Bikes, office equipment and an airboat sold at 41st Annual CMU Public Auction


Auctioneer Colt Johnson takes bids on a dishwasher on Saturday, June 24, 2017.

More than 300 bidders participated in the 41st annual Central Michigan University Public Auction, which was held in Lot 1 at 275 West Bellows Street on Saturday, June 24.

The turnout for this year was slightly better than the previous years, said University Store manager Jeff Peavey. A count of 301 registered bidders roughly translates to nearly 600 people in total attending the auction.

Bill Crossley, owner of Bill Country Auto Salvage in Bannister, spent over $1,500 at the auction, buying mostly old restaurant equipment like refrigerators and ovens, which he intends to sell for scrap. 

Crossley has come to the annual auction for the past fifteen years. As the owner of a salvage company, Crossley attends auctions as often as he can. Crossley considers the CMU auction to be one of the better ones that he goes to.

"(This auction) has a lot more people, and the town is bigger," he said. "Being in a big town really makes a difference for auctions like this."

The annual auction is co-hosted by the CMU University Store and Sykora Auction Service Inc., an auction company based in Clare.

Items sold at the auction includes older classroom and office equipment from the university, which is donated by departments around campus when the equipment is replaced or otherwise not needed anymore. Peavey considers the auction to be a better alternative than throwing the equipment away, and an opportunity for people in the community to get items at a much cheaper price than they could find elsewhere. 

The auction also receives donated items from the Mount Pleasant Police Department and the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. In addition to three used police cruisers, the MPPD donated over 250 bicycles, all of which were taken from the department's lost-and-found.

Twelve vehicles in total were sold at the event, which is more than the average from previous years. Many of the vehicles sold were older service vehicles donated by CMU's Facilities Management Administration. 

One of the more unusual items sold was a 2000 American Airboat, which was donated by a client from Beaver Island. The airboat was sold for $14,250 to Jody Scott, who plans to use the boat for duck hunting.

Colt Johnson is one of three auctioneers from Sykora who oversaw the sales. Johnson has been an auctioneer at Sykora for four years.

"This is one of our biggest auctions of the year," Johnson said. "There's definitely a lot more stuff, and a different crowd of people than what we're used to. I like the fast pace, and meeting all types of different people."