I have been to this one many times. Yes, its a business. The seller
pays the auctioneer a commission. This is an 'absolute' auction with no
reserves. Many a bargains can be had, especially if no one else is
interested in what you are bidding on. Most of what is at this
particular auction is surplus, scratch and dent or misordered custom
building supplies. Several times I have seen entire contents of a
closed up hardware store go up for sale by the skid lot. Sometimes
lumber is cull piles, sometimes lumber is recycled (like old barn
beams). Sometimes there are trusses, whole sets, that may have been the
wrong size or something. I was talking to the guy selling the walnut,
he had no say in the price whatsoever. Usually the seller is not
present, this was an unusual case. He gave a brief speech before the
auctioneer started, saying kiln dried, stored for so many years,
selling because he was moving, etc. with the hopes of enticing a higher
bid. This auction does NOT sell retail merchandise (Well, actually a
guy does have a table with cheap import tools and stuff). This is a
true auction marketplace. Things only sell for what someone is willing
to pay for them. No minimum bids at all. I have gotten cabinets for $1
several times in the past. Got a nice solid cherry cabinet for laundry
room for $10.
Yes, there is also sometime some bidding hysteria. Sometimes 2 people
get caught up and over pay IMO. I have seen pre-cut 2x4s going for $3
each when they were on sale at the orange store for $2.69.
I am not affiliated with them, just a past satisfied customer.