Ball Auction and Ball Outlet is competitive shopping and competitive prices for any thrifty Morgantown shopper. If you have a Saturday evening free and some curiosity, take a drive up the mountain to Terra Alta for a visit to Ball Auction and Ball Outlet. What you find might be worth the money spent on gas.
Starting around 5 p.m. every Saturday, the Ball’s Public Auction is an experience that can become somewhat addictive. There is a new inventory each week that features a number of house-brand and name-brand items from numerous big box retailers such as Costco, Sam’s Club/Walmart, and more. (Sometimes there are additional auctions throughout the weekend, such as the automobile or additional estate auctions.)
It really could be anything: Ninja blenders, Hoover vacuums, tools and hardware, large 25-lbs. bags of Kirkland signature dog food, electric shavers, toys, granola bars, coconut water, TVs, full bedroom suites, chairs, sofas, GPS, watches, Samsonite luggage, and more. The list could go on and on.
The auction will also mix-in used furniture, artwork, antiques, and collectibles from various estates to make things interesting.
It’s a community event that has visitors driving from all around the region. It’s almost an hour drive up the mountain into Preston County from Morgantown. Others drive in from near and far, such as Maryland, Pennsylvania, Keyser, or Clarksburg.
This is not your average day at the store.
The Thrill of the Bargain
Buying at Ball Auction experience is really a two-step process. First, when an item comes up for sale, keep your card up and you can win. Next, you quickly whip out the phone and start looking up the retail value is. Did you get the best deal?
You’ll have to act quick to win and at the price you you want. The auction hall is filled with competitive shoppers who keep coming again and again to get a great deal. Many auction-goers know the retail value of what is being auctioned off.
Coming from all the way Harrison County, Howard Claypool has been coming regularly to Ball Auction for nearly 12 years.
“I come for the deals,” says Howard Claypool of Mount Clare.“The best deal here was a 55” Smart LED 3D television for $300,” replies Howard quickly when asked about his best deal. The retail value is $900, he says.
Nathan Satzer is a Phys Ed and Health teacher at Preston High School in Kingwood and lives in Morgantown. He teaches many youths who find work opportunities at Ball and Ball Outlet.
“It’s (Ball Auction) is a great place for the community and it provides jobs,” he says. “I have a lot of these kids who work at the outlet store in my classes.”
Nathan also has his own online stores with Amazon and Ebay where he resells some of the common goods, appliances, and antiques he’s bought.
Other auction goers have a similar motivation to come. If you come, you’ll have to outbid the dealers, independent online sellers, or occasional yard-salers who are regulars. They come for items that they sell in store or online.
One intently focused gentleman when asked for a quote could only say, “That’ll (talking) cost me money.” Moments later he held up his bid card to win yet another men’s wristwatch to his already growing stash of watches, headphones and electronics.
Ball Outlet: For Deals Any Day of the Week
Attached to the auction hall is Ball Outlet Store. There you can find many of the similar retail items that are up for bid available for purchase at a fixed price. So if you missed out on something in the auction, you can still find it for a good deal. Ball Outlet also has normal shopping hours for those who can’t make a Saturday trip.
It has regular sales on clothing, food, shoes, household appliances, etc. For any record collector, there is also a large, random collection of old vinyl records for the dedicated individual willing to search the boxes.
The sales can be a surprise to those who are used to retail prices of Wal-Mart or Target. Sometimes the deals will even beat stores like Gabe’s or TJ Maxx, which are the standard in beating the average price. For example this past Veterans Day Sale, the Outlet had all adult clothing (including jeans, dress slacks, underwear, dress shirts, etc.) for $1 apiece along with winter coats at $20. A few weeks before that, Converse All-Stars were selling for only $5 a pair.
It’s hard to say what the sale will be when you decide to drive up. Most deals don’t get announced anywhere but on Ball Outlet’s Facebook page. Sometimes they are announced that same morning.
If you consider yourself a savvy shopper in Morgantown, then Ball Auction and Ball Outlet is a place to check out. Taking a drive up to Terra Alta is a scenic one and if you are all about the savings then you might like what you see.
For the weekly Ball Auction items look on their website Ball Auction and Ball Outlet can be found on Facebook.