Friday, April 16, 2010

Auction Fail

Last night was the auction at my friend V's son's nursery school and my quilt was on the [silent auction] block. I was led to believe that the clientele would be a bunch of high rollers looking for an excuse to throw a lot of money around in the name of benefiting their children's education, and that the handmade items historically sold very well.

Well, they started the bidding on my quilt at $37. That's right, $37 for a one-of-a-kind, completely hand-made quilt. I don't want to get too high on my horse, but, really? That barely covers the cost of materials. Did I mention I completely hand-stitch the binding? I mean, I realize no one who doesn't sew realizes what that entails, but I didn't realize quite how poorly it would translate.

After 2 hours there were a whopping 3 bids: $37, $42 and $57. How. Depressing. As this as unfolding I was updating my dear friend M, who particularly loved the quilt, and she flew to the rescue, all the way from Pittsburgh. With only minutes left in the silent auction, she called V, asked her to make a telephone bid and won the quilt for $150. It will now have a happy home with a fellow craft-lover who is having a baby this summer. I am so touched that M did this, and really feel pretty bad that she laid down so much cash for something that the "market" (or at least the market of West Village mommies and daddies) obviously valued at 1/3 of the price! But, I am also so pleased that it's going to someone who will truly appreciate it.

In the meantime, lesson learned: no more charity auctions for the moment. Le Sigh.


Lynne said...

I think people have no idea what quilts are really worth - not only the materials which are hugely expensive, but the time, blood, sweat, tears, heart and soul that goes into making a quilt - these things are heirlooms and yours is beautiful. Your angry post really did make me laugh. I would have been spitting nails!

Lunden said...

This was so not how I expected the silent auction to go at all. It is great that there was a happy ending but man, those low ball bids were rough, especially for Manhattan. Jeesh! The quilt is gorgeous and it is going to a good home to be well loved and appreciated, but definitely lesson learned.

Anonymous said...

I can empathize which is why I no longer do charities unless it really is something that is quick and easy (low cost on the materials too).

Glad it had a happy ending though!


Jordan said...

Dislike! Dislike!

purduepam said...

Same thing happened to me. I made a baby quilt from organic fabrics with a hand stiched binding and it sold for $50. I have also given baby quilts as gifts and not received a thank you. Most of the world does not appreciate handmade. Also, I believe if you remove the identity verification you may get more comments