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Main Auction

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I don't want to brag, but I scored a (used) wood dining room table, two extra leaves to expand it and six chairs for $56. Where on Earth did this happen? The Main Auction.

If you relish yard sales, this is Mecca: You can bid on everything from cars to commercial refrigerators to Corningware casserole dishes.

Now in its fourth generation of ownership, the Main Auction is a public consignment sale where some of the items go for as little as $1. The wooden building on Main Street between 29th and 30th streets looks like a cattle auction barn and was saved recently from a fire raging at the warehouse next door.

Much of the joy of the Main Auction is people watching. Politicians, bikers, farmers, immigrants and North Enders all convene Saturdays from 10 a.m. until everything is sold.

Here's a good strategy: Stop by on Friday and scope out the goods. Ask Dave Jr., the owner, when that item will sell. He'll give you the approximate time of day so you can float in right before the sale. Attention rookies: don't bid first. My table started out at $300 and went down to $50 before the bidding started.

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