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Subject: Gencon Auction rss

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Katie Fountaine
United States
Illinois
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Hi guys!
We are so busy at Gencon that we just don't have time to talk to everyone, which is sad since many of you have a lot to say about the auction! One of the auction's best volunteers brought to my attention that there has been some chat on the BGG forums about the Gencon Auction. I love the site but I've never been active on the forums so I've missed all your questions until now. I'm starting this thread that focuses on the Gencon Auction in the hopes that you will share your thoughts and concerns here. I want to make the auction run better, and I would really like to get your help!

Thanks!
Katie Fountaine
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Katie Fountaine
United States
Illinois
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Here is a response I posted on a thread about the item check in delays at the Gencon Auction on Wednesday.

cmfountaine wrote:
I'm the manager of the Gencon Auction and I wanted to apologize for your bad experience on Wednesday. Worse than the wait was the terrible answers you got to your questions - they should have told me you had concerns so I could come talk to you myself. I'm very sorry that didn't happen.

I promise you that is not how we want to run the auction, and we are working on addressing this issue so the long waits many people experienced on Wednesday are not repeated next year. We already have a couple of ideas in mind and are working on developing a new process that will significantly speed up the handling of those gigantic item sets and stream line the whole item check in process over all.

If you had any other issues with the auction, please let me know and I will address it with the auction owners and the volunteers.

I hope you give us another shot next year!
Thanks!


I know Wednesday was very frustrating this year. I am very sorry and we are working on a new system for next time. Thanks to everyone for their patience and for all your suggestions.

-Katie
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Jeff Wood
United States
Davis
California
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I am glad you and the other volunteers stayed later on Wednesday night to get a number more of us people checked in. Thank you.

That said, I heard the horror story of the 1200+ item check-in. I agree the suggestion of a personal check-in for such (and similar) large lots would have been good, especially as it was pre-reg'd. Such information should be available from livegameauctions.com and can alert your team to the need.

I was pleased to be able to check the status of my items a couple times during the convention, using your system. I could not get this information through the online system, though. Was there a way to do this, or only through on-site servers was the information available?
 
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Jeff S
United States
Madison
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I generally had a positive experience. However, I think the overall communication and signage could be better. For example, I had some sales in the consignment store. I went on Sunday at 10 am to pick up my proceeds. The process was never communicated to me from the beginning or when you arrived. I had to figure it out on my own by asking people that worked there. I think large signs at each station explaining what the station was would have helped. Perhaps signs or handouts stating things like "Here is what you need to do to drop off your games in consignment", "Here are the steps for picking up sales proceeds", etc. Things felt a bit disorganized and the staff seemed stressed. I think better signs, a slightly larger space and better, clearer communication on the website could have helped that.

That being said, I would sell things through the consignment store again. Thanks for running it.
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AC Durston
United States
Michigan
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Hi all,

My auction experience went much better than I could have expected. I missed Wednesday check-in and expected a huge line on Thursday. I dropped by about 1 pm and was done in 10 mins or less. Similarly, Sunday check-out was just as fast.

Thanks,
Andrew
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Katie Fountaine
United States
Illinois
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As it is now, the livegameauctions.com system does not have anything in place to alert us when sellers pre-register a high number of items, but you are right that could have helped us be more prepared for the onslaught. I'm confident we will be able to handle it much better next year.

Sadly, the system gets taken off-line just before the convention and is available only on a local network on-site. I'm glad that the status check option worked well for you though when you were able to stop in.
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Katie Fountaine
United States
Illinois
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I agree with you that we could have more signs and better communication overall. It's something I am working on, but can be hard when we run the auction with an all volunteer staff and don't have a lot of time for training.

Sunday morning though there should have been someone greeting you at the door so you had an understanding of the process. I was not there Sunday morning myself (that was my only time away from the auction actually) but I will talk to Jon & Bruce to see how things went and revise the plan for next time to help make things more clear.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Jeff S
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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There was someone at the door handing out tickets, but I walked right past him initially. I did not realize he was passing out tickets until a few minutes of trying to figure things out inside the room. Once I realized the tickets were important for something I went back and got one. He simply handed me a ticket and moved on to the next person. He did not have time (and probably didn't want)to explain the complete process to every individual person.

I did not realize the auction and store use an all volunteer staff. What motivates them to volunteer? I thought the auction collected commissions because it was a for-profit venture.
 
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Pete Lane
United States
Golden Valley
Minnesota
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I had never done the auction before and stopped in to check out the CCGs. While I didn't end up sticking around, I was sure as hell entertained by everything going on during the RPG auctions. I was bummed it when long and it made me skip an event (only to find out the CCG stuff was very lackluster), but overall I had such a good time watching and learning that it didn't matter.

You guys BUST YOUR ASSES, and it shows. Next time I'll be spending more time in there.
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Bruce Carson
United States
Massachusetts
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The "for profit" is true - to a limited extent. It really is more a "labor or love" - I've been volunteering at Gen Con since 1978 and dedicated auction worker since 1985 [when it moved from my university to Milwaukee].
Most of the commission that we collect goes to pay for the volunteer's hotel rooms, food, and of course auction equipment and supplies.
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