An Acaeum auction site?
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Poll: If The Acaeum were to add an eBay-style RPG auction site, would you use it?

I'd definitely use it 52%       52%  [ 33 ]
I'd use it only if the fees were a fraction of eBay's 22%       22%  [ 14 ]
I'd use it only if it were free 5%       5%  [ 3 ]
I wouldn't use it unless the viewership matched eBay's RPG category 13%       13%  [ 8 ]
I love eBay; I wouldn't use it regardless 9%       9%  [ 6 ]
Total votes : 64

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:50 am 
 

** split off from another post **

A while ago I toyed with the idea of installing some sort of auction software on the site.  Initially it would be free, and thereafter only a small transaction fee to basically cover expenses.  I dismissed it because trying to go up against eBay -- even in a small category like RPGs -- would seem to be a losing proposition.  Most importantly, the (good) software is several hundred bucks, and that's a lot to put down on an "experiment".

Still an interesting idea, though.  It'd be nice for the community as a whole to have a low-cost alternative to eBay, but I don't know how much interest is out there for such a thing.

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:46 am 
 

FoulFoot wrote:A while ago I toyed with the idea of installing some sort of auction software on the site.  Initially it would be free, and thereafter only a small transaction fee to basically cover expenses.  I dismissed it because trying to go up against eBay -- even in a small category like RPGs -- would seem to be a losing proposition.  Most importantly, the (good) software is several hundred bucks, and that's a lot to put down on an "experiment".

Still an interesting idea, though.  It'd be nice for the community as a whole to have a low-cost alternative to eBay, but I don't know how much interest is out there for such a thing.
Foul

Well, perhaps we could launch some kind of fundraising drive for getting enough money to cover software costs :)  I'd be interested, as a buyer and a seller, to have some competition for eBay. Competion is good, it makes large corporations more responsive (just look at Internet Explorer and Firefox - may God bless its founders!).

  


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:48 am 
 

Just throwing something out there:

25 members $15 each.

You could put me on that list

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:11 pm 
 

We have had fundraisers here ... two of them, in fact (perhaps more, but only two I've heard of).

In fact, it's the very top thing you see when you go to the main Acaeum forums page. And here's a link:

Acaeum donations page

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:30 pm 
 

FoulFoot wrote:A while ago I toyed with the idea of installing some sort of auction software on the site.  Initially it would be free, and thereafter only a small transaction fee to basically cover expenses.  I dismissed it because trying to go up against eBay -- even in a small category like RPGs -- would seem to be a losing proposition.  Most importantly, the (good) software is several hundred bucks, and that's a lot to put down on an "experiment".

Still an interesting idea, though.  It'd be nice for the community as a whole to have a low-cost alternative to eBay, but I don't know how much interest is out there for such a thing.

Foul




Sounds like a good idea.  It was tried recently at Yog-sothoth.com possibly with similar software.  It has however not been a great success - most people just use ebay.   It might work better here though as this is a collecting site (& community) with more of a focus on trading rather than a fan site.


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:47 pm 
 

I think we only have/had one fundraiser... the main one, via the donations page.  It's done quite well.

I took a further look at some auction software, and the only one I could find that had some air of legitimacy (i.e., support, robustness, etc) was PHP Auction XL.  It's $495 for the "normal" version, or $886 (ack) for the source-code version, which would probably be necessary in order to fix/customize the installation.  Another issue is that there's a nasty review out there, which may or may not be legit: http://www.munchtech.com/phpauction.html .  Gives you pause.

It's still an interesting idea, assuming that the software works as advertised.  Any annoyance, though, and people will just use eBay.  It'd also be an uphill battle to convince people that their exposure (which translates to higher closing price) would be equal or better than what they could get on eBay.  That's the main reason, IMHO, the auction sites on Amazon and Yahoo failed.

I'll e-mail Paul of Cthulhu and ask him what software they used, and what the problems were.

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:16 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:We have had fundraisers here ... two of them, in fact (perhaps more, but only two I've heard of).

In fact, it's the very top thing you see when you go to the main Acaeum forums page. And here's a link:

Acaeum donations page


I would assume that the current one you are referring to is for maintaining this site. Perhaps that one should be separate from a 'fundraiser' for an experimental auction site.

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:18 pm 
 

FoulFoot wrote:I think we only have/had one fundraiser... the main one, via the donations page.  It's done quite well.

I took a further look at some auction software, and the only one I could find that had some air of legitimacy (i.e., support, robustness, etc) was PHP Auction XL.  It's $495 for the "normal" version, or $886 (ack) for the source-code version, which would probably be necessary in order to fix/customize the installation.  Another issue is that there's a nasty review out there, which may or may not be legit: http://www.munchtech.com/phpauction.html .  Gives you pause.

Foul


I'd agree about wanting source, but that's starting to get steep! Keep us posted! Thanks

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:01 pm 
 

Here's Paul's response:
Yes, we tried some auction sofware for a while, it looked promising but could be a little flakey: phpauction XL. There may be better stuff out there now.

It had issues with notification of bidders and some auto bid updates, another factor was that I guess unless it's front and centre on the site, eBay is just the natural environment for auctions - biggest market - most traffic, sellers want their auctions seen by the most people most of the time. Even Amazon/Yahoo couldn't compete.

Sigh.

Now that I've gone and split this topic off, does anyone out there A) have any recommendations on other auction software they've heard about, seen, or used, and/or B) have experience in programming PHP, to assist me in ironing out the inevitable bugs?

If I decide to go through with this (mostly based on how much interest there is in the community), I'd probably just fund it myself.  If it's a success, then the costs will recoup before too long.  If it's not a success, then I don't have to live with any guilt in pulling it down.

Further comments welcome.

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:07 pm 
 

Can't help on the IP side, but would be in for a donation. I love the idea.


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:38 pm 
 

The problem you will run into is this: eBay has an insane amount of exposure (comparatively), and since everyone here trolls eBay regularly, sellers would be far better off to list their stuff on eBay.


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 11:35 pm 
 

I have a great idea.  Use the ebay affiliate program:



http://affiliates.ebay.com/



Feature auctions on your front page.  That are listed in ebay!



Just a thought :?


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 11:41 pm 
 

Some of that exposure includes a number of collectors that are not members here - which I assume they would have to be to bid on items.  Just in the nonTSR realm,  I can think of TheShield, malfrick, eyeofvecna, tfm, etc.

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 2:30 am 
 

Deadlord39 wrote:The problem you will run into is this: eBay has an insane amount of exposure (comparatively), and since everyone here trolls eBay regularly, sellers would be far better off to list their stuff on eBay.

The only problem with eBay -- and the reason for even considering a competing venture at all -- is that their fees are high.  You certainly get what you pay for (exposure), but I think it might be possible to compete with that exposure in a niche market... namely, ours.

I'd think we could definitely make the forum membership and the auction site membership mutually exclusive, so one need not be a forum member to participate.

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 5:02 am 
 

Would there be options for non-auction, fixed price sales?  I've been reselling for years and I've long since given up auction style in favor of story inventory.  It works out great as I can set my prices and know exactly what to expect when they sell.   Plus, it saves me a massive amount of work in not having to list auctions, relist, try to get credit on auctions that didn't sell the first time, etc.


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 8:22 am 
 

Beyondthebreach wrote:Would there be options for non-auction, fixed price sales?  


THAT is a great idea.  In the same way that nobleknight is a regular fixture for people to have a look for old rpg stuff, so the Acaeum could carry stuff for sale - I have some old stuff I can't be bothered to stick on ebay, and would definitely list them here.  And if people wanted to make offers - they could just pm the relevant member.  For example:

(newbie buyer) "Hi red_bus, I am really keen on your bargain set of six Quest for the Fazzlewoods in the original shrink, which you have listed.  Would you do a discount for trade?"

(red_bus) "Yes, no problem, Mr Newbie, what did you have in mind?"

(newbie buyer) "How about this old collection of my dads playboy mags from the 1960s - they are old enough you can claim it is nostalgia not porn, and there is enough variety to keep you busy through the long winter months?"

(red_bus) "all right I'll give you 20% off - how does a total of $40 plus shipping sound?"

(newbie) "Deal!"


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:40 am 
 

I second the notion for non-auction, fixed price sales.  Buying from Acaeum members has been a very positive experience for me.

I'm only a buyer, not a seller, and I don't really like auctions.
Thus, I don't buy much from eBay.  

I prefer doing the footwork at used bookstores, garage sales, flea markets, etc.  

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:46 am 
 

I would be more interested in an Acaeum store where members could list their items with buy-it-now type pricing rather than an auction house.

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 3:17 pm 
 

MUCH better idea, and possibly prevents hammerheads from snapping up items and having them disappear off the radar.


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 4:53 pm 
 

Mars wrote:I would be more interested in an Acaeum store where members could list their items with buy-it-now type pricing rather than an auction house.


Good idea as well.

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