Cars, bikes, clothes and more sold at 40th annual CMU Public Auction

Items previously owned by Central Michigan University sold quickly Saturday as the University Stores held the 40th annual CMU Public Auction.

The auction began at 9 a.m. Saturday in Lot 1 on north campus. More than 15 vehicles, two rolls of turf, office supplies, old residence hall beds, athletic apparel and more was sold. 

Jeff Peavey, manager of CMU's University Stores, said he thought Saturday's turnout was a success.

"I think the auction turned out really good and we got a lot of stuff auctioned off," Peavey said. "We had approximately 300 bidders. People are getting some values and it's important for the university to repurpose this stuff as much as we can. I'm very proud of the auction this year."

Detroit native and current Mount Pleasant resident Thomas Belcher, 32, was looking for items for his real-estate business located in Alma.

"They've been selling some of this stuff for dirt cheap and I don't know where else to get stuff like this," Belcher said. "I figured I'd come down here with a few hundred dollars and see what I can do."

Belcher bought a few filing cabinets, office supplies and a 1996 Ford F250 van.

The CMU Police Department was also on site, in uniform and undercover, to make sure no items were stolen prior to being sold. Officer Chris Pryor was one of the officers on site at the auction.

"(The CMU Police Department) has been around since the (auction) began to make sure everything goes smoothly," he said. "There's a variety of items to pick from. It's a good opportunity for people to get high quality items at a decent price that they wouldn't have the opportunity to get anywhere else."

As the school year comes to a close, Peavey said each department assesses its inventory to see what items, such as desktops, desks, tables and chairs, it needs and doesn't need. Items deemed too old or in poor condition are given to University Stores to be sorted for reuse in other departments or are taken to be sold at the auction.

According to CMU's website, "surplus equipment is evaluated for quality, function, and safety. If an item is determined to be unfit for use or is no longer useful, it is sent to public sale. Equipment and furnishings that are in reusable condition are transferred to university departments as requested."

The money made at the auction is put into the university's general fund. Peavey said he could not estimate the total earnings.

The university has worked with Sykora Auction Service Inc. since the auction began 40 years ago. Sykora Auction Service has hosted over 5,000 auctions since it founded in 1948 by James J. Sykora, who is in the Michigan State Auctioneer Association Hall of Fame. Current president and owner of Sykora, Scott J. Sykora, was head auctioneer at the CMU Public Auction on Saturday.