Clearing Sale: If you are travelling and staying in a country region and want a great day out, keep an eye out in the local papers for a Clearing Sale. These are fantastic social occasions and can be very cheap, if you don’t start buying. On this occasion were heading to a one on a property called “Avonside” in NSW, and had to travel quite someway so decided to stay at the Buckley’s Crossing Hotel nearby.
The Crossing is an entry point to the magnificent Snowy Mountains, and staying at the Pub would allow us to be at the sale nice and early. Getting to a sale early gives you the chance to look over the items before the sale begins. It also meant spending a fantastic night at a wonderful local pub.
In reality a clearing sale it is an auction of farm equipment held on the farm or station property. Anything and everything is offered for sale from large machinery such as harvesters, tools, implements, utes, motorbikes, 4-wheelers, tractors, tools for the workshop, household items, including collectable items which may have been placed in storage years.
A clearing sale is an auction sale of farm equipment held on the farm or station property. Anything and everything is offered for sale from large machinery such as harvesters, plus tools, implements, utes, motorbikes, 4-wheelers, tractors, tools for the workshop, household items, including collectable items which may have been placed in storage years. For the archaeologists amongst us this huge display of personal effects and work items provides some insight into what the property ran, and also a glimpse into the life of the owners.
I used to think that auctioneers spoke quickly because they would earn more money. However that is not entirely true… What I have found is that they talk fast to keep the bidding alive and interesting, because people would lose interest if it was slow and boring. The guys selling at “Avonside” in this sale in the Snowy Mountains kept the crowd laughing, whilst the bidding flew thick and fast and it was a lot of fun.
Bargains are there for the taking. In most cases the machinery and farm equipment are found to be in good condition and ready for use. It really does make for a great day out and you have the opportunity to chat and meet locals plus buy more junk for the home. Beware! What you buy has to be taken away, so no point buying stuff that won’t fit in the car.
These days you can spot the antique dealers who attend a big clearing sale, particularly when lots of old furniture, collectables and knick knacks are advertised. They will be the people bidding on everything old and antique looking. Buying antiques is not as easy as it sounds as you really need to know what to buy and how much to spend. The selling at a clearing sale can sometimes be like eBay auctions, people simply get a bee in their bonnet and quite insane bidding can take place. For instance, I can remember watching a couple of buyers many years ago bidding on Sunshine Milk tins in Tasmania. That’s right, old tins with no labels and many with no lids… the lot of 10 empty tins sold for $20!
Generally a clearing sale is strictly cash. When you arrive there will be a registration table where you register and you will be given a bidders number. To get your number you will need to provide ID so you can be verified. If you are going to pay by cheque for larger items (a tractor for $20,000) then the possession of the items is upon cheque clearance, and you will need to speak with the auctioneers before bidding.