Central Stores' annual car auction a success
Published: Monday, October 12, 2009
Updated: Monday, January 18, 2010 15:01
Saturday morning was cloudy with a slight breeze - fine weather for October in New England. Although the chance of rain might not have mattered to the bulk of the student body, it was a cause for concern over at Depot Campus where the UConn Public Surplus Store was hosting its Auto Auction.
Local residents, UConn staff and even a few UConn students showed up looking to purchase a new vehicle. According to Robert Glass, an auctioneer contracted by the university who also runs his own business, the bidding started at 10 a.m. and lasted for two hours.
Glass announced prices via bullhorn for everything from standard four-door cars to dump trucks.
"We sold all 52 vehicles," said Glass.
Ibibia Altraide, a UConn student, made several purchases, one of which was a bus. Altraide, who is originally from Nigeria, said he plans to ship the bus back home, along with at least two of the vans he also bought.
According to Altraide, there is a huge need for transportation in Nigeria and people have trouble traveling from one town to another. Altraide, who has been thinking about starting a company in Nigeria for a while, plans to provide interstate transportation with the vehicles he purchased.
"This one hurt though," Altraide said, pointing at one of his new vans. "I got that one for $1,000 but then they sold that bigger one for $700 right after."
But a couple hundred dollars might not make too much of a difference, considering he is already paying more for shipping than he did for the vehicles themselves.
"Once the bus is over there I'll have my brother pick it up and we'll start our own company," said Altraide. "Right now it's just the one bus, but in a few years who knows, we could be a big company."
Other students, like Neil Parzych, a 5th-semester English major, just came to check out the Public Surplus Store.
"We were late so we missed the auction," said Parzych. "I would have liked to get one of those golf carts."
Still there was plenty to see at the store. Computers, microscopes, shoes, weights, tables, chairs, file cabinets, couches, silverware, treadmills, cell phones and even a pool table were among the items for sale.
It's all leftover stuff that is donated to the store by the various departments here at UConn, said Wayne Landry, the manager for Central Stores and Motor Pool.
"We turn trash into cash," said Landry.
The Public Surplus Store started in August of 2001 when the university ran out of room for all of its surplus items. According to Landry, it has been very successful ever since.
"We just decided to open it to the public and see what happens," said Landry.
Central Stores host its showroom Monday through Thursday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for the university departments and opens up to the public once a month.
According to Landry, this is usually on Fridays, except for when they do vehicle auctions.
You can check dates and times for their public sales on their Web site at www.stores.uconn.edu.