Auction/Consignment Store Question
Posted by manimal

For those that participated in the auction/consignment store process this year, I have a few questions:

(1) Since the items had to be preregistered this year, was there a way to see a list of all the items ahead of time online?
(2) The FAQs indicate that proxy bidding is allowed, but makes it sound as though you need to physically come in the room, identify and item, and then make a proxy bid (while opening a tab). Was there not a way to do a proxy bid ahead of time using (1)?
(3) If either (1) or (2) wasn't allowed, it would seem to be a good idea to allow it in future years since the items have already been entered into the system online ahead of time.

I would love to participate in the auction/consignment store as a buyer. However, given the times conflict with the exhibit hall and other events, and the length of the line for the consignment store, I've never participated.

It seems like allowing viewing of the list of items ahead of time and proxy bidding online ahead of time (with appropriate deposit) would maximize the price for seller, fundraising, etc. Note that I am only suggesting this feature for those that have a Gen Con badge and are there in person to pick up the items.

Posted by quarex

1. No.  There are no plans that I know of to ever make the list available ahead of time, as we discussed in another thread between misprints and items not actually being brought in despite being registered there would be a huge number of items not actually present, which would particularly be a problem for your point #2.

2. You have it correct; the proxy bidding issue is pretty controversial internally, with it being split between wanting to expand it and make it easier, and wanting to stop doing it entirely to prevent resellers from buying huge percentages of things without attending.

I am not involved in any decisionmaking for the Auction, mind, just a long-time volunteer and enthusiast.  I get the sense that the people who run it want to keep it a live experience as much as an auction, and part of why the most valuable stuff goes up when the Exhibit Hall is closed is to ensure the most people possible can attend. 

As someone who has never gone, you are thinking of it purely in an economic perspective, whereas I and many other people who have fallen in love with it and started volunteering appreciate it because it is the most interesting and sometimes hilarious part of Gen-Con, and of course the great deals help too. 

Now, as I mentioned, there is certainly an interesting debate to be had as to whether it should go all-in on proxy bidding, which would probably be accompanied by a bigger change towards an online component or something, though I am certainly not clever enough to know how you would do that without it being more like a small hyper-focused EBay or something. 

Posted by kevinrg

I think proxy bidding would be a nightmare of epic proportions.

At that point you are basically just Ebay with all the 'joys' that come with it.  Disputes on payments, people winning too much accidentally, putting a proxy on something that suddenly is determined to have an issue or different than what was expected, the sheer admin overhead of tracking things, tie breakers, items not clearing out space and stacking up ever more tab areas.   This is just a quick 7-8 things off the top of my head.     If you think somehow the auction would be immune to the typical Ebay pain in the rear type of buyer, that would be incorrect.

On a personal level, I think  the auction would lose a lot of the charm (if not all of the charm) that Quarex refers to.    Basically would be someone in the room going 'proxy bids... proxy bids..'     Why bother going at that point, just slap your bids in and show up 3 days later.   

That is basically the equivalent of going 'Why have a vendor hall', every vendor should just slap a list of stuff up on the internet, you fill out a sheet and pick up your stuff 3 days later.

Posted by manimal

There are no plans that I know of to ever make the list available ahead of time, as we discussed in another thread between misprints and items not actually being brought in despite being registered 

I think it would still be worth posting in advance. Someone might be interested in a particular item from almost every category listed. If there was a list ahead of time, people would know which categories would have an item of particular interest, and they could be there during that time slot. Yes, it's possible that an item might be mislabeled or pulled, but if  there are no items of interest in a category listed then focus could be given to other time slots.

At that point you are basically just Ebay with all the 'joys' that come with it.  Disputes on payments, people winning too much accidentally, putting a proxy on something that suddenly is determined to have an issue or different than what was expected, the sheer admin overhead of tracking things, tie breakers, items not clearing out space and stacking up ever more tab areas.   This is just a quick 7-8 things off the top of my head.     If you think somehow the auction would be immune to the typical Ebay pain in the rear type of buyer, that would be incorrect.

My understanding is that proxy bids are already allowed so whatever pain that comes with that already exists. I am not proposing that proxy bids be allowed in general to anyone. It would need to be someone who: (A) has a badge for Gen Con; and (B) picks up the items in person. Is there a risk of resellers, yes, but presumably those same resellers could just sit in the auction hall and bid under the present system.
On a personal level, I think  the auction would lose a lot of the charm (if not all of the charm) that Quarex refers to.

Definitely agree that there is more charm to being there in person than by proxy. No argument with that point. I would happily sit through the entire auction except for wanting to participate in other events, visit exhibit hall, etc. I wanted to go through the consignment hall on several days but the line was always long. I can tell it's a labor of love for those that volunteer, and I wouldn't want to deprive anyone of that joy (or the joy of bidding in person). I just wish there was some way to participate without missing out on other activities.

Posted by kevinrg manimal

manimal wrote:
=inheritMy understanding is that proxy bids are already allowed so whatever pain that comes with that already exists.

Definitely agree that there is more charm to being there in person than by proxy. No argument with that point. I would happily sit through the entire auction except for wanting to participate in other events, visit exhibit hall, etc. I wanted to go through the consignment hall on several days but the line was always long. I can tell it's a labor of love for those that volunteer, and I wouldn't want to deprive anyone of that joy (or the joy of bidding in person). I just wish there was some way to participate without missing out on other activities.

Most proxy bids are in the collectibles section.  There are very few in the regular auction.   There is a massive difference in a handful of proxy bids vs the entire auction basically being Ebay.

The auction stacks the items in the back where they are easily visible.  They go in sequence right to left so you can easily see what items are available and the auction staff would be more than happy to tell you what section is for what.   I often will look at a block, not see anything of interest in a block I might be interested in and it frees up my time for other things.   Is it a complete exhaustive list?  No.. but I see enough titles to make a determination easy enough.

As for participating without missing out on other things.  There isn't an event at Gencon that occurs at the cost of some other event I might want to do. 

 

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