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TOPIC: Lessons Learned From a First Time Auction

Lessons Learned From a First Time Auction 2 months 2 weeks ago #1

The auction I just ran was a great learning experience for me, and I wanted to put out some things that I learned over the course of running it for any other potential new auctioneers.

1. It’s more work than you’re expecting. I answered over 180 different messages to answer questions or submit/alter bids. Because of the way I structured the rules of my auction I had 765 items to keep track of that were impacted by those 180 different messages. It was important to check and double check things repeatedly, since mistakes could cost people money or deprive them of an item they should have gotten. Be ready to put in an effort for this.

2. People have extremely strong opinions about how auctions should be run. I heard from some people that my rules were terrible and I should change them. Other people were thrilled with how I’d set things up. Don’t take it personally, they just want the experience to be the best for all involved. So long as your rules are logically sound and mechanically consistent, and you’re crystal clear with people how it works, you’ll be fine. Any of the common rule sets will work for you.

3. Lesson 2 notwithstanding, I wouldn’t use my rule set again. It was fair, but that method wound up being a lot of extra work for me. It led to several confused messages when a weird quirk in bid order and max prices led to strange looking price movements. That extra effort and confusion didn’t really have much of a benefit, because most items were very close in their final pricing at the end. When I run another auction in the future I’ll probably be using a method that standardizes prices across item types (IE all Dwarven Steel will have the same current price).

4. Stay organized. I took a ton of notes and had a bunch of tabs on my spreadsheet to keep track of bids. When I got questions, those notes allowed me to quickly answer them, and to catch mistakes pretty quickly. If I’d had fewer notes it would have been a nightmare.

5. Your reputation among the community is critical. People are trusting you with a lot of money, and they need a reason to do so. I had multiple people tell me they were bidding because they’d gone on a run with me or interacted with me in some way. If people don’t know you they won’t bid.

6. You’re going to need a solid gimmick or addition to your auction to succeed, depending on when it’s happening. My goal for my 8k auction was $7500, and it was successful. That said, less than $7300 came from the actual 8k token order, the rest was from tokens pulled from my personal collection and added to the list. Token prices go in cycles, you’ll do better in times when prices are high. My completely nonacademic experience seems like you’ll have an easier time when there are pre-order bonuses to sell and when tokens are about to go out of print, but I’ve got no data to back that up.

7. The community is awesome and wants you to succeed. Almost all my experiences running my auction were extremely positive, and a lot of people gave me some great advice and feedback. Everyone's help was invaluable.

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Lessons Learned From a First Time Auction 2 months 2 weeks ago #2

Congratulations, Josh. Thanks for running a great auction and sharing your thoughts.
"IMHO we like to solve problems here on the forums that are only perceived problems due to a myopic view." -Bob Chasan
My Elemental build
My trade list
Do you have Onyx polymorph Potions?

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Lessons Learned From a First Time Auction 2 months 2 weeks ago #3

One thing I noticed is that your rules said the auction would end at 10 Pacific Time, but your headline said Eastern. Not a huge deal, just made me wonder right as the deadline approached.

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Lessons Learned From a First Time Auction 2 months 2 weeks ago #4

Grizwald wrote: One thing I noticed is that your rules said the auction would end at 10 Pacific Time, but your headline said Eastern. Not a huge deal, just made me wonder right as the deadline approached.


I totally missed that. I guess lesson's learned 8: triple check the verbiage you copy/paste from someone else's auction.

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Lessons Learned From a First Time Auction 2 months 1 week ago #5

Really specific corner case- if you ever use deities from various pantheons as pseudonyms, don't use the pseudonym "Isis" when you're rolling through your Egyptian deities if you don't want paypal to flag the transaction. :laugh:

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Lessons Learned From a First Time Auction 2 months 1 week ago #6

Lesson Learned 9:. Don't accidentally imply that you're funding a terrorist group.

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Lessons Learned From a First Time Auction 2 months 1 week ago #7

our own government did. where did they get their money? :S
Founder of Tokenholics Anonymous.
TD Patron since 2005.
Completed 20+ runs at GC 2017.

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