Earlier today, Jeanne and I headed over to the University of Missouri monthly surplus auction. And if you've never been, just know that they have EVERYTHING YOU CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE available for bid. If you are in the market for a used hospital bed or 400 melamine lunch trays from 1985, or a three-phase rectifier, the monthly surplus auction is a WIN, FOR SURE.
(No, I don't know what a three-phase rectifier is at all. But it looks interesting, no?)
Our primary goal was to purchase some tables and chairs for our monthly pie tasting events. We currently rent them each month since we only need them for a single evening, but we find ourselves wishing we just owned them instead of halting our baking schedule on busy pie tasting days to go load up our cars with several six-foot long tables and 25 folding chairs. We just don't wish it enough to go spend $300 or $400 at Sam's and purchase it all for new (primarily because that doesn't sound like a fun use of several hundred dollars). But if we could go to an auction and pick up four or five tables for a nominal amount, we decided we would totally be down with that.
As it turns out, it didn't work that way. The closest we got to buying anything of note was when Jeanne gesticulated when she was talking to me and the auctioneer considered it a bid. Thankfully, he let her off the hook or we would be the proud owners of 30 or so laptop computers from the late 1990s. (It probably helped that we looked completely like we had no clue what we were doing there. Most of those attending appeared to be seasoned auction pros just one event away from starring on Storage Wars. While we sucked down our vent iced coffees, most were enjoying a hot dog from the snack bar that opened at 9 am and plotting out their bidding war plans.)
An hour and a half in, the auction wasn't even 1/4 over. There were several things that looked interesting to us, but then we couldn't make any decisions in the final seconds and then that item would be sold and the whole crowd would shuffle left to the next item. We quickly realized that getting the tables for cheap was dubious at best, plus we guessed it would be at least another hour or so before the auctioneer even made it to that section of the warehouse...so we decided to throw in the towel and head back to PJP Buttonwood. But not empty-handed...
She has a bizarre obsession with collecting massive picture frames and for $5 plus tax, she couldn't be stopped. Who knows...maybe we will become regulars on the surplus auction circuit. But never for the 9 am snack bar hot dogs...