you need to know about Group Auctions!
Please read all
of these group auctions guidelines if you plan to participate in or run
one! If you still have a question, or want math help,
info is at the top of this
All prices in USD
|Final amount including PayPal's is based
transaction fee and 2.9% of the transaction.
If the person is sending you money from another country, PayPal
transaction fee and 3.9% of the transaction to convert the forgein
currency into USD.
group auction is what occurs when there are a bunch of items for sale,
usually for a high starting price or with a fierce bidwar expected to
insue, and someone organizes a post for members to pitch in for the
items as a group. The point of a
group auction is for folks to work together to get items for good prices.
GROUP AUCTIONS ARE NOT
DESIGNED FOR THE ONE WHO ORGANIZES IT TO MAKE A PROFIT, for if more
money is raised than the auction is purchased for, then all buyers
should receive a discount- the calculator at the top of this page
exists for this purpose. The organizers' prize is not having to bidwar
for their wanted items.
KINDS OF GROUP AUCTION ARE THERE?
Claim style GA (popularly called Group Buy):
All items are given
a set price. The first member to comment in regards to an item, claims
the item. Especially useful for "Buy-it-now" lots where only a certain
amount needs to be raised in order to win.
Auction style GA: Items are given
separate threads in which members bid against each other in order to
raise money for the group auction. Best used for expensive auctions.
You may NOT Group
anything for sale by a member on the community itself (IE; stuff
members wish to dispose of in one lot). This is non-negotiable. If you
wish to sell a box of stuff, it can not be GAed by the community unless
it is for sale on a third-party auction site such as Ebay (putting it
on your own LJ is not an applicable loophole as it is not an AUCTION
site). The practice of GAing member's lots caused over half a year of
endless confusion and trouble for PKMNcollectors mods and members,
resulting in this ban of the practice. Our apologies.
If you put a lot on Ebay to be GAed by the community, and you add a
reserve price to try to force them to bid and shell out the maximum
amount they raised, or get a friend to shill bid to the same effect,
this is exploitation of the members and the GA system and will result
in an instant ban. We're on to you. Don't even bother.
CAN I RUN A GROUP AUCTION? READ THIS TEN-RULE CHECKLIST!
These are the rules
you must follow when running a group auction/group buy (be clear in
your post which kind yours is!).
1. A user may NOT run more than 2
group auctions/group buys at one time. Your part in a GA is considered
complete once you are no longer participating in running it whatsoever,
meaning items have been shipped to winners if you were the shipper, or
all payments have been gathered if you were responsible for that, etc.
2. No more than two runners are
necessary, and at least one runner must have prior GA expierience.
3. Keep all posts "members only" to
prevent outside competition.
4. State which items you plan to claim, and the
price you are claiming them for. It is also USUALLY unreasonable to
than 2 items per runner (case-by-case basis). See "Claims" info
below for how to determine if your claim price and amount is fair or
5. Two group auctions for the same lot cannot be run
at the same time, though it is not forbidden for members to bid against
the group auction if nothing else can be worked out.
6. Keep the url to the auction private. If a
participant would like to see the url, it should be shared in private
at the discretion of the runners.
7. At the end of the auction post a screenshot of
and the link to the finished auction.
8. In the event that items are left unclaimed or
unpaid for, there
are various options. Please look under "GA Issues" for more details.
9. Members who are new, or seem unsure of how to run
a group auction will be asked to take down their auction. Members who
have shown themselves to be untrustworthy may be banned from hosting
10. Use a countdown timer to avoid confusion about the end time of your
is one that has been used often.
In group auctions
the users who run it (AKA: the people who do all of the hard work!) are
able to claim the items they want before everyone else begins
bidding/claiming. If you are running or participating in the running of
a group auction, claiming the items you want without having to bidwar
is your reward. Just keep in mind that claiming the most sought-after
item and not contributing its realistic worth will make it more
difficult to reach your goal.
What is "realistic worth"? If it is
a rather rare or sought after item, check/ask the community or ebay/Y!J
to see what sorts of prices the item has recently sold for. Usually,
something around that area or somewhat lower will be just fine. For
example: if you see it last sold for 100$, you may claim it for 75-80$.
It isn't low enough to cause an issue, and it is high enough to claim
this is its "realistic worth". DO
NOT BEGIN ARGUMENTS IF YOU THINK A GA RUNNER'S CLAIM IS TOO LOW. DO NOT
HARASS OR BADGER THEM. Simply contact a moderator to discuss it
with the runner. That means you are
no longer allowed to be confront GA runners for their claim prices,
especially if their claim is only 5-10$ under what it last sold for.
Claims do NOT NEED TO BE the EXACT price the item last sold for. NO
ITEM that is not currently on shelves has an exact price or worth!
What is a reasonable amount of claims? Up
to 2 items per runner is a typical amount claimed by runners. In most
cases, any more
than 2 claimed items is unreasonable, as it is too big a percentage of
the items. If the lot is exceptionally small (10 or less items) the
combined claims of the two runners cannot exceed 1/3rd of the total
items in the lot. If you want to claim the majority of items in a lot,
better to simply buy it yourself -- GAs are not designed for runners to
get member help in buying armfuls of plush just for themselves.
However, sometimes lots include hundreds of little items -- in cases
like this, you may claim more than 2 of the items, as it barely
begins to scratch the surface of the majority. Just ask if you are
If you believe you
auction first, unfortunately this is not reason to
give you a claim on an item. The claims belong ONLY to the two people
who will be running the auction.
These are standard for all group auctions. If you disagree with these
methods, then do not participate in group auctions.
FEES + SHIPPING COSTS
All deputy service
fees/other applicable fees will be totaled and divided by the number of
group auction participants. That will then be added to each
participant's total cost. Fair, and easy!
There are usually three total kinds of shipping
involved in a GA:
-Internal shipping (Original seller
ships items to deputy service's warehouse in Japan)
Internal shipping in Japan is usually fairly cheap,
and because of Japan's internal shipping methods, often not determined
by weight, but by size of the package. Thus internal shipping can be divided
equally between all participants no matter the amount of items they
ordered. In cases of participants winning numerous or particularly
heavy items, their percentage of international
shipping, which is weight-based, should be calculated
proportionately. This is a case by case basis, and you should increase
their shipping cost by a reasonable percentage garnered from the amount
and/or weight of their items.
Remember, only international shipping (and final
shipping, of course) may be divided up in this way. Fees and internal
shipping are always divided equally by the number of participants. GA
Runners in the USA can use
this USPS calculator to figure
out shipping costs! Also, if your auction was really large, save money
for everyone and buy packing materials in bulk! Of course all packing
material costs are included in S/H fees charged to the buyers, so it
helps everyone out.
shipping (Deputy service ships package to group auction runners.
Will obviously not apply if the auction and runners are in the same
(Group auction runners ship to participants)
! USE CALCULATOR
, or the below
formula if you do not trust robots.
The formula to
figure out what everyone owes is simple: (person's
bid) x (total cost / total raised)
If your group auction raised a total of $40...
Your cost of auction is $50 (including fees).
Your shipping cost is $10.
Now it's time to figure out what your bidders owe.
Bidder1 has a bid of $10.00...
( $10.00 ) X ( $50/$40 ) = $12.50 (MATH RULE DO STUFF INSIDE
RAISING (a lot)
MORE THAN THE TOTAL COST
(NOTE: Our CALCULATOR
happens, where not an extra 10-20$ is
raised, but an extra 50$-500$ is raised (yes, we've had cases with a
500$ surplus). In this case, those lucky enough to have won their item
will get a discount if applicable. This discount will be determined by
taking the same PERCENTAGE off everyone's total. NO OTHER METHOD WILL
BE ACCEPTED. Not everyone's discount will be the same because not
everyone contributed the same to winning the auction. Remember that the
runner of an auction may keep some extra for materials cost and their
own labor cost if the auction was especially large or stressful.
Here is the formula for calculating your group auction's totals
(hint... it's the same as the regular one!): (person's bid) x
(total cost / total raised)
If your group auction raised a total of $80 BUT...
Your cost of auction is only $50 (including fees).
Your shipping cost is $10.
OH NO! Too much monies!?
Now it's time to figure out what your bidders owe.
Bidder1 has a bid of $10.00...
( $10.00 ) X ( $60/$80 ) = $7.50 (MATH RULE DO STUFF INSIDE PARENTHESIS
IF YOU THINK IT'S UNFAIR TO THE PEOPLE WHO LOST IF THE WINNER GETS A
DISCOUNT.... No, it's not. If people bidded an item up to say, 80$,
that means whoever won it is willing to contribute that much to the
group auction. If too much is raised and the winner's total gets
halved, that is their lucky day. THE WINNER IS THE WINNER. You may not
bid more than what you can afford hoping for the GA to raise too much
and get discounted. The winner wins because they could pay the most for
the item. IF YOU BID MORE THAN YOU
CAN PAY, YOU WILL BE CAUGHT. NOT
PAYING FOR A GA BID CAN RESULT IN AN AUTOMATIC BAN FROM OUR COMMUNITY.
yourself if it's worth it.
AUCTION WAS MADE FOR AN AUCTION I WANTED TO BID ON/I PLANNED TO GA
sometimes happen. What you should NOT do is PM/message the runner
threatening them or trying to "scare" them off (if this ever happens,
runners must contact a mod immediately to report the threat). Instead,
you should first see if the item you wanted from the auction was
claimed by the runners. If not, it's best to just bid on it as part of
the GA. If the item you wanted was claimed by the runners, or you
wanted the entire auction for your own personal reasons, you will have
to bid against the GA participants. Likewise, if you wanted to GA it
yourself, but they posted first, unfortunately it is
first-come-first-served. If you feel uncomfortable or feel that the
participants will antagonize you for bidding against them, you can
contact a moderator about the situation. If your GA is outbid by a
member or the auction you wanted was made into a GA - it happens, and
it is a bad feeling, but try not to take it personally. There will be
SHILL BIDDING/DISHONEST BIDDING - IMPORTANT!
Shill bidding, in
short, is when someone calculates how much a group auction has raised,
and bids up the auction to force participants to pay the maximum
amount, or more in order to win. This practice is extremely dishonest,
and against the rules of the auction host site (such as ebay) but that
has not prevented this from happening. Similarly, some former members
began adding up totals raised by GAs and exploiting middleman "internal
bidding" in order to win the auction without having to actually outbid
what the GA raised. This is also exploiting the GA system and will not
be tolerated, especially if it's discovered it has been done multiple
times or for malicious reasons.
1. Keep the url to
the auction private. If a participant would like to see the url, it
should be shared in private at the discretion of the runners.
PLEASE report ANY suspicions of shill bidding or
dishonest exploitation of middleman internal bidding. Notice that if
you are caught shill-bidding, you
will be automatically banned for life from the community. If you think
because you are using Ebay where usernames are "hidden" you will not be
found out, you are sadly mistaken, as the multiple shill bidders we
previously caught were also assuming they were safe due to this. You
WILL be caught.
2. Group auction totals should NOT be calculated
and shared with the community. If the runners want to keep a running
total of the amount raised, this total needs to be kept PRIVATE.
3. Posts on the community concerning group
auctions should be "members locked" (you can change the privacy of an
entry at the bottom of a post).
4. Spreadsheets made using google documents should
NOT be public. Public documents run the risk of being deleted by
dishonest users both inside and outside of the community.
5. Do not hotlink images from the auction site-
save them to your computer and upload them using Imgur, or any image
hosting site. Hotlinking images allows users to find the url of the
auction using the image. Sounds crazy, but the extra minute it takes to
host your own photo might save participants hundreds.
ACTUAL AUCTION ENDED BEFORE THE GA BIDDING WAS COMPLETE...
This has also
happened now and again due to bad math or situations like LJ downtime,
etc. What you must do in the event that you needed to extend GA bidding
beyond the auction's end date, or the auction ended before the GA for
whatever reason, is NOT ANNOUNCE TO THE COMMUNITY THAT THE ACTUAL
AUCTION IS ENDED. This will result in people bidding beyond their
actual capacity as they know they are assured of a discount, and can
cause major problems for the entire Group Auction. Simply say nothing
at all about the auction having ended, if any kind of announcement is
at all necessary, which it may not be.
PAID SOME OF THEIR PAYMENTS...OR DIDN'T PAY AT ALL
It sounds weird, but
indeed some folks do pay only one or two payments, then don't pay the
rest, meaning their item cannot be shipped to them. Some people simply
never pay at all. Here is how to handle these two situations.
Only Partial Payment Received: If
someone only paid one or two owed payments, but not all of them (IE;
shipping to themselves or international shipping), and you cannot make
contact them through comment, PM, email, etc., you must hold the item
for ONE MONTH waiting for contact. If one month (30 days) passes and
there is still no contact or payment, the item becomes "public domain"
for you to do with as you wish, including selling for a profit. If you
are able to sell the item, you must refund the missing member the
amount they paid. You are not required to refund them if you cannot
sell the item, as in a Group Auction the runners are not profiting and
it would come out of your own pocket to do so.
No Payment Received:
Auction payments are time-sensitive and the sellers and middlemen
expect to be paid in a timely fashion. This makes it extremely
troublesome if members do not make their payments on time, within a day
or two. If 7 days (one week) pass with no contact (please attempt
comment, PM and email if possible) or payment from a participant, the
runners must offer it to the community at large for someone else to
claim it for the same price it was originally won for.
Please report either
situation to a moderator immediatly so action can be taken against the
TO BID ON ITEMS IN A GA BECAUSE THEY WILL BE CHEAP THAT WAY - THEN I
WILL RESELL THEM FOR BIG PROFIT TO THE PEOPLE I BEAT.
Not allowed! The
point of a group auction is so that everyone can get items cheap and
fair by working together - not so that one person can outbid folks just
to re-sell the items they won to the losers for triple the price they
paid in the GA. Please do NOT bid on GA items that you just hope to
re-sell, because that defeats the ENTIRE purpose of a GA. If you are
caught doing this, you will be warned by a moderator or depending on
the severity, banned from all future GA participation. Note that this
only applies to items won in the GA -- not lots you won on your own for
resale later. They are not related issues.
THERE IS A BUNCH
OF LEFTOVER STUFF NOBODY BIDDED ON/ KNEW WHAT IT WAS!
Leftovers that were CLEARLY VISIBLE but still got NO TAKERS, are
released into the "public domain": the runner may sell or keep them.
DON'T TRUST/FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH WHO IS RUNNING THE GA...
-If there were
UNIDENTIFIABLE ITEMS, you can offer a generic bid option for "random
stuff" if there is a thing or pile of things in the photo you cannot
see clearly -- circle it, and let people "take a chance" and bid for
whatever it might be.
-Another option is to offer the items to the
participants of the GA FIRST after they've arrived and you can see what
they are. GA's are not designed for profit, so keep the items priced
under 5$ if possible when offering to the community.
-If there are STILL no takers for previously
unidentified items after all these options are exhausted, they go into
the "public domain" for the runner/s to do what they wish with.
Contact one of the
mods or the GA mod if this is the case. All GA runners should post the
total invoice (copy and pasted or screenshot) and a link to the auction
once it is over, so it should be tough to scam GA participants, but
just let us know if something is making you feel uncomfortable about
how a GA is being run.