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Subject: Rainy Day Auction results rss

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Ubergeek
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Well it was my first RD auction and I'm up to offering them help on how to really run an auction. The silent bid process is fine but it needs to be better organized. Here would be my organizational inputs:

1. Have numbered tables (i.e. 1 through 9). Place them around the room against the walls with others through the middle. There was plenty of room for this.

2. Each table should be sorted to contain games of a certain grouping. Given the list of games there would have been plenty to fill tables for say something like:
- Euro/Designer Games
- Classic American Fare
- Old/OOP games
- War games
- Miniatures and collectible games
- Card games
- Puzzles and miscellaneous
- All other games

3. Each table should have a posted closing time. That's the whole point of a silent auction. There should be no last minute closing calls on individual games to run the price up. If that's the intent, then set aside the items that may go for high appeal and value and hold an open call auction for those items. What you do announce is the closing time for a table (i.e. 10 minutes to go, 5 minutes to go, closed).
- When a table closes, that's it. No more bids. You collect the items with bids on them and they're sold.
- Close tables with know lesser value items earlier. More valuable items will collect additional bids the closer a table gets to closing.
- For items without a bid, you now start a final table that will close at the end of the session after all other tables have closed, and move those items to that table. Post a closing time for it.

4. Shorten the time of the auction. Running it from 3-8 PM is too long, especially since there was no organization to closing specific tables. Everyone is trying to stick around to the end to either get a bargain or get what they want. Use the final bargain table for those people. Most buyers that show for the event will be there at or close to the start. They shouldn't have to wait around for 6 hours to get their winning purchases and go home. The whole event could have been run in 3-4 hours and probably should have started earlier in the day (maybe at around 1 PM and ending a 5 so folks can go home and play the games they got).

5. Take all the above information and post it prior to the auction, to include the start and stop time of the auction, the tables with what's on them and when they will close, and any special open auction items. Granted, folks will browse around everything, but this way the know exactly where to go for what they're looking for.

_______________________________________________________________

With all that said, I still came away with some really good finds. My best score of the day was the Down in Flames bundle with all four sets including C3i inserts from all the magazines. I won't say how much it went for to keep grown-ups who like this series from crying. My other great finds were:
- Heart of Africa
- Lords of Creation
- Bali
- Nur Peanuts

Ones I missed out on bidding for because I couldn't stay until until the items were finally found and displayed or until the item closed:
- Thieves Guild
- Laguna
- Star Wars Life (yeah, I was hoping to get this for a few bucks)
- Dancing Dice
- America Triumphant
- Heroclix
- Tabula Rasa
- Venezia


Overall, the bargains were there to be had. Feel free to post your great deals acquired from this event or what you thought about the auction. Also, does anyone know if Gamestorm will be running an auction this year?

Cheers.



 
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Scott Nicholson
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Thanks for this explanation of the auction. I would be curious to hear from others who participated (or have participated in similar game auctions), as I'll be involved with running one of these in the future.

Thanks again!
 
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Thomas Eager
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goo Hey Walt, Ken started a Geeklist--add your finds! BTW, I'M the one who walked off with Theives' Guild. Six bucks! goo
 
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Ubergeek
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Darn, I was hoping John scored that one for me. I told him to bid 5-6 bucks on it for me. Let me know what you think of it. Anyway, I'll post some of my stuff over on Ken's list.
 
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howl hollow howl
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Good inputs. As a seller, the best "fix" would be one to draw in more buyers. Prices were down a bit from last year.

Quote:
My best score of the day was the Down in Flames bundle with all four sets including C3i inserts from all the magazines.


Don't forget the bonus sealed copy of RotL for the extra set of cards.

Quote:
I won't say how much it went for to keep grown-ups who like this series from crying.


But, rest assured, I (the seller) feel your pain. cry

Quote:
- Thieves Guild
- Star Wars Life (yeah, I was hoping to get this for a few bucks)


On the one hand, I would argue that a big problem with the auction is that there is too much chaff for sale. On the other, who would have thought that these two games would receive interest, while my Wizard Kings bundle would go unsold?

They are to be commended for keeping the pace faster this year (although overall length was just as much). Last year, they only had one person closing items. That was very painful.

Quote:
Each table should have a posted closing time. That's the whole point of a silent auction. There should be no last minute closing calls on individual games to run the price up.


Well, the current system has the benefit of not having to worry about hovering around the table in case you get outbid. This way, they don't have to worry about hard feelings.

I meant to bring my own copy of Tabula Rasa this year. Hopefully, I can remember to bring it to GameStorm and you can have it.

- d
 
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Quote:
Well, the current system has the benefit of not having to worry about hovering around the table in case you get outbid. This way, they don't have to worry about hard feelings.


Hovering close to the closing time is very good for driving the prices up. At least in the silent auctions I've been to. When you get 2-3 people that want the same item, they'll usually drive it up to their maximum limit quicker when they know it's closing. When it comes down to the wire, the highest bids can jump up significantly. There were lots of familiar gaming faces at the auction. I didn't bid up quite a few items to let someone else have it. I'm surprised Wizard Kings didn't go but they pulled that early with no bids as I recall. Just another reason to have a overflow/final closing table that takes the items that don't have bids on them by closing time. I'm sure that it probably would have gotten more bids if it stayed out. There was a football game that started at $10. I wanted to bid but then it got pulled before I could make up my mind. Had it stayed out I probably would have taken the plunge. At the very least they could have lowered the starting bid on it and put it back onto a final table.

GAMESTORM should have this type of an auction included with a live auction as one of the events. It might be possible to get a few donations from the Hucksters that show up as well.

I hope to make it to Gamestorm again this year but as usual, I won't know until the last minute whether I get called out of town on a trip that weekend. Hope to see you there.

PS I can't bring myself to tear the shrink off the sealed copy of RotL.cry
 
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James Eastham
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I couldn't believe that Wizard Kings bundle didn't go for the $25 min. I just picked the game up a few months ago or I would have jumped on it. I almost felt like people didn't want to spend much money for some reason. I was getting outbid by like 0.25 on stuff. Maybe that's because of the way the "silent" auction worked/didn't work.

My best buys:
Memior '44 ($15)
Risk 2010 (~$5)
LotR Confrontation (~$5)
War! Age of Imperilsm ($7)
Couple Avalanche Press Games
Goldland ($18)
DoA set1 (NEW! $10)
Nauitlus (~$14)
A bunch of other stuff.

I agree, auction could have been shorter. Overall, a great time.

Now, if I can find time away from Perplexcity to look over my auction buys......... need to sleep........

-James










 
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Eric Landes
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My recommendation for how to make the auction easier would be even simpler than organizing by game type.

Start out with all tables full. After a certain amount of time start at one end of the horseshoe, close out that table, and work your way around. Have someone following behind putting new games out on the just-emptied table.

When you get to the end, if the games on the first table have been sitting there long enough, start the process again. That way you know how long a game is going to be out, and you can take your time working your way around.

One of the guys in our group was very interested in that World in Flames bundle and had some of us looking for it - we never saw it out, and then heard it was gone. That should never happen. In contrast, I think that copy of Rail Baron was out for the entire auction.

One of the games I was selling had been out for about five minutes when someone _requested_ it be closed as he was leaving. He put in a minimum bid, was outbid by someone else, declined to bid further, and they closed it out anyway. Five minutes of visibility for a brand-new game in shrinkwrap. Granted, I only got a couple bucks less than I was expecting, but it looked like that guy was just trying to pull a fast one.

You should never be able to request a game get special treatment.

I've been a buyer in both RDG auctions, and a seller in this one. I'm not exactly enthused in how they're run. It seems like badly organized chaos.
 
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James Eastham
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The World of Flames (2000? update only) went for like $1.00. I know because a fried of mine showed up at around 7pm and he picked it up along with some other leavings. I didn't know this was considered a 'bundle', it was updated counter sheets and stuff. I don't know much about World of Flames so I'm not sure is this consititues a bundle? I had a great time and appreciate the auction. There were some great deals to be had. It's really good to have a local store do something like this. Last year I put in several items. This year, I didn't bring anything. Mainly because the stuff I tried to sell last year nobody wanted. I would rather keep some of my games than let go for a buck.
 
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George Vriese
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In my opinion, putting games out at random doesn't make sense. For example, in this auction there were four copies of Lord of the Rings in various conditions. One came out in the beginning and there happened to be a buyer for it. Towards the end of the auction the remaining three came out and none of them received a single bid.

From a seller's perspective (I own one of the latter three) the first one out received preferential treatment as most buyers will be present at the start of the auction and either run out of time or money towards the end.

From a buyer's perspective you don't have all the information available to compare the different lots against each other. Usually in auctions there is time before the auction starts to examine the lots so you know when and what to bid. In the current RDG auction format similar lots should be put out at the same time. The bid list can be marked with a time stamp and a notice that it will stay out for 30 minutes (or so). That way everyone knows what will happen and when.

As a buyer I think the current system worked in my favor as I was able to get the english language version of Wildlife for less than what the german went for earlier. I think my copy is even largely unpunched. The same goes for Bali. Walt took the first copy for $10, I got the second one for $6.50. That's 30% off! But only because I could stay until the very end.

While calling for bids at closing goes against the silent-auction system but I can live with it as the intent of the auction is to maximize the donation to charity, not to get rock-bottom prices for the buyers. I think Wildlife was still a steal at $13.25 as it was at $11.00.

Doei!
 
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I agree with George on this one. The English version of Wildlife hadn't come out by the time I had to leave or I would have bid on it also (I have a German version). The way the auction was run, it was certainly a buyers market.

If there's more than one copy of a game, put them both out. I think a lot of games should have had higher initial bids on them. If one copy is in better shape than another, the it should have the higher starting bid. As RDG, limit the numbers of the same game unless it's very popular and you know that all of them put up for auction will bring in good bids (i.e. 3 versions of Carolus Magnus

Again, posting in advance what lots will close at certain times will allow for better planning on the part of the buyers. And, hold a live auction event. At all the fund raising auctions I've been to, the silent auctions all close before the live auction. The best items are presented through the live auction. In a live auction you can start at any price and lower it until someone bites. Then you use skill in driving up the bids. Of course you need to know about lots of games and both their gaming value as well as their monetary value. Push the angle that the money is going for a good cause.

Anyway, here's to hoping that next year's auction has just as many good games and that it's better run as well. meeple
 
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howl hollow howl
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Note: Eric meant "Down in Flames", not "World in Flames".
 
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Ubergeek
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You should never be able to request a game get special treatment.

I don't have a problem with that if they ran a more organized auction and stuck to the concept of the silent auction it was supposed to be. If it's your game that you refer to, it wasn't me that bought it. There was a World in Flames expansion that went for a lark (a few bucks) that was out for about an hour. They did pull a few games at requests of folks that couldn't stay the entire time.

If it was the DiF set, then it was me and I did have to leave. I asked for them to find it and it took them about 20 minutes to do so in between thier working other issues. I found it very nice of them to do that for me. It was in the bottom of a box underneath another one. At the rate games were getting to the table it probably would have been after 7PM before this one got dug out. Once it was out, it was there for about 10 minutes before I asked for it to be closed since I had to leave at 5PM. They did a good job of announcing it and having their mini open auction and nobody bid it up. Had they have done so, I would have probably bid up easily to $60 for the set which givent he going prices would have scared anyone out of the competition.

I'm disappointed that I missed out on some other games I would have bid up that never made it out by 5PM. Tom got the Theives World, some lucky soul probably got Laguna for less than 10 bucks, of 3 Wildlife games, the English one didn't make it out until later, and I really wanted to get Star Wars Life for a pittance but never saw it.

At least if they're put out, you can put your maximum bid down and if nobody outbids you, you will still win the auction. Granted you'll have to come back another day to pick up your winnings.

Hopefully RDG will take the good suggestions made here to heart and implement them into next years auction.
 
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James Eastham
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The problem I see with the silent auction with some fixed time to end, is that I could not physically get to some locations cause the place was packed. I could place a bid and then stand around in front of the game with my buddies and nobody could get into to up their bid. Personally, I would rather just have an oral bid on everything. This may not be doable, but just what I would like best.
 
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