Neighborhood auctions, an alternative to Black Friday shopping

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ELKMONT, Ala. (WHNT) - Many people spent this Black Friday waiting in line and fighting the crowds. But others found an alternative way to start their shopping. They travel to neighborhood auctions. The treasures you find there are yours if the price is right.

Twice a week here at Donna's Barn and Cafe in Elkmont, you can find anything from knives to comforters, even an Auburn bucket every now and then. Fact is, you never know what people are going to bring up here to sell. But you can bet, it'll be a bargain.

"Well, everybody's trying to get everything a lot cheaper. You just don't have all that money to throw around now. You know, so you have to, you come to auctions to try to get it as cheap as you can," explains Donna Hardiman.

Johnny Barnes calls the sales. It's his job to keep the crowd engaged and release their impulse to bid and buy. "Ah, when I'm doing that, bah-did-a-bah-bah-bah, the floor people out here plays a big part in that. If they get out here and yep, yep yep, and all that, that gets the crown into it and everybody has a good time," Barnes says.

But there's the one thing that keeps people coming back week after week.

"Bargains. Times are tough and you get good deals up here," says auction regular Tommy Poss.

And it's a lot more fun than standing in line at a big box store.

There are auctions almost every night of the week across the Tennessee Valley. Each one has its own atmosphere, as well as different types of merchandise. To find an auction near you, go to www.auctionzip.com. When the page opens, type in your zip code and click the SEARCH button. The page defaults to a search of auctions within 30 miles of your location, but you can easily change that and search for auctions up to 500 miles away from you! Donna's Barn and Cafe auction are not listed on that page, but many others in the Madison, Morgan and Limestone County areas are. Enjoy!