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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Grandstanding Collector
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Post Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 5:21 pm 
 

I wonder if a change in format to a storefront would be a good move for the Acaeum.

I mean...not that I am against it...but has it been thought through?  How will a formal marketplace (as opposed to the informal deals offered here from time to time) change the community?

Something to think about.

Mark


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 5:54 pm 
 

I'm not sure if a storefront or auction capabilities are a good idea or not but I don't think there is anyway that an Acaeum auction could compete with an Ebay Auction.  For common items, you want the mass numbers that Ebay has to offer.  Also, most people here have the common items that they want.  Not to mention, how long would it take to build up the auction users to a point where you have enough bidders so there will actually be competition or bidding wars for these items.

So then maybe the Acaeum Auction would be more useful for high ticket items since most of the big players are here anyway?  Personally, I still think Ebay would bring a higher price on these types of auctions too.  I like to think that most people here have a good sense of what they want to pay for certain items.  With Ebay's hoard of people, there are a number of people who have the "get it at all cost" attitude and when selling a bunch of items you always hope you get a few of these bidders.  So even though an Acaeum Auction would be friendly, I don't think sellers would be realizing the returns on their items that they would really like to get.  I just don't think an auction site would work here - at best it would be a novelty.

However, I do like the idea of having a storefront.  I'm sure a lot of people find the Acaeum using google or some other search and a lot of them probably find stuff that they didn't know existed or didn't remember the title of, then go to Ebay to buy them.  So why not have the items more readily available for sale here as well?  It is a way for the members here to get more exposure for their items and the price that they are looking for.

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 6:02 pm 
 

And 10% goes to the Acaeum  :D


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 6:18 pm 
 

I spent a couple of days dwelling on this. I wonder if it would work and had similar thoughts to Mars above. Here people generally know what items are worth, so would it be worthwhile for the main Sellers to list here? In addition, one of the great things about The Acaeum is we get to know people with similar interests, and we can trade and sell items privately between friends. Would there still be a classifieds forum?

Before committing to this I would try to contact some other sites that have dabbled with Small Scale auctions to get a feeling for the pros and cons. I imagine there would be all manner of issues (Legal issues? Security issues?) that would make this way more expensive than the initial outlay for the software.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 8:20 pm 
 

All good thoughts.  Keep 'em coming.

Foul

  


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:08 pm 
 

The Acaeum is a great source for D&D collectors. People can use this site to get an idea of what something is worth. I certainly use it if I'm buying/selling something, as a starting point.

Is there any conflict of interest with doing valuations and having a storefront?
Not that I think there is, but something to think about.

A storefront seems to be a natural extension to this forum.

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:59 am 
 

brute wrote:Is there any conflict of interest with doing valuations and having a storefront?

The difference being, it wouldn't be my storefront.  It would be yours.  (Though as I'm not involved in the valuation process anyway, there wouldn't be a conflict even if I did put my own items up).  While Valuation Board members could conceivably be accused of a conflict of interest, I don't think there's any difference in selling their items here as opposed to eBay.

Does anyone know of a site that offers such a community storefront?  I can't seem to locate such software.  The only ones I've found come with auction capabilities, which I don't believe you can turn off.

Not that it needs to be turned off.  If someone wanted to auction an item, that'd be fine.  But the main thrust would be fixed-price sales.

Foul

  


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:01 am 
 

I'd stay clear of PHP auction unless you are happy to maintain a lot of time keeping it patched..

just google for: site:www.securityfocus.com php auction bugtraq

Personally I think the fixed item sales would be attractive. I think people will tend towards ebay for auctions.

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:11 pm 
 

I don't like the original idea.  Acaeum is all about the community, and while we have our differences at times, they're largely minor.

We've all seen what happens when auctions go poorly, and it isn't pretty.  I see no reason to invite such controversy to the site directly.  

Not to mention, if the Acaeum is taking a cut of the proceeds in any fashion, it's a conflict of interest to also post valuations, IMNSHO.

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Post Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:31 am 
 

Well, I'm not breaking any new ground here, but I'll add that I think it would have to be a storefront. And, if done well, it could become a really interesting addition to the site.

I just don't see the appeal (from a seller's standpoint, that is) of an auction format here. Given the choice of audiences, I'd take my items to the place with more than 100 million registered users, not the one with 800 or so.

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Post Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 1:49 am 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:I just don't see the appeal (from a seller's standpoint, that is) of an auction format here. Given the choice of audiences, I'd take my items to the place with more than 100 million registered users, not the one with 800 or so.


Some thoughts:

I think the main draw would be lower fees than Ebay. However, the question is whether the discount in fees is commensurate with the lower exposure to potential buyers.

Most Buyers would still use PayPal, so Ebay would still get a cut...

Another advantage could be focus. I'm more likely to notice, say, BeyondtheBreach's really nice copy of the Basic Set when it's posted here. On Ebay there's so much crap to wade through that some stuff gets missed. For example, searching Basic D&D brings up numerous new 3E Basic Sets. This advantage would be hard to quantify, though.

Thought: Would the content of auctions/storefronts be limited/monitored?
Would later editions be allowed (2E, 3E)? Miniatures? Wargames? Boardgames? A CD collection of death metal?

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Post Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:16 am 
 

What about this as a possible answer to a couple of concerns?

-->> RE: Conflict of interest by Valuation Board members:
 What if someone could set their selling price using the Valuation Board values, but the selling price would not be used to re-set the values?
 I.E.  Someone wants to sell an ST1 Up the Garden Path at, say, US$800.00 (way low, but using this as an example).  That could be done--if there was a buyer--but the $800.00 selling price could NOT be factored into the prices the Board uses to set the values; it would be considered a "private sale".

Zhowar's point re: narrower focus of what's sold is valid; too many times, I'm forced to use a negative search (say, "-miniatures") to limit the number of items found (as I sometimes get non-D&D items in my searches).  Here, the search would be somewhat limited to 1e/2e and maybe some other categories.

Deimos, to ameliorate your concerns on the Acaeum taking a cut of the proceeds, would you see a problem if either a flat-rate or a set percentage of the sale would go to maintenance of the Acaeum site?
(To Foulfoot:  Could THAT cause more problems, both technical and otherwise?)

  

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Post Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 3:11 am 
 

Auction content would certainy be monitored.  I'd appoint several interested moderators who could yank questionable auctions (or redirect them to the appropriate categories).  Offhand, I'd probably limit it to RPGs and miniatures.  Board games, card games, etc would be out.

The fee structure I was thinking of is $1 per item sold, plus 1% of the final value, with a maximum of $10.  No fee to list an item.  (Contrast this to eBay's listing fee plus 5.25% of final value).  In other words, neglible fees.  All funds received would be put towards site maintenance (or towards the cost of the software).

I'd strongly recommend that any sales figures derived from the site NOT be factored into valuations.  I can't see a few sales impacting the values one way or the other anyway, and it would help mitigate the conflict of interest.

Foul

  


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:48 am 
 

for finding and selling more obscure things it could be terrific. only real benefit of ebay is finding that person who doesn't know the value of what they're selling.. something I fear would never happen here lol. Still, in terms of actually being able to locate more obscure and uncommon games and suppliments and having the right market to sell the same would intice me. The Ebay listing fees are too high to bother with the gamble of selling rpgs, especially the stuff noone's heard of in the vain hope someone might bid.

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Post Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:09 am 
 

My 2c...


Legalities

legally I imagine you'd have to confirm people's home addresses/ages etc. and take some responsibility for the legitemacy and authenticity of products advertised for sale.

With that in mind, the best solution would be to minimise the risk of fraud by offering it to existing established members/contributors and then offering it to others who come along by invitation only. You could establish a voluntary group to moderate it and allow them to check people out/look at their eBay feedback/etc. as they see fit.

I'd nominate out own inhouse spook, bclarkie, as being a man with a nose for fraudulent activities.

By doing it this way, we build trust and reduce fraud and run an auction site based more on faith in other board members than on the rules and strictures of eBay.


Service Fees

A free service will encourage take-up, and also reduce final prices. This is good for buyers, but sellers are most likely to see greater returns on eBay unless they are selling items that are pretty much guaranteed to go to the usual suspects and likely to reach the same sorts of prices.

So a 1st print woody in near mint condition, or the PoVQ just sold, would be likely to hit the same price on Acaeum as on eBay, but I suspect a Fighting Wheel or Jade Hare would get more over on eBay.

You could always introduce a flat rate fee once you have a decent amount of bidders and sales established each month.


I think it's a great idea. I'll back it and place items on here.


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:28 am 
 

I would certain support any sellers by buying here first before going to ebay.  I also think the storefront is the way to go.



Martin

  

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Post Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:07 pm 
 

Prufrock wrote:I would certain support any sellers by buying here first before going to ebay.  I also think the storefront is the way to go.
Martin




I agree on both points.



Keith


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 2:19 am 
 

Though I voted against the idea, I wanted to clarify something.

I would take advantage of an Acaeum auction site, but I think Ebay still offers the best possible exposure for both sellers and buyers.  We are a tight knit community, but we only represent a portion of the whole community.  An Acaeum auction site would severely limit exposure of any item listed to just those who are aware of the site, a bad move for sellers to say the least.  Buyers could benefit as there may be less competition in the auctions...but it would come from a very knowledgable base, meaning fewer "steals" for the high end items.

just my .02

~jeff

  

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:45 pm 
 

Mbassoc2003 wrote:You could always introduce a flat rate fee once you have a decent amount of bidders and sales established each month.


I second that.  No insertion fee but a flat rate for any item sold.  Foul, the fee structure you mentioned sounds fine.  A "Buy It Now" equivalent would be nice too.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:51 pm 
 

A drawback to a lack of insertion fees would be the inevitable "Creep-like" sellers who come out of nowhere and list 500 common-item auctions starting at sky-high prices.

However, if there are auction moderators they would be able to deal with this.

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