Grocery Auctions Gaining Popularity In Pa

03.25.09 | Terry Diener

Out of toilet paper? Need to pick up a few things for dinner? Take a number and start bidding. Many bargain hunters these days are trading supermarket aisles for the auction circuit.

In search of deep discounts on everything from cereal to spare ribs, bidders are happy to ignore that "Past the sell-by date". As consumers seek relief from the recession and spiraling food prices, grocery auctions are gaining in popularity. The sales operate like regular auctions, but with bidders vying for dry goods and frozen foods instead of antiques and collectibles.

When Kirk Williams held his first grocery auction near Bloomsburg, Columbia County last month, nearly 300 people showed up. Astonished by the turnout, he is scheduling auctions at locations throughout northeastern Pennsylvania. The increased interest has fueled growth in the auctions, which can be found in at least nine states from Oklahoma to New York.