Top 5 Unusual Auction Items that Actually Sell

Man standing in front of an open storage compartment.

There are some items you expect to see at an auction: antiques, cars or artwork are just a few examples of common items up for bid. Other auctions can leave you scratching your head, with items for sale that you never knew existed. As auctions evolve, they open up new opportunities for buyers as well as sellers.

If you’re looking to get rid of something that’s taking up space around the home, chances are, there’s a market of buyers out there who will bid for it. For buyers, more options are always a good thing. No matter how obscure an item may seem, there’s someone out there who’s selling it. Just how obscure do unusual auction items get? Read on to find out.

Skeletons

What do you keep in your closet? If you’re anything like the people who look for animal skeletons or bones in online auctions, you have a collection of creatures that once roamed the earth. Collect enough individual bones for a species, and you could complete a skeletal puzzle right at home. If you feel a little grossed out by such a purchase, rest assured many people are using these unique auction items for things like education and research. At least that’s what we hope.

Alcoholic Beverages

Racks of dusty bottles of wine

Never underestimate the lengths to which some will go to buy a drink with a story behind it. A rare, well-aged wine, beer or liquor can go for thousands of dollars at auction. One source for these beverages is the sea floor — shipwrecks can be a treasure trove of liquid gold. Imagine coming home after a long day, pouring a glass of centuries old rum and sipping it as if you’ve taken a time machine to a bygone era. Old bottles of alcohol give new meaning to the term throwback.

Celebrity Knick Knacks

There is a large market for anything to do with celebrities, as proven by the auctions that have occurred recently. Some of the most sought after items include locks of celebrity hair, articles of clothing and other personal belongings. You can even find items that celebrities briefly interacted with, such as bus tickets, hairbrushes or toenail clippers. They’re not the kinds of things we sell at our auctions, but hey, we won’t judge if you’re into that.

Taxidermy

While preserving the body of a dead animal may or may not be something you’re interested in, there’s no denying the high demand for taxidermy pieces in auctions. The people who buy these items look for the most realistic recreations of living wildlife available. Whether you’re looking for a fierce bear or a graceful elk, you can find one that’s preserved forever at auction.

Air

Zipper storage bag full of air

Yes, some people have attempted to pull money from thin air. Following a significant concert or sporting event, it’s common to find zipper storage bags that supposedly contain air from said event on sites like eBay. Of course, these auctions are likely scams — there’s no way to prove that packaged air originated from a specific place or time. Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped some people from buying and selling air, including a bag of air from a Kanye West concert that went for $60,000.

Make it Unique

If you’re thinking about buying or selling truly unique items through an auction, the first step is determining how unusual those items actually are. At Auction Masters, we can appraise your items to give you a better understanding of their rarity and value. The appraisal is a rough estimate, so there are no guarantees an item will sell for a quoted price at auction. On the other hand, the item could spark a bidding war and go for a higher price than expected. When you have a unique item on your hands, some people are willing to pay more than face value to get it.

If you’re a buyer, you can use Auction Masters to find unique items you won’t find anywhere else, such as industrial machinery, restaurant equipment from beloved establishments and arcade games from entertainment destinations. Don’t know where to start? Check out our ever-changing list of current and upcoming auctions.