Anyone know if this is going to happen in 2021?
Both have already confirmed they are not via social media
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I'm not sure this is a bad thing. The last Gencon Auction was terrible. Literally it was the worst game auction I've have ever attended at any convention. All the starting prices were obviously preset by the auction team, not by the sellers. If you had 10 different sellers listing the same item in different conditions all 10 had the exact same, highly inflated for Gencon, opening bid price. There were no potential bargains. A high percentage of the stuff either didn't sell and went to the store, or sold with little or no back and forth between multiple bidders. Not to mention as the auction was going on dealers literally stood by the auctioneer for 15-20 minutes at a time discussing upcoming items. No chance for the little guys in the audience. The store was just as bad. Traditionally it is up to the seller to set the price, but not this time. Again clearly a combination of large dealers and the auction team setting the prices strangled any chance for a bargain. Gone was traditional three tier motivated seller pricing (e.g. $30-$20-$10). Everything in the store was essentially a flat price (e.g. $30-$29-$28). In short, there were no sales. It was pay full retail or get lost kid you bother me.
Oh you just hate the Auction in general, got it. If you want to see my rebuttal to these arbitrary claims check https://www.gencon.com/forums/78-general-info-2021/topics/16479-bad-form?page=4#post-72513
But cash-motivated sellers are not the auctioneer conspiracy you theorize, so we can refute that item entirely.
The auction house is more than happy to give advice on pricing though from what I've seen and also try to slot things into the appropriate section to try to get the most return for the buyer.
Yes, I noticed the last few years (especially 2019) saw more people putting items in the consignment store for a set price and not having more of a drastic cut down to the final Saturday 'I don't want to lug this back home' price.
And if a large seller is buying something, it is still a bargain because obviously they are considering margins.
Heck, I've seen people price things in the consignment store such that the prices went *up* each day. $15-$20-$25, for example. And in multiple years.
The sheer fact is, that nowadays it's a lot easier to do research and find out what price things "should" go for. So more people are probably doing that.
I go to the consignment store looking for bargains on things I want(currently collecting old BECMI modules). If I don't find bargains I don't buy, and that's okay. If we have a couple years of people having to haul their stuff home the prices will go back down. If the stuff still sells at higher prices then I'm the one with badly calibrated expectations.
While their is a lot of hyperbole the basic mindset of frustration during the auction can be understood from the above poster. There are three-to-four vendors that attend the Origins & GenCon auctions that bid a considerable amount of boardgame and RPG items to a level (once you see them, you kind of cannot unsee them). They are running a business and this is inventory they are paying for, bidding a couple dollars more is still less than retail on the secondary market if you want a specific item.
Sometimes, emotionally it can be difficult to reconcile the difference between getting outbid by a store and wanting to get an item cheap (which takes money away from the seller). Which often leads one to lash out and exaggerate what they "feel" is "really" going on. If that makes any sense, while that bias leads to purposefully choosing not to believe what is usually obvious.
It is all just business and they are paying the same money you are, they just have more of it and plan to resell what they buy. Whereas you/we usually plan to keep the item or use it.
If you go to the auction/consignment store looking for bargains, you're kind of at the mercy of a lot of factors (primarily, how desperate/ignorant the seller is, and demand for that particular item). This isn't like haunting your local Half Price Books, where games might be priced by people who have no idea of their value. This is especially true for vintage or rare/OOP titles, as Gen Con is going to be full of knowledgeable buyers /and/ sellers who are going to have at least a general idea that, say, older Chaosium products are more of a score than 3x/4e PHBs. :p
IMO, a better mindset is to go as a collector--your expectations are going to be very different, and more in line with reality. I go purely for the thrill of the hunt, looking for games I used to play, or ones I never got a chance to try--I always hope I find something undervalued in those cases, but I never expect it.
And I actually prefer going up against stores in the auction: they have a number they won't go above, because they need to make a profit. If you find yourself up against another collector, you better figure out real fast how badly you want a particular item, or you're in for a world of hurt the next time you look at your bank statement!
I have been spending most of Gen-Con in the Auction for about 15 years (well, in-person years) now, and the thing that always confuses me are the items the resellers do not bid on; when someone puts his hand up for every item about 90 minutes straight, and then suddenly is not bidding on something (incredibly common things notwithstanding) it always immediately makes me interested to see why something is somehow notably not worth buying and reselling, haha.
My personal woe about the Auction overall is that for just about every year I attended there would be a dozen or more MS-DOS-era PC games priced anywhere from $1 to $10 and I would buy them all without fail; seems like a few years ago everyone realized the market for all retro games was exploding and you could get more than a few bucks for basically anything. That same logic probably applies to all the people no longer listing items cheap by Saturday, figuring they will sell for a similar price to what they saw online (and this is often not true, since as discussed many of us specifically go looking for amazing bargains, not reasonable bargains!)
Speaking as a non-pro (I do not make my living buying and selling in the gaming/collectible industry) if you are unhappy with the auction and store, whether as a buyer or seller, I think you just need to adjust their expectations of shopping at an auction or consignment store.
As a seller, I go there to unload stuff I do not want and I price it accordingly because if I haul it to Gencon, I don't wanna haul it back. I do a little research, and I've always sold everything I've listed and not been unhappy with what it sold for (or I wouldn't have priced it like I did). I have never had anyone tamper with my stated prices. As a buyer, I go there looking for deals, knowing I may or may not find something to my liking. Do I roll my eyes when I see an obviously well-used copy of a $50 game that I can buy that day in the dealer hall priced $48/48/47? Sure, but I just keep moving- if it sells, clearly someone thought it was enough of a deal to buy it, if it doesn't, the seller will know better next time.
Such is the agony and ecstasy of the auction and consignment shop. I will miss it this year.
I had to arrange my new office with the specific goal of hiding my growing Auction-sale stashes. The space behind my desk and underneath my third monitor is literally all stuff I would have sold in 2020 if things had been different, haha. And I am sure I will add more things to the pile by next year... *shudder*
The auction and store were fine. I found a few deals, and so did some of my friends. If you're trying to get in-demand items, you can't expect a low price at a game convention attended by so many fans. That's really the bottom line.
It's a bummer they're not doing it this year, and I look forward to it coming back as soon as possible.
I frequently sell at the store, and I set my own prices. I've certainly never been asked or even heard of the operators demanding a certain price be set.
I have, however, seen an increase in people submitting items at high prices because they obviously value their items higher than they it's worth. Saw lots of items at the same price for all three days which didn't sell.
I always sell my items with the lowering of tiers and usually sell 90% of my stuff. Too bad this isn't done by more people. Waiting in a long line only to find that prices aren't cheaper isn't worth it.
Yeah I mean we have all done the thing where we see something unexpected and say "whoa!" and pick it up and see "THURSDAY: $50, FRIDAY: $48, SATURDAY: $45" and think "oh, this person does not actually want to sell this" and put it back and feel fairly confident it will still be there at the end.
I probably spend ten hours in the Auction Store every year and have been doing it since the early 2000s, and I think ONCE I actually saw something priced in a stupid way like that and actually bought it. I am sure it happens, but if you have an item quite likely worth near the store maximum, it is probably a better idea to set a decent reserve and let people bid on it anyway.
I just wish whomever was submitting the random TOVA lots in the store that reek of cigarette smoke to stop. They've been there every year for the past 5 years I think. The water damaged D&D modules seemed to not be there in 2019 (those were there for 5-6 years also) although I think I know the seller that was doing that.