Read This & Save A Bundle
Where to go, what to buy, and how to outfit your wardrobe, your home, and your life without going broke.
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Who needs eBay? We’ve got better auctions right here.
Most Westchesterites are intimidated by auctions, or just don’t know that local ones exist. The money you’ll spend at an auction, however, often will buy you something either of a higher quality than you’ll find in a retail store, or something so unusual that you’d never find it again. Tom Curran, the arts specialist at Clarke Auction Gallery in Larchmont, offers these tips for first-time auction-goers:
1. Don’t be afraid. “That famous cliché of someone scratching their nose and accidentally buying a ten-thousand-dollar piece of art doesn’t happen,” Curran says.
2. Observe. Leave your wallet behind the first time you go to an auction; just see how things operate. “People come to see the auction as theater, just for the entertainment value,” Curran says.
3. Do your research. Clarke Auction Gallery holds three days of previews before an auction so you can look closely, ask questions, and research how much you should be willing to pay for an item.
4. Set a limit. (Easy.) And stick to it! (Hard.)
Ready to test it out? Here are some local and nearby auction houses.
Butterscotch Auction Gallery
Bedford Historic Hall, Rte 22, Bedford Village (914) 764-4609
Auctions held: Three or four times a year. The next one is scheduled for April.
Items on the block: Quality estate merchandise, including paintings, sculptures, and jewelry.
Recent sale: A Walter Lunt-Palmer painting went for $28,000.
Clarke Auction Gallery
2372 Post Rd, Larchmont (914) 833-8336
Auctions held: 20 auctions a year. There are monthly sales on Monday nights, along with two special art sales per year and a storage cleanup sale.
Items on the block: Antiques, mid-century modern furniture, fine art, sterling silver, chandeliers, Oriental carpets.
Recent sale: Clarke currently holds the world record for fine art, selling an African-American painting for $176,000. (The sale beat Christie’s.) But savvy buyers may be more interested in the hand-knotted Persian rugs, which can go for as low as $500.
Braswell’s Auction Gallery
You can find impressive items like this vargueno cabinet at Braswell Galleries.
333 Unquowa Rd; Westport, CT (203) 685-3808
Auctions held: Four to six times a year
Items on the block: Estate items including furniture, porcelain items, paintings,
Recent sale: One bidder walked away with a book of 54 Japanese woodblock prints. While one print usually goes for $100, the auction winner got the entire book for $650.
Discount furniture shops and home décor retailers
ABC Carpet & Home Warehouse Outlet—Manhattan’s preeminent mecca of furniture, furnishings, and home décor’s discount outlet in the Bronx offers great deals on antique and vintage furniture, lighting, mirrors, rugs, carpets, and more. (Bronx 718-842-8770) .
Bloomingdale’s Furniture Outlet—This behemoth (64,000+ square feet) last-chance stop for the popular department store chain sells new but discontinued furniture, décor, and rugs at 75 to 80 percent off original prices. (Hawthorne 914-592-0413)
Gothic Cabinet Craft—For the price of some faux-wood ready-to-asåsemble furniture, Gothic Cabinet Craft offers solid, real-wood furniture unfinished, or in a variety of custom stains and paints. (Yonkers 914-779-7422, 914-709-1294; Elmsford 914-345-6161)
HomeGoods is stocked with gifts—even for pets.
HomeGoods—This sister chain to Marshalls and TJ Maxx offers home furnishings at affordable prices. (New Rochelle, 914-235-9821; White Plains 914-644-8157; Yonkers 914-476-4033)
Natural Selection Furniture—Find well-priced, environmentally friendly, all-wood unfinished and custom-finished furniture for more than 40 years. (Port Chester, Scarsdale, Yonkers 914-761-3864
Two’s Company Outlet Store—On Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 3 pm, enjoy 5 to 10 percent discounts off wholesale prices on Two’s Company merchandise. (Elmsford 914-345-2222)
Tuesday Morning—The lone Westchester outpost of this home goods chain offers a huge sale on the first Tuesday of each month, including home décor and accessories and area rugs. (Yonkers 914-337-7456)