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Likes and Dislikes about Auction Houses!

Discussion in 'UHall' started by hungry4knowhow, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. hungry4knowhow

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    Hey all, im in the process of starting up an Auction House and would like to here some of your likes and dislikes about the Auctions/Auction Houses that are on your shards.

    Recommendations on Rules/How you run your auctions are also appreciated!
     
  2. wanderer1origin

    wanderer1origin Lore Master
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    what shard are u origin as they need a auction house




     
  3. LadyKeroOfAtl

    LadyKeroOfAtl UO Homes & Castles News Reporter
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    Remember to keep your items out of reach, I've seen too many auctions where people make mistakes that lead to items being taken.
    i.e.
    Teleporter to get behind the counter wasn't set to friends only.

    Places that dont use vendors to buy goods after theyre auctioned, or that put the item on the vendor for a low price to let people bid [and people buy it]

    Counters not wrapping around the entire auction table area [Most auctions Ive been to have a counter surrounding a table set in the middle where they can display the item]
     
  4. hungry4knowhow

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    I am on Atlantic
     
  5. mbraud4

    mbraud4 Sage
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    origin does not have enough people to run a proper auction house, sorry to say it. A few deticated people there but not enough to drum up enough business for an auction house, nor is there enough buyers.
     
  6. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    Then they should go visit Lake Austin and see how they manage to have auctions on a regular basis.
     
  7. The ones I've seen use artificial means to jack the bidding up. In other words, they use friends on alts in the audience to bid on things that others are bidding on in order to get the other people to bid higher to counter.

    Starting bids on some items are higher even than what you can find sitting on a Luna vendor at the time the auction was taking place.

    Yeah, that should do...
     
  8. phantus

    phantus Stratics Legend
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    haha....the joys of Pacific shard. Those people are valuable members of the society Connor! They would never do such a thing. No really...
     
  9. No, of course not. What was I thinking.....:gee:
     
  10. legendsguy

    legendsguy Sage
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    this. exactly. it's an auction.. whatever happened to having no minimum bid? this is all i see anymore--auctions where the items BEGIN at the price you'd find them on vendors. it boggles the mind.
     
  11. Tamergirl

    Tamergirl Journeyman
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    Make sure theres no Open area underneath auction area...like a stable ect...theres a way for people to cast..and it pops them up..i had that happen once. and whoops the item was gone. Also I like the idea of using a *ATM* vendor. saves popping back and forth to the bank to get checks for each item purchased. Auction puts book with sold price and item name on vendor ..(sealed with a red leave with winning bidders name in book) and when you buy the book..hand it to one of the *pit* members of auction, you get your won item.
     
  12. hungry4knowhow

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    got everything but the red leave(leaf? i assume) part. what is a red leaf in game?
     
  13. Mapper

    Mapper Crazed Zealot
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    Its a resource that comes off of bright red plants - You can buy red leaves (at least on Europa) fairly cheaply from player vendors.
     
  14. Stupid Miner

    Stupid Miner Guest

    ... remember the seller and buyer are in competition. Why would the seller auction an item for a known loss?
     
  15. Warpig Inc

    Warpig Inc Babbling Loonie
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    A trick did at mine was the raised display area over another room with counter below. Have an over head of the upper floor so when winner talks to counter person speach doesn't appear on journal. Have a hole in the upper floor near the display person. From below raise a shelf or locker all the way up through the hole. The person above can drop items into the raised locker that the person below can retreive. Just can't pass items up.

    The first on LS to use the book vendor tactic. In the item bag have two books with info. I used two 10 sided dice to generate 5 pairs of numbers. Then copied the book. Each item book was numbered and their code numbers in a master book. After item won winners name put into one book and winning bid set as vendor price for other. Winner bought the book or got banned buy security. If they left before a bounce then item recycled to auction end. Winner drops book in trade window of counter person who has the item bag with other book and matching code with winners name. The bag with item and book given to winner. Code had other use.

    Codes look like this 24 38 74 04 28
    Books with more random codes and numbered in the master code book sold off the giveaway vendor. For giveaways the numbers had been used for poker hands. So winning a bid or buying numbers off vendor got plp there set numbers. 6 possible ways to generate a poker hand in red. Counter checked winning hand through master book and auction books.

    24 38 74 04 28
    24 38 74 04 28
    24 38 74 04 28
    24 38 74 04 28
    24 38 74 04 28
    24 38 74 04 28

    My Auction house seats 65 and everyone can see, hear and be heard. This is in a Luna house and not a full 18x18. The house can be seen on LS by the Luna West gate. Place seen on radar with big Q on the roof. Being an active vendor house in Luna few came to get their account denied use of the vendors after the auction by banning.
     
  16. Dr Poth

    Dr Poth Journeyman
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    Quality of items. Most of the stuff on auction on Europa these days is junk.
     
  17. Sellers are also in competition with other Sellers. Why would one at an auction knowingly sell an item with a starting bid (not ending, but clearly stated minimum starting bid) higher than any of their competition in the same city? You can literally walk a few houses down and buy the same item for less than what the auction wants to start bidding at. That's not smart business on the part of the auction if they're really interested in selling something that's common enough to be on player vendors.
     
  18. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    Lake Austin's action has a total of THREE staff, and does just fine if one of the three has to miss (as long as the one missing isn't the caller). Of course, it helps having a large alliance and all 3 of us being Guildleaders within the alliance.

    Typically, we have about 10-20 people attending, only 3 or 4 from within the alliance -though if you have only 5-6 people that are your best customers, you can still run with it (just more selectively choose which items make it to the table, that are most likely to draw competing bids).

    We don't have any internal bid-running incidents because if one of our alliance tries it, we'll kick them from the house, and probably their guild as well. Besides, as a rule, we price really low for our own stuff. A higher-than-market starting bid is something we only see from people submitting stuff from outside the alliance, and we usually try talking them down before submission.

    I'm usually the Vendor cashier (the one that transfers the bought items to the vendor, and prices them, for the bid winners). When having to stick stuff on vendors to show the contents of a set, be sure that the vendor's set-up was hours outside normal vendor operations, and put an obscene price on the container for the showing (vendor penalties don't apply unless the item was on a vendor immediately before the auction). I typically go for 999999999 or 10000000.

    The biggest pains are when people submit insured items, and they (or other staff) forget to uninsure the items before passing it to me to put on the vendor for pickup, or to show the container (especially the latter - going through a bag of thirty stealables for ONE insured item isn't fun).

    You also should keep the purchase vendor at 840 gold. That's enough that you can skip a week without paying, but be able to withdraw the even 1000s from the vendor to settle the payouts, at a glance. always refill to 840 before the auction begins, and never have anything not free on the vendor during the week. And, I must reiterate - if you're going to have the auction at 9 PM through 11 PM, make sure the vendor was set up between 1 AM and 11 AM, so that you don't have a "vendor accident" (where you have something "show-priced" for a 100 million, to keep it from selling while people are examining it for bid, then the vendor makes its daily paycheck withdrawal based on that much being on it, or the value of the items awaiting checkout). Doing it in the AM hours allows one to have a special afternoon auction, if ever needed (in conjunction with a larger shard event, for example)

    Also keep an eye out for bugged items that have vendor penalties that didn't expire (we had twenty or so Barbed kits like that), and remember that some items have rapid decay, so can't be shown on tables (some "newbied" items).

    It helps having a Luna site for the auction. The tweenish-aged son of our alliance chief, by sheer accident, stumbled onto the burning rubble right by Luna gate, as it went way, and grabbed the house spot, while the usual IDOC & PvP guilds were all busy at champ spawns at the time.

    If you don't have a Luna site willing to host, then you need to have a 4th auction staffer for the half-hour prior to the auction up to about 30 minutes prior to scheduled end, announcing and gating to the auction from Luna Bank (from WBB too, if that bank is still active, like on some of the large shards). We still had big crowds at our Luna wall, and arse-end-of-Malas wilderness locations, and the auctions we took over for had their sites in the Malas Mountain snowfields and outside Umbra (yes, from about the time the shard was founded in late 2002, until 2007, there were 2-3 auctions a week on LA - and they had crowds then that dwarfed ours - no pun intended, given that one was surrounded by the clan that role-played Dwarves, and their mountain city that covered most the snowfield areas).

    On a typical auction night we'll run about 60-100 items, and bring in gross sales of 30-50 million gold. The irony is that rarely do we have high-price (over 10 million gold) items, as they don't tend to sell well unless in high demand. Example, we have trouble selling a 120 Magery scroll at about a million under market price for the opening bid, but at the same time, I brought in a Ghost Ship anchor (much more rarer), started the bidding at 6 million, and it sold for 10.5 million. Similarly, there was a 2 month stretch after the end of ToT III where the new 1-use dyes were selling for 50-250k each, by color, but that eventually dropped off to unsellable at auction, from the people wanting specific colors getting all they needed. You really have to know your bidders and their wants.

    Along that line, make sure you have a list of what items are potentially up for bid (but not the starting bids) posted on your shard's page at least a few hours before the auction, and ask people before the event starts to look at the list, and suggest items for you to run. Run some lower end stuff for the first 5 or so items, to give late arrivals time to show up, before running the requested items about every second or third item from there.

    Having a Spreadsheet for the items is always handy too - usually kept by the box-rummager (the one that doesn't do the bid calling or the vendor loading, but pulls out the items to sell). each time an item sells, put in the sell price, and save the spreadsheet to keep from losing data. You can then, of course, also use the spreadsheet to add the columns for taking in stuff, as well as calculating the auction fees (if any - on LA we don't charge fees to the people selling stuff, as we typically have 1/3 our own stuff in the auction, and are making enough profit from our own sales. Some of the previous auction groups charged 5-10%). Record the sale data from sold items in both the spreadsheet, and in the book that was in the bag with the item. (see below).

    Proper Auction item acceptance etiquette will have the seller provide each sale lot in its own bag, with a book in the bag with the seller's name, minimum bid for the item, and optionally their contact info if you don't know them). Only for special items, consider taking new items in on the day of the auction. This allows the auction to take the time to fill out the afore-mentioned spreadsheet beforehand with the info in the books, and sort the containers behind the bar. Sold items have their books set aside by the box-rummager, to check against the spreadsheet after the event ends. non-sold items are put back into their submission bag and returned to the chest to be run again at a later time, or for the seller to reclaim (if desired).
     
  19. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    All this "passing over the counter", "codes", and "sealing books" stuff others mention is too much hassle than what it's worth. 95%+ of items can just be stuck right onto the vendor, labeled with the winner's name. If someone "steals" another's won item from a vendor, the winner doesn't lose anything, the person snagging it from the vendor gets banned, and the seller still gets his money.

    The Buyer will probably be upset, but in most cases, the auction should try to recover the item, or replace it with a like item, that the buyer would then buy as well. If it's a seriously rare item, a simple selling of a bandaid for the sale price, and exchanging it over a gate to the buyer, is done, but that's typically only needed 2-5 times a night. After all, the Auctioneers should KNOW the name of the winning bid, and it shows up in nice big letters being spoken by the vendor when the bandage is bought.

    Of course, being on a small shard helps, as most people know of each other in some way, and many of the bigwigs in most of the alliances (except the PvP ones, and those are reachable through the grapevine) are bidders or sellers, and bogarting someone's auction item will usually be bad news for the offender when their Guild Master finds out. And, if both the buyer and the "thief" are of different PvP guilds, well, that's the kind of thing that can lead to wars, if Guild A's master doesn't make things right for Guild B's victim.

    The simple rule is - you pay with the character that won the bid. Someone might be able to fake a name, but a thief can't fake your pulling the buyer's name bar up before they run to transfer gold from one character to another (the only reason one would have to leave to pay for an item), and that person's bar becoming blue (or green) again when they come back on screen after the money transfer to buy the bandage off the vendor.
     
  20. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    Nine times out of Ten, if you set an item cheaper than the going rate, either it doesn't sell, or two or more buyers get into a bidding war that takes it OVER the going rate - it's just human nature to not give in easily when they price hits that level, and some people really don't like searching vendors (and refuse to use the illegal price-comparison web pages).
     
  21. Theo_GL

    Theo_GL Grand Poobah
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    My feedback:

    1 - Have rules for what you will accept and understand your market. Some auction houses are 'cheap' auction houses with new player stuff etc. Some are high end with rares, arties etc. Don't try to mix. People get bored if they are waiting for a wig to come up for sale and have to sit through 'Violet Courage min bid 10k'!

    2 - Have an order for the items and publish in a book so people can follow along and know when the item they are interested is comming up. No sense in sitting through 2 hrs of auction for last item up for bid. A player will leave and never come back for the item. If I know it is late in the session I can drop in periodicially and see what item # you are on.

    3 - Have someone in house prepared to eject people for inappropriate behavior or non auction chatter like. 'What? That item sux! I'll sell you one for half that' etc
     
  22. Hunters' Moon

    Hunters' Moon Grand Inquisitor
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    Likes: It brings people together for a more of a community feel. Also sometimes the sellers have something I want thats in my price range.


    Dislikes: Overpriced Luna type items that do not get bid upon because the seller is greedy and asked for a too-high starting price. A very,very wealthy buyer that attends and crashes the auction by buying up everything because they can.
     
  23. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    In my experience that's the worst possible thing to do for an auction, and those selling stuff via the auction.

    Every auction I've been to sells a majority of their items through "impulse buys". Not having a set order typically works better for sale through-put, but if there is interest in a specific item, all one of our bidders has to do is bring it up, between items, and we can jump to that item. rather quickly (like 2-3 items later). Typically, the 4 or 5 biggest items are ones ran within the 15 to 45 minute part of a 2-hour auction, because we ask the bidders at the START of the auction, what items they are the most interested in (and we give 15 minutes, usually, to get to them to allow for late arrivals). This is something we couldn't do with a set order method. And, of course, it gives us the option of re-running an item later in the auction, if people show up late with an interest in an item that had no bidders the first time.

    It also allows you to juggle order of items, if you realize that no one's bidding on a category of item, or if such a category is unexpectedly "hot".


    LA being as it is, we end up as a generalist auction - anything from items for new players up to rares, though the stuff (other than powerscrolls) that would bring in 20 million or more rarely, if ever, have bidders. Other shards, have different needs.
     
  24. hungry4knowhow

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    Excellent info all. Thank you very very much!