How often do you show up at an auction and spot table after table laden with nudie mags? Not collectors plates, not worn-out electronics. Gentlemen’s periodicals. Lots of them.

We’re not just talking Playboy, either - these stacks ran the gamut from modestly naughty page-turners you could pick up at Barnes & Noble, to centerfolds that would make the most grizzled trucker blush. This shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me, as this auction was a whole lot of “man things”: old tools, antique chests, and the aforementioned girlie mags. It was as if someone had cleaned out grandpa’s shed, or a vintage “man cave.”

The crowd was pretty nice, the typical run-of-the-mill auction goers there to pick up some box lots and broken electronics. Admittedly, there weren’t a whole lot of deals to be had, though I did scoop up a $75 tool chest loaded to the brim with antique tools. I also missed out on a whole box of rare, vintage Jimi Hendrix posters. These treasures in question were the lone rolled-up posters in the midst of all the magazines from before - so you can see why I wasn’t in a big hurry to unfurl them and see what they were. Lesson duly learned: from now on, if I see nudie mags and mysterious posters, I’m going through them.

Lesson duly learned: from now on, if I see nudie mags and mysterious posters, I’m going through them.

As a whole, the box lots were better bets than the single items laid out. The friend who came along with me that day was a pro at picking out knives and tools, and I relied on him to snatch up the valuable tools when he spotted them. We did get a good deal on some, though for the most part, there was nothing sexy to be had. Lots of junk. There was a lot of stuff I don’t usually buy, but after driving over an hour into Pennsylvania, I wasn’t going home without something.

Pro tip

Bringing a friend with you to the larger auctions definitely makes things easier. If you’ve both agreed on what to look for, as well as a maximum spend limit, you can better coordinate between bidding and transporting your wins to the car.

Pro tip

Good, the box lots were really strong at this one