Quoted from dmarston:
The weakest part of the auction is the lack of items being consigned to it. We have to solve that issue before deciding where and when it takes place. There is a theory that by having it mid-day on a Saturday, that is the best for revenue and hence, for the consignors. And that doesn't seem to be enough incentive. Any readers of this thread want to say what circumstances would motivate them to consign a game to the auction?
Doesn't have to be a machine for a silent charity auction. For example, as someone wanting to call attention to my products (and, maybe my vendor booth... moving off the 4th of July date may help with that one), I would likely offer some items from my inventory as an auction item. Attendees browse tables containing the auction lots and that generates interest in the products - this is a way for vendors to reach people who might not approach a vendor table.
Individuals likely would be willing to donate auction lots as well. Many of us "accumulate" unneeded parts through the year but not nearly enough to have a flea market table. Selling and shipping can be such a hassle that it's just not worth the effort. But give them a charity receipt for a donated lot and stuff may well appear quickly.
often times auction lots close below full retail value but since products were donated for the auction the charity still gets real money, the winner leaves happy with a bargain, and the donator of the lot probably feels good about the tradeoff of merchandise for exposure. Sometimes (especially when the charity resonates with the audience) auction lots can be bid up well beyond retail value.... even better for the charity.
Anyway, it's just an idea that we've all seen work for charity events and it generally ends with a bunch of folks in good moods. In a traditional auction I tend to think sellers tend to leave thinking they got less than they could have and buyers tend to leave thinking they paid more than they should have. The auctioneer (if they are paid a cut) may well be the one who most reliably leaves happy. In Pintastic's case, it could also end up accelerating the growth of the merchandising side of what is still a young show.
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