Go Green, Save Green, Buy at Auction!

Second hand saves the planet and saves you money…

Every decade or so, Americans seem to become hyper aware of the need to save the environment and “go green.” When I was the tender age of 12, in 1992, the incoming democratic administration of President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, brought environmentalism to the forefront of the political spectrum. Saving the planet was something very important to me at the time. Through the Bush years, the environment took a back seat to more pressing issues. It’s back again with yet another democratic administration urging the American people to go green! From my perspective, the green movement is moving at a far more rapid pace today than ever before.

Well, green people, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is, and if you buy at auction, you will have enough money left over to do just that – or at least more in your pocket.

Most auction houses across the country specialize in one thing: used merchandise. From dinnerware to furniture, to art and antiques, you can buy on the cheap without increasing your carbon footprint. The problem I see in recent generations including Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y alike, is that tastes are more cosmopolitan than they used to be. The fancy things of the past, Victorian and Colonial styles you typically find at auction, are just not “mod” enough for people to put in their homes. Instead, “fake furniture” from places like IKEA are highly desired by my piers as is anything you can get at Haverties or Macy’s. My friends spend hundreds or even thousands furnishing one room! At auction, on the other hand, imagine furnishing an entire house for under $5000, without increasing your carbon footprint and the need to chop down a few more trees!

The fact of the matter is, buying at auction gives you a range of choices on gently used merchandise at a fraction of retail value. My very first auction 5 years ago, I purchased a china cabinet for a whopping $16.50. At the time, I was looking at new china cabinets ranging from $500-2000. It was an impulse buy because I couldn’t believe how cheap everything was going for; but now I know that I can upgrade anytime for considerably less than the cost of a new china cabinet. Additionally, I have been able to decorate my home with original artist signed prints for a fraction of the cost of generic poster prints you see at the mall, as well as other items of intrigue and conversation pieces.

The point is, if you really want to save the planet, trying to force everyone and their uncle into a smart car they don’t want is the wrong approach. Instead save some trees, carbon emissions and some cash. Buy at auction!

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About Berkeley Brown
Anson Brown, co-founder and principal of Auction Exclusive, is an expert in rare books, prints, antique maps, historical manuscripts and autographs. He is also well versed in a variety of fine and decorative arts and antiques and has 7 years experience in the auction industry. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from George Mason University and and Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland.

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