Columbus Fair Auto Auction – History, Innovation, Philanthropy, & Careers


In a world where large conglomerates often absorb independent operators, Columbus Fair Auto Auction remains one of the largest independently-owned and operated auctions in the country. Over 40 years, Alexis Jacobs has learned that it is the little things that make a difference in a service business. And a service business is only as good as the people who provide the service. It’s that simple. This independent leadership, combined with its reputation for fairness and service excellence, continues to earn CFAA respect from both buyer and seller.

The Columbus Fair Auto Auction got its start in 1959 as a one-lane auction at the Ohio State Fairgrounds. The auction moved to Obetz in 1977; the location better served CFAA’s needs and vision for the future. The 85 acre lot sits in the center of Obetz and includes: 11 auction lanes, reconditioning center, 48-bay Tech Touch shop, mechanical repair center, on-site test track, and a full-service restaurant. CFAA also operates a 56,000 square foot shop with 52 bays just outside of Obetz on New World Drive.

Columbus Fair Auto Auction employs nearly 500 employees, making it one of the largest employers in Obetz. CFAA has been independently owned and operated since its inception 59 years ago. Even though CFAA is one Obetz’ largest employers, it is still very much a family business.

William Jacobs, founder of Columbus Fair Auto Auction, Inc., acknowledged that fair dealing and excellent customer service were keys to continued growth and success.  As such, Mr. Jacobs built his company upon this foundation.  It is this foundation that has grown the auction from the one-lane sale, hosted at the Ohio State Fairgrounds, to its eleven-lane sale here in Obetz.  Today, the company is led and managed by Mr. Jacobs’ daughter, Alexis Jacobs, and the current President, Greg Levi.



As the automotive auction landscape continues to change, CFAA is uniquely positioned to respond and evolve, especially as technology impacts the industry.  Electronic data capture, online management and notification systems, geo-positioning devices, and syndication management are all in place or on the horizon for the Auction. Another unique way CFAA is using technology in the industry is through the use of mobile apps. CFAA has their standard mobile app and also a condition report app. Lastly, there is the online auction Marketplace which lists over a hundred vehicles with Buy Now pricing and condition reports.

Under the leadership of Ms. Alexis Jacobs and Greg Levi, the Auction has continued to transform and look for ways to innovate in the remarketing industry.  By utilizing technology to connect the auction inventory to buyers and sellers, CFAA has maintained a reputation that is both innovative and philanthropic within the auction community.

It is this reputation that has earned CFAA its place as a leader, not only amongst independent auto auctions, but with dealers from nearly all 50 states to major consignors who choose CFAA because they have found a like-minded partner in the industry.  It is this continued effort from the top to the bottom of CFAA that has led to its continued relevance—relevance that includes community involvement, innovative spirit, and dedicated customer service that continues to honor the vision of its founder.



Columbus Fair Auto Auction established CFAA Cares a public outreach program that partners with, among others, Columbus City Schools Special Olympics and Eastmoor Academy to help students with learning and developmental disabilities attain life and work skills assistance. This program helps students from the area develop the skills necessary to get hired and learn the necessary skills for a job as well as what it takes to keep a job. Associates of CFAA also volunteer for the Columbus Sports Classic Area Track Meet which is hosted by Columbus Special Olympics. In 2017, CFAA began donating all proceeds from the kiosk rental inside the auction lanes on Wednesday sale days to Special Olympics which total over $2,000 per month.

CFAA Cares also partners with the Ohio School for the Deaf in providing an opportunity for students to attend the OSU Spring Game including a pre-game tailgate with lunch, games, and prizes as well as tickets for each student and school personnel.

CFAA Cares also has an environmental program which includes their Greenspot Corporate Initiative and events like Campus Clean-Up Project, Earth Day Celebration, and E-waste disposal event. All of these continue Columbus Fair’s long tradition of corporate sustainability.



CFAA is one of the largest employers in Obetz with nearly 500 employees, but they take great pride in remaining a family business. Being a family business not means building relationships with customers but also with your employees. CFAA has many employees that have been with the company for over 10 years, and some with over 40 years!

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