strategy for scouting, bidding and buying at auction, one I am going to share with you (for free!). Here, revealed for the very first time, are my Top Five Tips on How to Win Big at an Auction

Five Tips on How to Win Big at an Auction

1. Try to attend the auction preview. However, if you cannot see an item in person thoroughly read the condition reports. You can also speak with someone over the phone for more pictures and information.

2. Only pre-bid if you will not be available during the live auction. Otherwise, you will receive alerts each time someone outbids you, but as long as your MAX bid is programmed, you won’t miss out on the item.

3. If you are going in with a budget be sure to do your math. A little reverse math will save you a headache. Factor in the Hammer Fee, taxes and possible shipping cost for larger items.

Sample: Budget – Hammer Fee – Taxes = Actual Bidding Amount

Example: $2000 – 28% – 8.25% = $1,321.20

4. Don’t bid if you’re not sure you want to buy. If yours is the winning bid, you’re committed to the purchase. You can’t change your mind once the auction is closed.

5. During a live auction I always wait until the very end to place my bid. Literally “going once…going twice…” BID.

And speaking of, I was excited to pop over to J. Garrett Auctioneers in Dallas last week. The reason for my visit was a benefit for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra that offered a sneak peek (before the public preview) at the firm’s latest high-profile auction: The Loyd-Paxton Collection. Oh Em Gee, y’all, it was amazeballs!

The Loyd-Paxton name has exuded glamour and exclusivity throughout the antiques and interior design world for over five decades. The creative forces behind the name, Lloyd Taylor and Paxton Gremillion, earned international renown by fusing unparalleled talent and taste with extraordinary décor. Their approach was to create a total environment rather than just putting pretty stuff in rooms. Among the duo’s most distinguished clients: Sir Elton John, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and Versailles (yes, that Versailles!).

When it came time for Taylor to downsize, he chose J. Garrett Auctioneers to rehome his prestigious pieces, including rare 18th and 19th-century antiques and art. I may or may not be purchasing something this go around, but I always love to look, and some of the lots at the Loyd-Paxton Collection are serving inspiration for days.

If you aren’t following me on Instagram, you are missing out on ALL the behind-the-scenes fun from this incredible auction (you can find it in my highlights).

Upcoming J. Garrett Auction Details

Preview: March 15th-19th (10am-5pm)

Jewelry Preview: March 18th and 19th (10 am-3 pm)

Auction Start Times: March 20th and 21st (11 am CST)

9203 Diplomacy Row Dallas TX 75247

Peep for yourself here, and while you’re at it, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra is offering the chance to win a fabulous gift basket valued at $5650. Your chances of winning are spectacular. To participate in the raffle, email

If you have been decorating your home for some time, you know how difficult it can be to find that perfect piece. Auctions are a great way to find special pieces that really enhance a home. J. Garrett does auctions twice a year, so if nothing fits the mold this time, check back in the fall for some more treasures. You can also visit their sister company, Legacy Antiques, in the Design District in Dallas for some everyday retail fun.

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