(The Unnecessary Intro)

OK yes, one part This Old House‘s annual Secret Sources issue and another part Charles and Hudson‘s DIY City Guides, I am setting out to provide coverage on some of our local building supply houses.

Perhaps the motivation was captured most clearly by my neighbor (a real neighbor’s neighbor), Jody L., who said, “People, at times, need to be reminded that there are places other than the Home Depot (editor’s note: no offense) to shop for building supplies.”

And I found my starting point easily enough this Easter Sunday, when my mom announced over ham and pineapple stuffing – I’m in the market for a patio door.  We are going to a builder’s auction this weekend.  Do you wanna go?

Sources Spotlight

artistic graphic via southern sales services BaltimoreSouthern Sales Services – a Building Materials Auction, sells recovered assets at costs 30 to 60% of retail prices.  With a 180,000 sq.ft. warehouse and showroom located in Halethorpe (21227), they host ten public auctions a year.  Their next auction is this coming weekend, with a preview day April 9. It is being held in the shadow of the Montgomery Park building downtown. (Click to see the Google Map below.)

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Stocked by some of the nation’s largest building material manufacturers, distributors and pro-sales oriented lumber yards, auction inventories include kitchen and bath cabinetry, home appliances, flooring products, whirlpool tubs, toilets and lavatories, windows, interior and exterior doors, moldings, fixtures and hardware.  You can see many of the products available in this very cool slide show.

Everything is sold on consignment, and with 250 cosigners delivering around 1,000 tractor-trailers full of building materials annually, sales are not limited to these auction events.  In the warehouse, you will find flooring (to quote Steve B. – Lots of tile), decorative entry doors, pine interior doors, vanities, whirlpool tubs, sinks, as well as oak items.

Since 1992, and now today Southern Sales is attracting over 1000 homeowners, investors/developers and contractors to these auction events. With more than 30,000 people currently on their mailing list, chances are you will be battling other savvy shoppers for the best deals. To this, Southern Sales offers these tips to help maximize your experience:

Tips for Shopping a Building Supply Auction
picture of the indoor auction floor Southern Sales Services Baltimore

* Prepare to load your purchases.

While SSS offers hand carts, they suggest bringing your own. This can assist with loading your purchases into your appropriately-sized vehicle.

*Plan to spend the day.

Customers should expect lines to form at the office as well as the main door throughout the day. Consider using this idle time to browse the warehouse for savings opportunities at the cash and carry sections.

* Come prepared with a tape measure and building plans.

Having a set of plans and a ruler will prove helpful when searching for proper sized doors, windows, whirlpools, cabinets and floor coverings.

* Remember that a Buyer’s Premium and Sales Tax will be added to your total purchase.

Southern Sales Services adds 12%. Payments made with Certified Funds and/or Cash get a 2% discount.

Aaron Z. and the team at Southern Sales Services hope to see you there this weekend.

Thanks and BMoxie BMore!

More Moxie (Related Links):

For the auction’s schedule and approximate sales times, see here.

For more in the Sources Spotlight series, see our category Sources.