Sunday, June 24, 2012

Auction Day

Yesterday started out a bit hectic, as I needed to care for the dogs before making an early run to town.  Innoko is doing surprisingly well after his neuter.  True to his Canadian Eskimo Dog heritage, he's tough as nails and stoic beyond belief.  He's already back out in the yard, though in a pen by himself rather than on a chain.  While 'confining' the big guy is nearly impossible, it is still wise to minimize his activity with his kennel mates for a few more days.

With the dogs fed, watered and the yard cleaned, it was time to head into Fairbanks for the annual Alyeska Pipeline Service Company surplus auction.  I had seen a few items of interest in the brochure, so figured it might be a chance to pick up some things relatively cheaply.

The auction company did a very professional job of running the sale, and this year it was a big one with over 250 vehicles, a lot of heavy equipment, and so forth.  I was interested in smaller stuff. 

The first item I wanted was some chain link fencing, but there was no way I was going to match the winning bid.  Whether it was a case of 'auction fever' or just not knowing the actual value of the stuff, the lady who won that lot paid very close to retail price for the fencing.  I stopped bidding well before that.  I was concerned it wouldn't bode well for my chances, but persevered and I'm glad I did. 

At the end of the day, I purchased a good, stout flat bed trailer that will be useful hauling around the tractor and as a foundation for dog boxes when I need to transport more dogs than will fit on the truck for just $1,000.00, well under the typical cost for such trailers in this area.  I also picked up a 300 lb. fire extinguisher on a cart that is more than enough to handle anything short of the Apocalypse or major wildfire that might threaten the place.  That set me back a whole $200.00 compared to an advertised price of over $3,000.00, and a small portable generator that will likely be handy for powering tools and in a power failure should be sufficient to run the furnace and prevent the place from freezing up.  I figured for $50.00 even if it doesn't run I can salvage the materials to pay for the minimal price. 

I had considered picking up a 30 year old four-wheeler that still runs and drives well, but when the price went over $1,000.00 I backed away from that like it was on fire.  That's just way too much for a machine with a fair market value of around $800.00 or so. 

Auctions are interesting, no doubt.  I'm amazed at how little one may have to pay in some cases, and how much some folks are willing to spend thinking they are getting a 'deal' when in reality they are overspending by a considerable amount. 

I'm very pleased with my own purchases, and I hope all the winners are as happy as I.

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