Hoarder or minimalist? Doesn’t matter – everyone loves a good bargain. But the whole concept of a bargain varies from person to person. One man’s Canadian suit op-shop find is another man’s 7/11 two-for-one pie deal. Perspective man, it’s a crazy thing. If you’ve overdosed on K-mart décor, or are looking for something outside of the IKEA box, we’ve got a list of places that will tick all your furnishing boxes – cheap, unique and stylish.
Introducing Melbourne’s best auction houses. You go ahead, we’re still unpacking.
The OG of Melbourne’s auction scene is Leonard Joel, an affordable collection of all things beautiful. Week in and out, attendees are graced with unique random AF objects, art, antiques, jewellery and vintage furniture. Not everything's within budget, but you can snag a massive bargain if you're patient. Have a peruse of the online catalogue on Wednesday, bid at Leonard on Thursday, and make sure your goodies are picked up by the Friday. Easy.
Christopher Bragg Auctions
Christopher Bragg is an auction house for all sorts—devoted collectors, seasoned dealers or your modern-day shopper who's looking to fill that wall space with something that isn't a generic IKEA knock-off print. This Northside haven boasts bulk antiques, art, tribal artefacts, books and pre-loved high-quality furniture. Auctions are held the last Sunday of the month at 11am. Hot tip—keep your eyes peeled for sporadic “special auctions” that are announced online. That's where you'll find the best bargains.
The Collector Auctions
Hey Listers, take a walk on The Collector side. This outer-burb bargain house will walk you through 450 lots of items every Thursday at 6pm. Special themed auctions are also held on the first Thursday of each month, including Australiana, Decorative Arts, Blokes Shed, Toys, Ephemera, Rock, Pop, Retro and Australian pottery.
Box Hill & Burwood
Abbey is the master of bric-a-brac. Her main hub is in Box Hill—this is where the household goods are auctioned every Friday at 9am. The Burwood location has a special auction every six weeks (full-timers, don’t fret—it’s on a Saturday), plus a timed online-only auction every month. Highlights? HiFi & records, retro furniture, jewellery, collectibles, cameras, vinyl and toys.
Victoria Police Auction
Yep, just like in the movies. This is where Vic Police come to sell off all the ill-gotten gangster goods. What you'll find kind of depends on the crim activity for the week. So, when Bruce the bikie owes some extra bucks (to avoid extra attention from the Vic Police), Bruce will kindly hand over an asset that covers the debt. You can expect some seriously cheap motor vehicles and trucks, TVs and laptops, home theatre and stereo systems, mobile phones, coffee machines, food processors, power tools, bikes, perfume, furniture, prints, and clothing. The fly in the ointment is the $250 buck registration fee, silver lining—it’s both fully refundable and deductible from your item's purchase price.
This one is most definitely worth the trek (go wild friends make a mid-week vacay of it we dare ya!). Kerleys, much like your old Ministry of Sound CD, works in sessions—every Tuesday at 9.30am guests are graced with the general goods, followed by 1pm’s quality furniture and antiques. We snagged a chocolate fountain and egg-shaped hanging chair. We’d appreciate a moment of silence for the vintage barber chair we (unwillingly) had to leave behind. Pssst chuck ‘em a like on FB like to keep up with the weekly competitions.
Kittelty's Auction Rooms
Kittelty’s is 1200sq metres of (excuse the insensitive morbidity) dead people’s stuff. Auctions are held monthly, with antiques and collectibles on a Sunday and household goods on a Wednesday. With bidding from $10 – $6,000 we're certain you’ll find something that tickles your second-hand pickle. If you have the tendency to over-spend, and know the best way to escape the wrath of your credit card paying partner is to stay the F away from them, Kittelty even does accom at the Eyre House and Webster Apartment.
Looking to snag more bargains? We tracked down the best op shops in Melbourne.
Image credit: Tim Wright