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Subject: Any suggestions on running my first auction? rss

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Asa Swain
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I've been a member of BGG for several years and bought and traded a number of games, but have never sold any games on the BGG marketplace.

I'm planning on moving to New York City in a few months and realize that I need to downsize my collection and earn a little extra money for moving costs. Finding good homes for my games is more important to me than how much money I make, so I'm thinking it would be faster and easier to auction them off (rather than sell each game individually in the marketplace). I've seen lots of people sell games via geeklist auctions, but run one myself. Does anyone know of guides or tutorials to running geeklist auctions, or have suggestions of Do's and Don'ts?

Thanks in advance for the help!
 
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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It depends on what you are looking for. If looking to maximize your return is important then those folks usually go for hard reserves and BIN's. Personally I'm looking to free up space more than maximizing my returns, so I use soft reserves sparingly, few BIN's, and mostly minimum bids of $1. Getting results this way though means that you need to make sure a lot of people know about the auction, and that's not always easy to do.

Keep in mind that PayPal protects both the buyer and the seller, so even though they charge a commission (as does BGG), they are far safer than any other commonly used method of payment. Also be sure to say how you are going to ship. I don't have access to UPS or Fedex, so I always use USPS.com. They have standard boxes as well.

Be honest and ethical. Don't describe a damaged game with the results of water spills showing as "Like New". Don't cancel auctions if they don't have BIN's. If there's something about the game that people should know, then make sure you say so in the description.

You will also need to note that BGG will get a commission and to include your auction on the Meta Auction list.
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Matt Freitas
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Yea use the metalist is the biggest way. And note you will combine shipping. Extra little things like small discounts for bins, or multiple pruchases also sweeten the pot.

Having no reserve is a guarantee to get rid of the game as every game gets a $1 bid. So if there are games you just want to see a new home to then put them up with no reserve.

However, if you want to actually get decent values then do research. Find how much they can buy it new for and how much you can get a copy on bgg for. Price a soft reserve below that point with a BIN for what you could buy it for not in your auction.

This will let people who want a deal place bids to try and get a game cheaper then the could otherwise while using a bin on a musthave game that they can now get far cheaper shipping on becuase they won multiple games.

Overall the lower your prices the more bidding you will get. But in the end of the day advertise it and having good game at a resonable price will be all you need for success.
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I like auctions that show pictures of the actual item. If that's not realistic, then at least describe each one, including version.

I generally skip past only flat-rate boxes auctions. Especially for your auction, being so close, regular priority would be cheaper for me. Before starting your auction, order a bunch of boxes (priority, regional rate, and flat rate) from usps.com. You can print the labels online for a discount and free delivery confirmation. The regional boxes have pretty large limits (15 and 20lbs) so you don't need a scale for an average board game (you know it's not more than 20 lbs). The box sizes are pretty handy, too. Regional rate boxes can only be used with postage printed online.

Saying where you're shipping from, and where you'll ship to, along with the end date, even in the title, can be handy.

Here's my last auction, if it helps give ideas:
*CLOSED* Indigo Potter's $5 Starting Bid Auction, with discounts for multi-item purchases (Ends Thursday, May 17, shipping from Ithaca, NY 14850, US only)

The header of your auction must state that sales will go through the Marketplace and BGG will get 3%.
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Asa Swain
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Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. Much appreciated!

I hadn't thought about getting a scale to weight boxes or getting different kinds of boxes in advance. I can see that even if I limit myself to USPS shipping, properly boxing and calculating costs for shipping is one of the harder parts of running an auction.
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Todd Snyder
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just echoing what others have said. Be as clear as possible on descriptions, take photos if it's easier to explain with a photo specific condition, be clear on shipping costs - usps.com is really easy to use, is cheaper too, you can even schedule pickup. Having proper sized boxes can make packing easier and shipping cheaper and safer, be sure to protect the games with bubble wrap or packing peanuts or such, and try to make sure the game contents will not shift around too much in shipping. Inventory the game to make sure it is really complete, especially if you have not played it at all or have not played it recently (I made this mistake recently on a game I was selling for a friend, it was missing pieces and I didn't know it). If you have to round up or charge an extra buck or so for shipping supplies, mention that - most people are understandable of that if you're up front about it and then follow through with well packed games. If possible, list everything you want to sell in one auction rather than spreading things out over several auctions - one big auction will get more eyeballs and more people wanting to combine shipping on several items. If you can't do good research on the prices of games, just don't list a BIN price - that way you won't list something way under what the current market value is.
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Asa Swain
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Thanks to all your help I finally created my auction. I hope taking photos of each item will help show people what good (unplayed) condition the games are in.

Here's a shameless plug:

http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/157511/the-im-moving-to-ny...
 
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