mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More auction action...

In my time at work, I've managed to build up a certain amount of goodwill. I'm pretty good about coming in on time, working through lunch, and not taking a lot of sick days, and in return my boss is pretty cool about saying yes when I make the occasional request for a little leeway. So yesterday, I asked to take a long lunch so I could go to an auction up in Hunt Valley, and since it was pretty quiet and we didn't have anything scheduled, he was OK with it.

The auction was The Center for Management And Technology, a nonprofit that evidently was involved in embezzling several million dollars. It's always a good sign when the auction starts off mentioning that "there were several thousand computers, but they were seized by the FBI" and "there probably are some FBI people around, so don't steal anything".

There were a ton of good deals to be had - evidently, CMAT spared no expense. A lot of 6 Herman Miller areon-type chairs went for $300, a Cisco firewall that goes for $2500 went for a grand, and about $800 worth of Minolta toner went for $300. They did charge a 15% buyers premium, plus tax if you didn't have a resellers license.

I didn't want to have a huge amount of money tied up in inventory, wasn't sure of the value of some of the stuff, and didn't want to get into a bidding war, so I only bought 3 lots, although I bid on a bunch of other ones. Unfortunately, there were two other IT types there (one of whom was at the Record and Tape Trader's auction a few weeks back), so there were actually people who knew what stuff was worth and bid prices up - to prices that were good, but not a steal.

So what did madanthony buy? 3 lots:

Polycom Video system and phone - $175 - when I got it home, I realized the video system was missing the power supply - and sadly, I remembered seeing some stuff in another lot I didn't win that might have included it. Still, another one of the video systems sold for $406 on eBay, also missing power supply. If I can get the phone working, it will probably fetch $100 or so.

Everything on 3 shelves - $20 - bunch of wireless keyboards, mice, a few dell power supplies and laptop docking stations (which is the primary reason I bought it), and some other random desk-type stuff (labels, nametag holders, half-empty spindle of dvd-r's and cd-r's), power cables, network cables, a box of cat5, ect. I haven't really sorted this, and half of it's still sitting in my truck.

9 file servers, $5 each - Several people were looking at these and opened them up, but nobody else bid on them - auctioneer kept dropping the price (price by the piece, buy the lot) and when it got down to $5 I bit. Nobody else did. I figured the cases alone had to be worth more than $5 and I could sell them at hamfest. When I loaded the truck, I discovered there were actually 9 and not 8. When I went back to work and plugged one in, I discovered that I got a hell of a deal. The cases alone go for $183.99 plus $25 shipping from Newegg. The motherboard is an MSI, the processor is an AMD Semepron 2800+, it has dual Seagate 80 gig SATA drives as a RAID, and 512 of Kingston RAM, plus floppy and cdrom. I figure I can probably get up to $200 a piece for them at Hamfest. And I paid $5.

If I had the same luck with women that I do with the last couple auctions I've been to, I'd be Hugh Heffner.


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