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aXio
03-26-2017, 07:40 PM
Great Auction everyone!!! Especially to the BOD and others that helped make it happen!!! I had a blast as always!

Brian asked me how I was doing today... I said... "It's auction day! It's always a good day!" =)

I loved seeing so MANY new faces!

smitty
03-26-2017, 07:45 PM
Was a great time, working the table I got to see must everything and there were just so many great fish and plants.

heatherbeast
03-26-2017, 07:53 PM
That yellow tiretrack colored right up once I got him into a quiet tank. Thank you, Jakub! I've got a question about him -- I'll PM you. :)

aXio
03-26-2017, 08:02 PM
That yellow tiretrack colored right up once I got him into a quiet tank. Thank you, Jakub! I've got a question about him -- I'll PM you. :)

You welcome! I love those guys. Probably my favorite eel from the Mastacembelidae family!

pullins125
03-26-2017, 08:09 PM
I agree. Today was a blast and ran very smoothly

Tropical
03-26-2017, 08:18 PM
Out of the ones I've been to, probably my favorite! I still can't get over the $40 daphnia and all those bags of hornwort going for ~$15!

Got those Baby Axelrodi Cories, I was wanting, they're so cute!

Cool to meet a lot of people I've only known by username!

smitty
03-26-2017, 08:28 PM
I forgot about the daphnia! Pro-tip: bring the only bag of daphnia and win big!

HN1
03-26-2017, 09:21 PM
It was a great auction. I can't possibly thank the BOD, Volunteers, Sponsors, and Auctioneers enough!

I agree with Jakub. It was great to see new folks coming to their first auction and the absolute highlight of the day for me was seeing the smiling little girl proudly holding her bag of beautiful angels.

likestofish
03-26-2017, 10:38 PM
I forgot about the daphnia! Pro-tip: bring the only bag of daphnia and win big!

Still regret forgetting to bag up some daphnia while rushing this morning.

Hawker
03-26-2017, 10:43 PM
This was my first Atlanta club auction although I have been to others over the last forty years. Certainly very well run and expedited. My kudos and congrats to everyone involved. Thanks for a great time, I'll be back.

canoe
03-27-2017, 02:19 AM
Thanks to the long list of folks who participated in the event: runners, bidders, sellers, auctioneers Ken and Larry, auction Chair David Mercer and the entire volunteer crew. Lots of work goes into the auction. The many hands who help, make it seem a lot less like work and a lot more like fun. Kudos to Liz, who spent the entire time in a corner of the room sorting all the bid slips. It seems like a minor detail, but without it - help. Another unsung performer that gets applause is Dave Ramsey, who logged a lot of miles moving bags from the display tables to the front of the auction. Thanks to all who made donations to the club. All of them do add up. Premier - great to have their donations for the member-only drawing.

As you get your new fish and plants get settled into their new homes, treat them well. They'll be productive and multiply, so their progeny can come to a future auction.

If you sold any qualifying fish and wish to earn ABC points, please get your form submitted ASAP. The BAP chair and I coordinate after an auction, so you do not need to submit the form to both of us. If you desire credit for an article submission, please do not wait too long to do this. Newsletter editor Dave Ramsey will be preparing the next newsletter this week, so now is not too soon to gather the breeding details and put your thoughts into an article.

Mog Carns
03-27-2017, 09:38 AM
It was a great auction.

However, I just had so many activities this weekend... I was worn out by Sunday.

Perrin150
03-27-2017, 04:25 PM
It was a great auction, very well organized!!!!
Thanks to all the people who participated😉
And as always said no to bought anything and ended up expending more then expected but totally worth it!!!!!!!!

Firethorn77
03-27-2017, 06:20 PM
It was a great auction as always. It was my third in a row. I mainly go for the buy it now area as I'm not looking to add much to my fresh tanks currently. A few of you would call me a "Salty" :tongue: I still find some good stuff. Big thanks to AAAA for hosting it and I look forward to seeing everyone at the BBQ this summer at Premier!

OldeFishLady
03-28-2017, 01:17 PM
It was my first auction. first meeting. First Aquarium society gathering of any kind.
We/I were super impressed with the # of folks attending, the wealth of information and the willingness of most to share their knowledge, the variety of fish/plants and the # of bags of stuff...wow.

I came away with less than I wanted, but, I hogtied the better half and he reluctantly came with...but...NOW, he is more interested and engaged. ((Always a method to MY madness. ))
SO..maybe, inna few...my new babies - (((6 Koi/Blushers (thanks and from Ken) and 6 baby kribs - sorry, lost bag,,,but they are GORGEOUS and already establishing territories)))
will need a bigger home....Ill be able to talk him into (askn nicely - ? :devil:) for that 125 Acrylic.

Jeff and Sam's plants are to die for...and so healthy...NO WAIT!! for FedEx.....lol
I wrote down names, and prefixes for the purchases/stuff, but did not ask or get avatars to know who is who......sigh.

I do have one suggestion....sorry...always giving advice/suggestions....the person who auctions should or it would be more beneficial to either have more knowledge about the planted aquariums, the plants auctioned, etc....
or
have someone who does on stage with the auctioneer or have a power point set up to show plant and its care.
Yes,I realize we should be familiar, and know what we are looking at and for, but......
if nothing else,,,"low light, difficult," etc

again, I was so impressed and so excited...will see you all at next meeting.

melanie

Tropical
03-28-2017, 01:33 PM
It was my first auction. first meeting. First Aquarium society gathering of any kind.
We/I were super impressed with the # of folks attending, the wealth of information and the willingness of most to share their knowledge, the variety of fish/plants and the # of bags of stuff...wow.

I came away with less than I wanted, but, I hogtied the better half and he reluctantly came with...but...NOW, he is more interested and engaged. ((Always a method to MY madness. ))
SO..maybe, inna few...my new babies - (((6 Koi/Blushers (thanks and from Ken) and 6 baby kribs - sorry, lost bag,,,but they are GORGEOUS and already establishing territories)))
will need a bigger home....Ill be able to talk him into (askn nicely - ? :devil:) for that 125 Acrylic.

Jeff and Sam's plants are to die for...and so healthy...NO WAIT!! for FedEx.....lol
I wrote down names, and prefixes for the purchases/stuff, but did not ask or get avatars to know who is who......sigh.

I do have one suggestion....sorry...always giving advice/suggestions....the person who auctions should or it would be more beneficial to either have more knowledge about the planted aquariums, the plants auctioned, etc....
or
have someone who does on stage with the auctioneer or have a power point set up to show plant and its care.
Yes,I realize we should be familiar, and know what we are looking at and for, but......
if nothing else,,,"low light, difficult," etc

again, I was so impressed and so excited...will see you all at next meeting.

melanie

I was going to suggest something similar for the plants.

I think there were 3 tables with plants and maybe for the next auction they could be categorized as beginner, mid and high levels?
Or make a spot on the label to fill that in?

aXio
03-28-2017, 02:07 PM
I think that ALL plants should be forced into silent auction as they slow the auction down way too much in my opinion. And you see So many of the same types of plants. Tons of Java Moss, floating plants,etc.

I honestly don't think that we have time to give out even more information during the auction. We are trying to speed things up as it is now. We are barely selling everything on time to leave the building. We are forced to speed auction the last hour as it is. While I like the idea of more information for plants... I just don't see it happening realistically with the time crunch we are already on. Most clubs are forced to limit total bags per person for that reason... we do not limit at this point.

I think we could easily still have some one knowledge at the silent auction plant section to help with any questions. But as it is now the plants take up a lot of time in the auction and bring in much lower dollars.

smitty
03-28-2017, 02:18 PM
I think if the HAP days sheets (and BAP) were published in a database for us to easily access it would be a nice value add to the club, and be a good place to answer such questions on the fly. There were too many redundant bags, but I still like the current format. Maybe instead of 7 bags limit plants to 3 bags.

Tangfan
03-28-2017, 02:27 PM
I think that ALL plants should be forced into silent auction as they slow the auction down way too much in my opinion. And you see So many of the same types of plants. Tons of Java Moss, floating plants,etc.

I honestly don't think that we have time to give out even more information during the auction. We are trying to speed things up as it is now. We are barely selling everything on time to leave the building. We are forced to speed auction the last hour as it is. While I like the idea of more information for plants... I just don't see it happening realistically with the time crunch we are already on. Most clubs are forced to limit total bags per person for that reason... we do not limit at this point.

I think we could easily still have some one knowledge at the silent auction plant section to help with any questions. But as it is now the plants take up a lot of time in the auction and bring in much lower dollars.


Many of your ideas here seem very reasonable. This last auction only had 1 bag of plants in the Dry Goods section, most people put their plants in the auction where many were sold significantly higher then I thought they would go for.

As for having a knowledgeable person in the Dry Goods Area, Ken (the Guru of Plants) is typically in the Dry Goods area and is more than willing to assist anyone who asked him a question on plants ((I know I have utilized him).

Another possible solution is to have a computer on hand which has a database of the various plants/fish that we see in the club where you can search for various information on while at the auction (possible pulling this information from the HAP/BAP sheets or some other source). Just would need to have an extra computer for this to work though (another station to be filled during the auction).

Hawker
03-28-2017, 04:03 PM
Another way to help with the identity and care needed for various fish or plants would be to reccomend a couple of websites or apps that people could use on their phones or tablets while at the auction. I found some sites on-line that helped me but it would have been better if I had searched and bookmarked a couple before I came. Being an auctioneer isn't something everyone can do or wants to do...and to request they be an "expert" in certain areas would certainly make it tougher all the way around. I enjoyed the talents and occasional humor from both auctioneers. Glad we got the PA system fixed as well.

smitty
03-28-2017, 04:21 PM
The hap and bap programs both have an official governing book. What I don't like about the web and lfs is the misidentification and mistreatment of plants. It's more common than you'd believe. Especially on light levels. That's why I would like to see our curated HAP sheets.

Auctioneers have a very hard job, and I'd rather have a fish guy do it than a plant guy. To have enough knowledge about all the fish there to make sure it's getting sold at the right price takes a heck of a lot of experience. I actually learned stuff hearing Larry talk briefly about each bag. We're pretty fortunate to have those guys available to us. I'd like to know how many bags have dna from fish theyve put out there!

OldeFishLady
03-28-2017, 04:25 PM
I think that ALL plants should be forced into silent auction as they slow the auction down way too much in my opinion. And you see So many of the same types of plants. Tons of Java Moss, floating plants,etc.

I honestly don't think that we have time to give out even more information during the auction. We are trying to speed things up as it is now. We are barely selling everything on time to leave the building. We are forced to speed auction the last hour as it is. While I like the idea of more information for plants... I just don't see it happening realistically with the time crunch we are already on. Most clubs are forced to limit total bags per person for that reason... we do not limit at this point.

I think we could easily still have some one knowledge at the silent auction plant section to help with any questions. But as it is now the plants take up a lot of time in the auction and bring in much lower dollars.


Sorry, Jacob, but I disagree about "bring in much lower dollars"...there were several plants that went WELL over what some of those fish were going for. Personally, I did NOT buy about 10 plants or even bid, because I did not know what they were.
and I DID have 2 apps open to look at. I realize there are a lot of folks that do cichlids.. and they are pricey, bring money...
but there are lots of us who do Planted tanks and Nano tanks....and asking Ken or anybody else or pinning them down at event is not an option or a good one...for me anyway. If one has tasks assigned, they usually do not want to stop and educate. I DID ask a couple of folks, who seemed bothered. Maybe "distracted" is a better word.

Ideally, we would have a shot of the auctioned item-Pic/care/light,etc.... up via Power Point when it is up....that would be so helpful and one would know exactly what to expect
but, maybe even have the seller have a printout of the plant/pic/care/light, etc along with the plant/bag...
or
have a data base and printed with a variety of the 'common/usual' plants available for us at a "plant table(s) with info...
and have a website or 2 up for more info if needed
or
I am sure, some of us could come up with a plan...create a data base, etc or something to better assist plant/nano lovers at the next auction. Tropical and I are already in.
Set up a committee or however you handle it...
let me know..i'd be happy to brainstorm w/ fellow plant lovers!:peace:

and I am willing to bet, taking some extra steps to ensure we know what we are buying will increase the sales of same.

mwm

OldeFishLady
03-28-2017, 04:28 PM
i do like the 'silent auction'...as an option...that way, someone could focus on plants and assisting prospective buyers/creating more Planted Tank addicts.
but, that would take away from that person bidding,,,but...if it were me, id just make my list , research and hand my bidder card to my hubbie.

Tropical
03-28-2017, 04:39 PM
Just an FYI the "Ken" Tangfan was referring to is a different guy not the auctioneer.

Also I talked to Brianna (Vice president) and she said they are looking at getting a software which will pull up a picture of the item being auctioned...

I think it's more on the seller than the club. If the seller puts more info on the bags, which a lot did have, then they would go for more.

There is already a lack of volunteers so creating more jobs is probably not a good idea...

OldeFishLady
03-28-2017, 04:59 PM
Just an FYI the "Ken" Tangfan was referring to is a different guy not the auctioneer.

Also I talked to Brianna (Vice president) and she said they are looking at getting a software which will pull up a picture of the item being auctioned...

I think it's more on the seller than the club. If the seller puts more info on the bags, which a lot did have, then they would go for more.

There is already a lack of volunteers so creating more jobs is probably not a good idea...



I did notice the 'gang' that ran their ...ummm/////legs off!!....
I too had mentioned the Power Point to someone that advised, it had been discussed, but that place would not allow set up?
and I wondered, ...there is a big screen right there.
We have plenty of time, to attack this..and come up w/ an answer..

If all else fails....I 'll just bring my laptop with a data base loaded or lots of the 'usual' expected plants..
and take the time to look up those I am interested in at the table b4 auction starts.

Assigning "new jobs" should not be shot down, immediately. I am a new member and more than willing to help out.
so, keep that in mind. It may be just a matter of asking folks and reaching out.

thanks

ronv
03-28-2017, 05:10 PM
Yes. Agree with Sam. We do not need to create any new jobs. We do not have enough volunteers as it is. We tried the picture along with the auction idea before (several years ago) and it didn't work. Better technology would probably make it better but again... more volunteers, more problems. As for plants, again I agree with Sam. Sellers are free to write whatever they want on the bag. Both Larry and Ken are good about reading that to the audience. Put low light, advanced, etc. And one more thing... I don't agree with putting plants in the buy it now area. Part of my reasoning is selfish... volunteers don't have a chance to visit the buy it now area, so I wouldn't have a chance to buy plants.

smitty
03-28-2017, 05:19 PM
Logistically it would be incredibly difficult to pull off a power point because the way bags are set up. There isn't the manpower to pull the right bag at the right time, get it ticketed and into the queue. A ton of bags aren't even registered until the day of the auction so there isn't preplanning available to map the flow anyway. For the preregistered bags though, you can see the list of them and select what you're looking for to research.

There is an auction this fall also, volunteer for a bunch of spots and see how the flow moves. It's great to get new eyes on a process. Plus you'll get fishbucks that you can use at the fishbuck only auction for members at year end.

It's amazing how well it came together. Dave Ramsey was beating the tar out of me getting those bags up front so quick. He's always making sure the hottest bags are coming up at the right time. He ran circles around me haha.

Gadge
03-28-2017, 05:32 PM
The auction was great as always.Was a bit surprised at the lack of community tank fish this year compared to last(really wanted more longfin cherry barbs lol)

would be great if the plants were organized on the tables a little bit though. like into groups seeing as they were on three tables.low light,moderate to high light,and then co2 injected botanists only kinda stuff :) i did research what plants i was interested in so i wasnt to bothered. but saying that i did research the fish i was interested in 2 and ended up with a synodontis petricola because the page i researched it on said good with plants and suitable for community tanks.little did i realize they ment cichlid community tanks lol doing a lot of messing around trying to get ph higher now but water hardness might be a problem.i really like the lil guy to :(


6 baby kribs - sorry, lost bag,,,but they are GORGEOUS and already establishing territories)))
will need a bigger home....Ill be able to talk him into (askn nicely - ? :devil:) for that 125 Acrylic.

melanie

melanie the kribs wont take long to mature and if your aquarium isnt big enough come the time they start breeding certain brown stuffs gonna hit the fan.they will have 100 +/- each group and will breed every month.they are awesome parents and almost all the young will survive.but they will protect the young aggressively.

Tropical
03-28-2017, 05:35 PM
For the preregistered bags though, you can see the list of them and select what you're looking for to research.

Great idea!


Yes. Agree with Sam. We do not need to create any new jobs. We do not have enough volunteers as it is. We tried the picture along with the auction idea before (several years ago) and it didn't work. Better technology would probably make it better but again... more volunteers, more problems. As for plants, again I agree with Sam. Sellers are free to write whatever they want on the bag. Both Larry and Ken are good about reading that to the audience. Put low light, advanced, etc. And one more thing... I don't agree with putting plants in the buy it now area. Part of my reasoning is selfish... volunteers don't have a chance to visit the buy it now area, so I wouldn't have a chance to buy plants.

I think the way Brianna explained it to me is that the software would have an option to upload a picture and a description as you are registering items online, which would then come up as it was being auctioned...

I think if someone wants to add a new volunteer position and be in charge of that, I'm sure the club would allow it, as long as it's reasonable. JMO

HN1
03-28-2017, 07:51 PM
Great discussion folks! It warms my heart to see constructive discussion and new people providing input.

My thoughts in no particular order...

Having someone go into depth about the plants, their care, needs, etc. in a live auction simply isn't possible within our time constraints. We actually finished this time earlier than I remember in a lot of years, maybe ever, but that could have all been different had we had 50 more items show up. It is important to keep in mind that we pay for the venue and have to be out by a set time or we forfeit our deposit. There's also the fact that we have folks stuck there until well after the auction is over for everybody else. They stay and break everything down, clean up, wait for the stage to be removed, etc.

Pictures with the items being auctioned would be a great benefit and the SW that we are looking at does provide that functionality. I'm hoping that we can trial it at a mini auction or at least a table top trial within the next few months.

I personally have mixed feelings about the live auction vs. buy it now and see merit for both. I think we may need to discuss a hybrid of the two. From a financial perspective, the live auction is easily superior with prices being much higher than often expected. Lets throw live foods into that same category. The question is... do we need to limit the number of ANY specific item in the live auction? Do we need a dozen white worm cultures or 20 bags of water lettuce in the live auction? Would we be better served by coming up with a limit with anything in excess of that limit being sent to the buy it now area?

Categorizing plants based on requirements is interesting, but it may be too subjective to be practical. A HAP (and BAP) database with notes from the submitter would be great, but would require development and volunteer time.

I'd like to encourage everyone to attend our BOD meetings that precede the regular monthly meetings. You do now have to have a formal position to discuss ideas or make proposals.

canoe
03-28-2017, 08:21 PM
Great discussion. The point about sellers who add extra info on their bags is worth repeating. I've seen bags with color pictures and detailed descriptions about all kinds of species-specific information. Very helpful to a prospective buyer, and likely to be eye-catching as buyers scan the tables. Will the effort result in better prices? We haven't got that data, but I would guess yes.

I think plants can be done both ways. Guidelines might be a way to keep too many bags of any one type from any one seller. Limiting anything has historically been difficult, as it demands manpower, which, as some have already noted, is in perpetually short supply.

Having a database to help buyers is a good idea. More volunteers, please.

heatherbeast
03-28-2017, 08:31 PM
Hmm, I like the plant database idea. However, given the difficulty in logistics, why not just print out that presentation and turn it into a binder of basic info sheets for the plants? :) It would have to be clearly labelled as club property with instructions on not to remove it from the plant tables, but this seems like a good solution that avoids complicating an already strenuous auction schedule. Thoughts?

Tropical
03-28-2017, 08:44 PM
Hmm, I like the plant database idea. However, given the difficulty in logistics, why not just print out that presentation and turn it into a binder of basic info sheets for the plants? :) It would have to be clearly labelled as club property with instructions on not to remove it from the plant tables, but this seems like a good solution that avoids complicating an already strenuous auction schedule. Thoughts?

They could be scanned in and on a database somewhere on the website?

smitty
03-28-2017, 08:45 PM
Hmm, I like the plant database idea. However, given the difficulty in logistics, why not just print out that presentation and turn it into a binder of basic info sheets for the plants? :) It would have to be clearly labelled as club property with instructions on not to remove it from the plant tables, but this seems like a good solution that avoids complicating an already strenuous auction schedule. Thoughts?
I like that idea! I think a rudimentary "database" could be on the forums in a locked sticky too. Maybe just scans of data sheets.

Demonfish
03-28-2017, 10:50 PM
What about a plant hour or other time frame? A chunk of auction time with plants only and someone like Brian up there describing them. The fish only people could go get lunch. I like plants in buy-it-now also, but we'd need to make a bigger or second buy-it-now area as there were periodic bottlenecks getting in and out of the the little room. We did talk about dumping java moss and the other super common plants into buy-it-now. In previous auctions we would auction one bag and often similar items at the same price. But this time, the high prices on java moss are proof that we didn't have too many bags of it. I expect it will be worse at the next auction. Each action is a reaction to the last. Next time there will 10 bags of daphnia and one microworm culture.

canoe
03-29-2017, 02:18 AM
I expect to see lots of daphnia available next time around. Of course lots of supply will result in lower prices, according to Econ 101.

OldeFishLady
03-29-2017, 10:13 AM
I like the data base idea and scanning same would be awesome too. That would just be scanning, pdfing the file and uploading to website. Correct. ??
Having a dedicated laptop with apps up and available would be good.
But based on the post RE the data sheets..and Internet being so misleading..sounds like those sheets should be available as a minimum.

Are they located somewhere on the Web? The HAPsheets was it called?
I'm in.,and very puter savvy..so is the better half.

I like the buy it now and I WaS
able to get what I want3d ..that was a great option for me to . I wish there had been more available..more java, Xmas moss, sag, val.........we,I were/was not able to get Xmas moss,.I think Paul tried 6 times and got outbid each time. And u know how many years bags there were.
So maybe, if there are 10 bags of plant, put half in buy it now, auction half...OR whatever number.

I want to make myself perfectly clear. I am not criticizing or belittling the auctioneers. They were awesome, I and TOO learned a lot just listening.
And I'm not asking that the auctioneers , if they focus on fish to learn or do anything differently. I am asking that if the auctioneers knowledge base on plants is minimal, the powers that be just have someone on stage with him/her.
Seems from prior posts, folks may think I am critical of the auctioneers and asking THEM to change or add to their MO.





Sent from my SM-T550 using Tapatalk

smitty
03-29-2017, 10:54 AM
I will try to bring some Christmas moss to the mini auction in May. Ive been trying to rid my tanks of it.

I think everyone understands you're being constructive. I'm new also and I'll say that the club members, chairs, and board are all very eager to hear new members feedback.

OldeFishLady
03-29-2017, 11:06 AM
I will try to bring some Christmas moss to the mini auction in May. Ive been trying to rid my tanks of it.

I think everyone understands you're being constructive. I'm new also and I'll say that the club members, chairs, and board are all very eager to hear new members feedback.
Thank you.

Sent from my LG-K540 using Tapatalk

aXio
03-29-2017, 11:40 AM
I love all these ideas. I think Heather's binder idea is the best... simple, effective, and doesn't complicate things trying to get a 3rd auctioneer just for plant knowledge or more importantly prolong the auction even more. Also keep in mind that sellers can easily just add High or Low light, Beginner or Advance on their own labels... it would help save the club time and hassle. I print my own labels out so I can get more information then the AAAA program allows like my store address, phone, etc

Please keep in mind guys just like Len mentioned... our biggest issue is TIME. We just don't have it to extend the auction anymore. What ever we decide I think we need to be working on shorting the length of the auction not extending it. As it is now most of the people leave half way through. Brianna and I spent a lot of time promoting the auction online and the various facebook groups... lots of them decided not to come because they didn't want to sit at an auction all day.

If we decide to keep plants in the auction itself I think there needs to be a limit on total bags brought to the auction...I think 6 bags is plenty of any one type of plant or live food, even fish imo... And on top of that limit it to 3 bags of one type of thing per person... so not any one person is bringing all 6 bags of the total limit. Obviously the auction software would need be able to "refuse" bags once the limit has been reached.

I completely understand were everyone is coming from as far as plants getting more money in the auction itself.... but something has to be done about our time constraints. Lots of various clubs do exactly what I'm talking about... Limit the total bags of any items for the entire auction not just per person. We are one of the only clubs that don't limit total bags per auction. Some even limit the entire total bag count... like 1000 bags total for the entire auction, because they have to be out of the building by a certain time. And lots clubs do put all plants in a buy-it-now/silent auction setting.

smitty
03-29-2017, 11:53 AM
It does hurt sellers when the room is half empty and rarer fish are getting very small bids. Also hurts when a fish is over saturated and bids drop low after the nth bag.

I'd like to find the magic number of bags that keeps the further away breeders still coming and hobbyists still being able to sell most of what they want to sell at a fair price.

canoe
03-29-2017, 02:32 PM
How would participants feel if the auction were to start earlier, say at 10?

It should be noted that for this past auction, it seemed like the total bags sold was down a bit from the fall auction. We will have a better handle on the exact number once the audit is completed. Bag count varies every time, and is a variable which really can't be pinned down while planning the auction hours. More bags = more time, unless the average amount of time spent auctioning a bag can be decreased. Having the auctioneers or a third party waxing eloquently on the habitat, food requirements, idiosyncratic breeding habits, light requirements, etc. is educational and enjoyable, but means spending more auction time per bag. It is a balancing act, and thank goodness we haven't lost our room deposit yet. We do lose volunteers if things go too long as well. For some of us who are performing the same duty for the entire auction, the end can't come soon enough.

Thankfully the checkout lines were very short at the end, and this is due in part to having bidders who choose to leave early. As the chairs empty and the number of active bidders declines, it is not uncommon for some prices to decline as well. The PRIORITY STICKERS are one line of defense for a seller - buy a sticker and place it on your bag and it will get placed at the head of the line, long before everyone leaves. They are also a convenience for the buyer who has set sights on a particular bag, and doesn't want to wait until whatever (unknown) time it will come to the stage. A buyer can purchase a PRIORITY STICKER and place it on the item they desire, knowing they will get a shot at bidding for that bag earlier rather than later. I sold many PS to people during the early afternoon, and then saw them a little while later when they came to the checkout, so it does work.

Please continue to constructively criticize and offer suggestions for improvements. The BOD wants to make this an event that every aquarist will want to attend twice a year. It is the main source of revenue for the club, and funds the other activities of AAAA, especially the speakers at the monthly meetings. It also helps to showcase some aspects of the hobby that many who start keeping fish never experience.

Remember, the monthly program meetings are open to all, and the general format includes a mini-auction at the end. It is called a mini-auction because the selection is a lot smaller than the spring and fall auctions, and so is the pool of bidders. There is even time to ask the auctioneer or the seller about the fish or plants being sold, if one is unfamiliar with the species. Come join us on May 6, when Jakub Lapinski of Premier Aquatics will be the speaker on the topic of aquascaping. It would not surprise me at all if there is a members-only raffle at that meeting, so become a member and have some excitement as well.

OldeFishLady
03-29-2017, 02:36 PM
I like the binder idea. For now. At least we/buyers will have some info right there. And next time. Ill make sure to take time to research. Plant names are important. Light intensity a plus.
And..maybe divide them categories...low. Med. High ..put on separate tables. Or divide long table into same. That would have helped me a lot as a buyer as I was only looking for low light.

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ronv
03-29-2017, 04:09 PM
We need to be careful. IMO the auctions are working great. Maybe a small tweak or two but let's don't make any drastic changes. I would be in favor of limiting a seller to three bags of a species. I think that is already a rule but how do you police that? But we need to be careful of that too. Do we want to limit the # of discus sold? I am not in favor of limiting the # of total bags of one species. Someone is going to get really mad and it might be someone that drove a long way just to find out their bag of fish can't be sold. I'm also not in favor of limiting the total # of bags for the auction for the same reason. I'm not even sure the auction is too long. I enjoy the last hour. After all people go to auctions for a bargain. Have we ever run over time and lost a deposit? I'm not totally opposed to starting a little earlier or could we buy another hour at the end. Bottom line... things are great right now. We have been tinkering we the auction process for years (decades really) and I think is it about right. Len. David and Brianna are doing a really good job. The only real pressing need is for more volunteers.

smitty
03-29-2017, 04:26 PM
I think Ron has a great point. The auction went great.

The current species limit is 7 if I read right. I think plants should be more limited (3 bags) except for mosses and ferns. Fish I think should have a higher limit. Sellers I think will self limit after selling a high dollar fish at a low price cause it's over represented.

Demonfish
03-29-2017, 04:44 PM
I think putting overflow bags in the buy it now is a good compromise.


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aXio
03-29-2017, 05:17 PM
I would even be in favor of starting at 9am myself! =)

Demonfish
03-29-2017, 05:24 PM
One place I went had an early dry goods auction before the main event.

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Demonfish
03-29-2017, 05:27 PM
You should beg for volunteers on the forum a week before the auction. I didn"t hear you were short until they called for runners

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Pierre
03-29-2017, 05:47 PM
I wonder how many people come after church on Sunday. We may want to ask the participants before making a time change.

HN1
03-29-2017, 08:38 PM
Please remember that there are a couple of hours of work before the auction starts. So starting earlier means working earlier for quite a few folks. I would be opposed to an earlier start personally.

BUT... we have discussed the possibility of doing three auctions per year. In theory, that would reduce the number of items at each one giving us more time for each item. Maybe something to consider.

likestofish
03-29-2017, 08:54 PM
Yeah not a big fan of starting early, third auction I've been there to set up for and getting in at 9 after bagging everything and loading the car is a bit hard.

Tropical
03-29-2017, 09:52 PM
@Len, Have we ever considered swap tables instead of the auction? Or maybe as a "third auction"

I've heard that a lot of clubs do this quite successfully. It also has more of a convention feel and we might get major vendors to come.
Basically you rent either a half or full table (depending on quantity) and pay a set amount for the table and keep whatever you make. Way less volunteers needed... I like it in that it's more social and you can talk to the seller and ask any questions right away.

I'm also against starting earlier, already tight enough with time when bagging a lot of fish!

Also like the idea of overflow bags of plants to be placed in buy it now...

Mog Carns
03-30-2017, 11:45 AM
I am completely in favor of shortening the auction, and I am ready to do what I have to do to help this outcome come about.
11 to 3 is my goal. That makes it 9 to 5 for the people putting on the show.

4 hours lessens the need for total volunteers overall, and condenses the existing volunteer force into more concurrent volunteers.

I think Jakub is right. I too believe that Buy It Now is the best place for ALL the plants.
If your plants aren't selling, you always have the option to lower the price on your BIN items. Think of it as a reverse auction.
With plants in the Buy It Now table, I feel 11-3 is a real possibility.

Demonfish
03-30-2017, 01:22 PM
If we add a third event, a swap meet should be less work than an auction. Worth a try if we have enough volunteers to pull it off.

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Hawker
03-30-2017, 01:36 PM
An earlier start time would be fine for me. But a Sunday would not work as I and my family do go to church.

canoe
03-30-2017, 03:27 PM
When the BOD has discussed a swap meet, I think the main stumbling block was generating enough sellers/vendors to justify the cost of the venue. Currently, buyers and sellers do not need to commit to coming to any single auction. With a swap meet, there needs to be a serious enough commitment (take on the risk) on the part of a sufficient number of sellers to warrant the effort and cost of putting the swap meet together. It can't be done as a "come-buy-a-table-at-the-spur-of-the-moment" arrangement.

One way to get this upfront commitment is to offer pricing based on when a table is "sold." The price increases as the day of the swap meet gets closer. Day-of requests, if space is available, would be like walk-up fares at the airport, with tables (seats) on a space-available basis. If there aren't enough early sign-ups, then the swap meet could be cancelled before the club has to pay for the venue.

The swap meet is a very different setting than our auction. I went to one sponsored by the Greater Chicago Cichlid Association a couple years ago. Lots of sellers, and they had lots of tanks set up to display their stock. Sellers were typically specializing in something: discus, plants, African cichlids, food, inverts, books, aquarium supplies and gadgets were just a few of the items being sold. The selection was pretty big, and many vendors came from good distances to sell to the Chicagoland crowd.

Q: Would buyers be willing to pay an admission fee to attend? The GCCA swap meet did charge a fee, either $5 or $10 a person. Maybe it was $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Transactions were strictly between the seller and their customer. It would be an adjustment for many people here, as our events have had free admission.

Demonfish
03-30-2017, 03:42 PM
I would pay an entrance fee just out of curiosity. Sounds like this would take planning and advertising. Time for a new thread and maybe a commitee.


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smitty
03-30-2017, 03:45 PM
I'm also happy to pay for events. Could we partner with another expo? Like arc or the reptile show?

OldeFishLady
03-30-2017, 04:21 PM
Sounds to me like this particular club is having growing pains. Has the planted kingdom ..the planted aquariums just become popular in this club?

Round tables, brainstormers willing to think outside the box should unite. To encourage new members to stay, participate; to give the planted tank/nano lovers a place to think outside the box and consider ALL options.

I am in.

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Tropical
03-30-2017, 04:29 PM
@Canoe, good points, I didn't think that far!

I'm sure people who are already members don't have a problem paying $5 to enter, however I don't think new folks will be able to justify the cost, unless there is something there that will. Like the ARC, they have attracted venders from all over!

Like Len said at the last meeting we have about 100 members in a HUGE city with millions of people, so the focus should be on attracting as many people as possible, and an entrance fee would deter people IMO...

HN1
03-30-2017, 06:06 PM
We have discussed doing a swap meet in the past. Buck's points on the subject are totally valid and have so far precluded it. It is worth mentioning that we also need a venue with the right facilities and as Buck pointed out, the more in advance that we can plan and announce it the better. That is an issue when we can only book 3 months at a time at our current venue. That and many other things are being worked on behind the scenes.

We are looking at doing more cooperative events with other clubs (namely ARC). There were several ARC members at our auction this past week and we will be at the Expo on the 15th. I would love to see a larger, "all inclusive", Expo type event in the future and we have had initial chats about it. My hope would be that any of those types of events would be free to members. The current and recent leadership of ARC is very supportive of AAAA and we are trying to reciprocate. Our June picnic will be the first truly co-sponsored event, but we will be providing raffle prizes for the Expo and I am fully willing to provide them any support I can. Did you know that they have a FW forum? I ask because it has actually picked up a bit recently. I'm a long time member of that club and worked with the late "Apisto Dave / Acroholic" to get a FW presence on their forums. I'd encourage anyone to show off your stuff over there as well as here. I'm also hoping to see a great showing of our members at the Expo on the 15th.

HN1
03-30-2017, 06:10 PM
@oldefishlady- planted tanks are far from new to the club and we have had some really hardcore plant people. Karen Randall has spoken at one of our somewhat recent meetings and I only wish that you could have seen the patented "Bags O' Plants"! :)

Like a lot of areas of the hobby, interests seem to ebb and flow a bit. It would seem that interest in plants is again on the upswing.

54RICHARDI
03-30-2017, 07:35 PM
Had a great time as usual. Decided sign up as a bag picker instead of a runner this year. Also, want to thank Linda D. for bringing those beautiful Koi angels to the auction. Was lucky to be the winning bidder on both bags.

Mog Carns
03-31-2017, 09:08 AM
The always problem with the swap meet is we already have 8 of them a year.

People post here if they are looking for something, or if they have something, and the final line of communication is invariably "Are you coming to the meeting?" The transaction is usually completed in the parking lot prior.




@OldeFishLady - The debate about what to do with the plants has been ongoing for at least four years that I can personally attest too, and it did not feel like a new discussion then. Nearly every word written on these two pages is part of an ancient discussion that follows every single auction. No one is demanding a swift answer. Even the discussions about bag limits have their easy to point out flaws... There are a couple of people that were wearing the green or blue tshirts Sunday that are some of the most accomplished breeders in the country, perhaps the world. Does it really make sense to limit THEM to seven bag a species?

The truth is we are having some of the best auctions the club has EVER had, and there is very little reason to make any changes, much less large ones, in the current format. However, this is a hobby where only bad things happen fast, and change is still inevitable. Thus, as I understand it, it is wise, when change is required, that we already have several decades of pros and cons discussed.

OldeFishLady
03-31-2017, 09:16 AM
@oldefishlady- planted tanks are far from new to the club and we have had some really hardcore plant people. Karen Randall has spoken at one of our somewhat recent meetings and I only wish that you could have seen the patented "Bags O' Plants"! :)

Like a lot of areas of the hobby, interests seem to ebb and flow a bit. It would seem that interest in plants is again on the upswing.

ME2!!!
I have a 'green thumb' in my gardens....but, this planted aquarium venture has really gotten my goat....lol:tongue:

OldeFishLady
03-31-2017, 09:40 AM
Swap meet sounds interesting! I disagree w/ the opinion that asking for money/entry fee would scare folks away..
I am new ....and I would GLADLY pay $5, even $10......that fee/my upfront costs would more than pay for itself the first time I purchased ...Um..Let's say...6 baby angels, (price not most important, but say) for $14 - in excellent health, wide eyed and ready to explore their new home - not hovering in a corner ....scared sh**less.....Yes...that is WELL worth the price of admission. :yeah: For me, anyway. But, I feel, that 'you get what you pay for"...and I am old enough to know that sometimes, getting what you want requires a little more effort.

I have had SUCH bad luck w/ the local stores..including some private,,not just the big box stores, I am almost at the point of NOT buying anything local. :wall:
SO,,,it is well worth my time to seek out and talk to and buy from my fellow Planted Kingdom lovers.


m

lindad
03-31-2017, 12:35 PM
@54Richardi - Enjoyed meeting you at the auction. Glad you're enjoying the angels and hope they do well for you! Let me know if you need more. :wink2:

Tropical
03-31-2017, 06:42 PM
@Mog Carns, I see what your saying but swap meets are a bit different, as you can really talk to people about the specifics as well as seeing things in person might make you want to buy them...

Several of the FB groups do these regularly and it's very different and I really like it.

Speaking of which, has the club ever thought of partnering with one of the FB groups? They usually hold theirs at a LFS, but together might be easier to find a venue? Not sure what the clubs relationship to the groups are though...

GTMerciless
04-01-2017, 10:13 PM
It's awesome to see so many people discussing the auction. There are definitely some great ideas in here, some new and some that have been discussed before. I will remind everyone that there are a ton of factors that go into the implementation of an idea and what at face value looks like a no brainer can have several other factors that prevent it from working once you dive below the surface.

That said if anyone is more interested in getting involved in the auction planning let me know. I would love to have a full committee working on the auction. One thing that prevents a lot of ideas going further is the lack of people available (and not already strapped with other jobs) weeks before the auction in addition to the day of.

macuserman
04-05-2017, 11:51 AM
This was my first auction that I have gone to since moving to the area, I had a blast and I will definitely be returning. My wife and I came at 1 and stayed until just after 5 I think they were selling the last micro worm culture when we checked out. It did make for a long day, but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of the different plants and fish mixed together. My wife and I came specifically for plants and that is all we bought, a little over a hundred dollars worth. We also bought multiple bags of the same kind of plant some for more early on and then for a bit cheaper as the auction was wrapping up. A lot of the enjoyment for us was bidding, and hoping for the best price, I'd say for me that I would be a little bummed if all of the plants got moved to silent auction or buy it now because good deals on plants and picking up some new one's was the primary reason I came. We had an awesome time and will definitely be attending again.

A few thought's to summarize:
1. More cheese/vegetarian pizza! :)
2. It was awesome!
3. If you have to limit the time perhaps just limit the total number of fish and total number of plants and do first come first serve, and require preregistering so that people have a fair shot at getting their items into the auction.
4. I would be bummed if the plants were pulled out completely.


Cheers!

canoe
04-05-2017, 04:58 PM
Glad you enjoyed your first auction. I agree, putting all plants in BIN would not be my recommendation. Remember there is a mini-auction to close our monthly meetings. Limited selection, but more opportunity to ask questions of the seller due to the smaller group size.

jmhart
04-06-2017, 12:41 PM
Speaking as a plant person.

Regarding move plants to the silent auction, I think that would not only impact sales of plants significantly, but also the revenue generated for the club. Last fall I had several species of plants that I placed in the silent auction. They failed to sell entirely. $0 for me, $0 for the club. This year, I put those exact same species in the live auction and they sold for $18+ dollars. When you see Anubias selling for $35, that's good revenue for the club. Those prices would drop significantly in the silent auction. Less money for the club, less for the sellers, less motivation for sellers to sell, and then therefore smaller selection of plants available.

I wonder if there's a more organic way to decrease the number of common (i.e. low value) species in the auction and/or reduce the number of those species. This thought isn't fully formed, but maybe like a minimum bid of like $5 for plants or something. To me, this would likely cut down on the java moss, maybe not immediately, but after one auction, because I doubt people are going to be buying bags of java moss at $5/pop. Maybe that's not the answer, maybe it's just a starting point to build. It seems like regulating the number of bags per species, across multiple people, would be really taxing on the people running the auction.

likestofish
04-07-2017, 04:20 PM
Just think of the space required to do a silent auction for all the plants, we load the tables up full of plants every time.

fishfarm
04-08-2017, 10:12 PM
ok, read all these thoughts, I believe I have done 40 auctions for this club, all of this has been discussed many times over, what we do now is so much better than back in the day. Leave what works alone. No the club is not going through growing pains, we have been much, much larger, max number of bags I can remember was about 1200. we are way below that now. Plants bring good money, blows my mind, leave them in. Start early is a mistake, people will not be there. I sure won't, Many people travel for our auctions, I have an hour and a half drive. People drive in from surrounding states. Limiting anything pisses people off. If fish don't bring a lot, next auction there will be less, always happens that way. Slides/power pints ect don't work. If you don't know what it is, sorry, we try our best to discribe fish from our knowledge as auctioneer, having Larry is great. I did about 35 auctions by myself, is brutal. Ken

ronv
04-10-2017, 08:21 AM
I don't always agree with Ken. But this time I do. Leave it just the way it is....

Mog Carns
04-10-2017, 10:10 AM
Of course he is right; just let me hang on to the fantasy of the 4 hour auction a little while longer.

Anyone got suggestions on how to make the wife understand Auction Weekend is "AUCTION WEEKEND".

canoe
04-10-2017, 12:17 PM
Anyone got suggestions on how to make the wife understand Auction Weekend is "AUCTION WEEKEND".

Make sure there is a wife weekend before the AUCTION WEEKEND, and a family weekend afterwards.

Tangfan
04-10-2017, 12:20 PM
Make sure there is a wife weekend before the AUCTION WEEKEND, and a family weekend afterwards.

Great Idea. And sell a lot of plants during the auction to fund the family weekend afterwords. LOL :)

fishfarm
04-24-2017, 11:00 AM
I don't always agree with Ken. But this time I do. Leave it just the way it is....
Love you too Ron ;)