One dollar, two dollars, three dollars, SOLD! It is time again for Sam Houston State University’s biannual auction. Open to the public this Saturday, loads of lots will be sold to the highest bidder.
With items ranging from vending machines to TV’s, this year’s auction will not disappoint thrifty shoppers.
“We have various different items up for auction this year,” said Wayne Frosch, property coordinator for SHSU. “We are auctioning off a pipe organ that came from the recital hall.”
While most students cannot fit a pipe organ in their dorm or apartment, a larger TV or a book shelving unit could really come in handy.
“Last year a single lot of electronic items went for $850,” said Sara Davis, accounting clerk two. “There was everything from overhead projectors, to VCR’s and cameras.”
As the warehouse presently packed to the ceiling with all sorts of goods, Davis says the hottest items are usually the pianos.
“We think our biggest sales this year will be on the pianos,” said Davis. “We have quite a few of very nice one’s to be auctioned.”
Although the bulk of the items include office furniture items such as credenzas, desks, chairs, bookshelves and filing cabinets, shoppers can also be inclined to score on items such as film developer, baseball uniform tops, plastic football face guards as well as other miscellaneous items.
“In previous years we have sold items like a mechanical bull,” Davis said. “We have also sold portable buildings and small houses from the ranch.”
Storing items until there is enough for an auction, the property warehouse keeps items moving through their building constantly.
“We average two auctions per calendar year,” said Frosch. “If the warehouse fills up because a building is remodeling and getting rid of its older stuff, it is likely that we will have another auction that year, we will have an auction when the building is packed.”
Not only does the building pack itself to the brim, but the parking lot is also loaded with washers, dryers, refrigerators and vehicles.
“We have five vehicles up for auction this year,” said Davis. “On the day of the auction we will have the side walks and parking lot filled with many different items like washers and dryers.”
With lots typically selling for $1.00, $2.50 or $10.00, Davis says it really depends on who is interested in what and how much a particular person are wanting to spend.
“We usually make around $12,000-$15,000 each auction,” said Frosch. “Last year we made about $35,000 because we sold ten nice vehicles.”
As loads of items constantly poor in, Davis says she and her co-workers have friendly games to see whose guess will get closest to the final amount.
“We take a guess at how much we will make each year,” Davis said. “One of us will say, ‘$13,000,’ and someone else will say, “No, $20,000!’ We never know what the final amount will be until the auction closes.”
Advertising in local area papers, and also through mailing out flyers, Davis says people will call from surrounding cities to inquire about the auction.
“This auction is open for who ever would like to come,” Davis said. “I had a person call from the Woodlands who was interested.”
Davis and Frosch, both say that hiring Kevin McMillian, a licensed auctioneer to come in a sell items, usually makes a huge difference.
“We have had Kevin come in for about five years now,” Frosch said. “The people who come have usually been here before and are loyal to the auctioneer. If the auctioneer is not as good as he should be, participation will drop off in a hurry.”
With all the sales made, Frosch says the revenue made from the auction is divided up between two groups.
“The money that is made will be distributed into two different groups,” said Frosch. “Half of the money goes into the state account and the other half gets put into a local account which helps pay for various maintenance workers as well as student workers.”
The public auction is to be held this Saturday at the Sam South Complex, 2424 Sam Houston Ave., beginning at 8:30 a.m., with the inspection starting at 7:30 a.m. For more information, call Wayne Frosch (936) 294-1903 or (936) 294-1908.