What Makes This Auction Item Worth $4,500?

We all know that going to an auction can bring big surprises.  All it takes is at least 2 people who want the same item to bid up the price.

At the Wayne Hruby estate auction on Saturday, May 4th, local auctioneer Mitch Barthel said he was going to quickly go through the miscellaneous  items on the auction when one item got the attention of a couple of buyers. It wasn’t even listed on the sale bill…So when Mitch put the Waseca leg hold bear trap up for bids, he started at $50.  Mitch said his brother Reed was assisting him at the sale and told him he had a bid for $1000!  Mitch thought he was joking, but then another bid came in for $2000!  And the final bid for the bear trap reached $4,500!!!

The winning bidder was Joe Koegell of Maplewood, a friend of Wayne Hruby.  Answering the question of whether or not they still use these traps, no state in the U.S. allows bears to be trapped using a foot hold trap like this one.  If you have one of these traps, they are valuable.  Depending on the model and the collector, they can be worth up to $7000!

Mitch Barthel runs the weekly sale at Perham Stockyards and says he’s received calls of interest on bear traps after talking about this sale on the Superstation morning show.  He says a caller from Park Rapids told him he had one and was asking $1000 for his.

That’s why you never know what you’ll find that’s valuable at an auction sale.  My grandfather was a weekly buyer at auction sales and when he died, it took years to go thru all the things he’d purchased.

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