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dbl

2017 Spring Auction Thank You

I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you to everyone that made today's frag auction happen. A lot of hard work went in to making today a seemingly successful (long, but successsful) event. Good turnout and some great deals. Thanks to the BOD and to everyone involved.

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I'd like to second David's comments about the auction. I think we had a really good array of corals this year with items from easy starter corals to fancy high end frags and mini colonies. And I think the turnout was good, and yet everything ran pretty smoothly, especially the checkout which is due entirely Heather and Matt. Thanks. Thanks also to Jeff, who as always, did a terrific job as auctioneer. This was my first time volunteering for a job at the auction other than setup and teardown. And as 1 of the 2 runners, I can tell you doing your job and trying to bid, especially if you were wanting to bid on quite a few items, kept me really on my toes.

 

One last comment, again agreeing with David, I think the total number of items at the auction needs to be reduced a little. I think it can be accomplished in 2 ways, reduce the total number of corals allowed from 350 to 300, reduce the number of corals allowed per member from 35 to 30, and reduce the total number of single species from 10 to 6 or 8. The last change would only have affected a couple of items as the assortment of species this year was pretty good... maybe a couple too many big green hairy mushrooms (although they sold pretty well). And as a member of the Board, I'd be VERY interested in hearing your opinions about this and/or anything else related to the Auction. Thanks for your participation.

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Thanks to all those who helped put on great event. From the BOD to the volunteers.

 

Only being my 3rd auction. Turnout seemed to be the most I've seen. It will be interesting to see what the registration numbers looked like. New members??

I liked the raffle as well. I had to leave before looking so I could have won something and didn't know it. I was hoping to win that biocube....

 

I know it's a club fund raiser but i thought 400+ was too much. I want to throw all my hairy mushrooms out because I never want to see them at an auction again. LOL....

I think limits more like 250 would be better. That's about 2.5 hours auction time. I know from people sitting around me they were getting tired and ready to go. Maybe limit the total number of 10 corals down to six on the GSP, hairy mushrooms, candy canes.

 

I think we also need to address the check in, sorting of corals. Not enough bins, too much handling of corals (breakage), not enough help. We were still trying to put corals in order while first 100 corals were being auctioned.

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Awesome glad to hear the you had good turnout. DBL, Matt and I had all posted/bumped threads on r2r. Kept getting update notifications from Facebook so +++ to that

 

My question how was the turnout compared to previous years?

Looking at list I figured it was going to be a long one.

 

How was the BBQ.. Jeff I know you had posted you would like to have it so how did that go?

 

I hope we got some good pics and kudos to all of you driving and working the event and the sellers in the club for making it happen also.

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This one is little harder but would make sorting issue easier. from sellers I think we need to have suggested guidelines to bagging of corals. There were some with too much air, some with no air, some with not enough water. That made the sorting issue more difficult as well.

 

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I think that this was one of our best auctions! For the most part, we had a wide variety of corals in all price ranges. There were some fantastic deals to be had, too good to pass up! rolleyes.gif Jeff does a great job as auctioneer. It is hard work, but he makes it look easy. We had over 75 people, so turnout was much better than last year.

 

I agree with Ron on these suggestions to reduce the number of corals a bit:

"...reduce the total number of corals allowed from 350 to 300, reduce the number of corals allowed per member from 35 to 30, and reduce the total number of single species from 10 to 6 or 8."

 

The BBQ from Mission BBQ was fantastic and it went very smoothly. I think it was much appreciated by those who participated. I think this arrangement is a keeper.

 

As far as sorting goes, one idea that Wayne came up with was to post a You Tube video showing the best way to bag a coral. This may help with the consistency in the coral bags for sorting. With all the numbers written in the same area of the bag, how much water/air to use, etc. I know that some of those numbers were so hard to see that we almost had to guess what they were. It may also help to use more bins, and maybe make the bins a bit smaller so that we can sort the corals with less handling. I did coral sorting for two years and I think shallower bins to hold about 25 each would be ideal.

 

Another video might be on the best way to take pics too. I hesitate to buy corals without pics, in fact I did not buy any without pics yesterday. Another thing that we can address in the video is the lighting to use. Corals look very different when you throw all that blue light on them. We try to take pics with about 75% white and 25% blue to show how the coral really looks. Last year we took two pics of some of our corals, one with blue and one without, and noted that in the pics. It is disappointing to see a beautiful colorful zoanthid pic, only to get it home and find the color in white is a drab brown!

 

The schedule held up well. We finished about when we thought we would. Maybe next year we can shorten it just a bit.

 

A big thanks to all who helped out and volunteered! The BOD is so grateful for the help! That being said, we could have used about 2-3 more volunteers. It's hard to wear so many hats at an event. We would happily train new volunteers to help. Maybe to sell drinks and raffle tickets during one of the breaks...at the end to help check each bidder's box for the correct corals...to greet the caterers and show them where to set up...just small things really, but they free up the BOD to tend to others things and not be pulled in so many directions at once.

 

I liked the way the room was set up, with half tables and half rows of chairs. This space works well for our auction, but it has to be reserved almost a year in advance, so we have to jump right in and set the date for next year's auction.

 

One negative, and this definitely does not apply to those who had to check out for an emergency at home:

Even after we made it clear that people could check out only at break, or at the end, we still had people trying to check out just a few minutes early (to be first in line I imagine). Not cool. We just can't run reports and check people out during the active auction. Heather made that clear, and I know some people still tried and were a bit huffy when it didn't work. I know that standing in line after such a long day isn't what anyone wants to do, our focus during bidding is just that, the bidding. It is just not possible to do check outs during the bidding without it being a major distraction, which isn't fair to those sellers whose items are at the end.

 

Please, everyone who attended, post up your thoughts (the good, the bad, and the ugly lol) so that we can compile our notes for next year. Thanks! Save Save

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This was our 2nd highest attended auction ever and the highest profit year.

Thank you to everyone that came out to support the club!

 

I agree with Carol, we could have used a couple more volunteers to get through the day smoother. A HUGE THANK YOU to those that did volunteer; I can't even begin to express how much you are appreciated!

We need to tweak the volunteer list for next year to add coral sorting help and maybe even breaking up the full day spots into shifts. If we can get more people to help would make for lighter duties for all.

Would more people be willing to help out if it was for only a portion of the event?

We could really use a Community Liaison to communicate with FGCU and other schools to find volunteers that need their community service hours!

 

We definitely need to lower the total amount and per person next year to shorten the day up.

 

I love Wayne's suggestion of creating a bagging guide video and picture guide video!

 

We made $323 to go to the FGCU Scholarship amount with the BioCube raffle and additional donations.

Congratulations to GreenNgoldFeveR on winning the BioCube!

 

Mission BBQ was delicious and a pleasure to work with! I am happy staying with them again next year. With all the prep Matt and & I do before the auction and work during, we don't have time to add thinking about food to the list of things to do. So having food delivered is much appreciated!!!

 

I am happy to hear that everyone was seeing all my Facebook posts and it drove us so much traffic!

Thanks to all those that liked, shared, and commented; it really help expand our reach. Thank you to those that posted and bumped on other forums too!

 

I would like to see the event in March next year so it is a little further away from the holidays for buyers and it would give a new BOD an easier time to transition to their positions and set up.

 

I am not sure what the sellers think, but I am leaning towards wanting to go back to having pictures be required. The items without pictures did not do as well and discouraged many from bidding on them.

 

Would love to hear more feed back and please share your pictures if you have any.

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My sons and daughter loved it. As did I . Martin did a couple combo deals in the same bag. I think that speed things up . Maybe more of that would go faster. But I think I went real smooth thanks to the BOD

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reduce the total number of corals allowed from 350 to 300, reduce the number of corals allowed per member from 35 to 30, and reduce the total number of single species from 10 to 6 or 8.

 

Ditto to this. However, the 300 being "registered sellers". I like the donations as fundraisers. Could probably tweek the Frank's donations and lose a few blue legs and zoanthids. Maybe add a few turbos. I would say 7-8 on the single variety.

 

 

 

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This is deffinantly my longest post so far.

 

I'd like to begin by saying that I will be volunteering next year for a few of the smaller jobs. I didnt want to volunteer this year because it was my first.

 

Now first and foremost I agree with trying to get the auction timing down to a maximum of 3 or so hours actual auction time. I think the amount and quality of corals was great. However I know some things would help with next years auction.

1. Limit the lesser wanted things. We should try to limit GSP , Clove polyps, pure green hairy mushrooms hahahaha. By the end they were practically giving them away.

2. I say 300 total (before donations) 30 per person max.

3. I dont know how to fix this among all sellers but I think next year ill throw together starter bags. I personally didn't sell any corals that there were 10 of (besides a toadstool) but if I had GSP and some hairy mushrooms or toadstools ill throw them in as one lot.

 

Also I think pictures should be required.

 

Alright I'd like to also say I think that a shallow box with dividers would make sorting 100% easier and I believe that would be simple to me . I could do that to help out next year maybe? I'm thinking the ones they sell at Wal-Mart to slide ilunder the bed put some dividers in there and if I do it correct could even number the slots. So you grab bag 34 and put it directly into the bin and slot it belongs in.

 

With certain things like the blue leg crabs I think keeping them in groups of 20+/30+ would help same with things like urchins or serpent stars and things of that nature but maybe groups of 3.

 

Onto the bagging method. I was given bags that were completely clear almost the exact bags I normally use. However I saw a lot of Caribbean sea bags.Was that from the club or what was the deal with that? The method of bagging.... Now I didnt help with the sorting or anything and I made sure that my bags had just enough water to cover the corals and enough air to make the bag large enough to write clear big sharpied numbers on the bags however if that didnt turn out well I would love to know what couldve been done better. If they worked out well then maybe I should do the video ;)/> but seriously the video should be done when I got my 15 or so corals home lets just say... 90% weren't bagged very well or were leaking. One bag I couldn't find a leak but it had almost no water in it?! O.o

 

THE BBQ!!!!! Please keep this hahaha Savannah and I absolutely loved it honestly it was great to no have to worry about food while dealing with the 30corals I had to bring and getting checked in and checking out all the things going on like the raffle and merch table. Speaking of the mercy table can we please get some black shirts I would have surely bought 2 in black.

 

Maybe make it a rule that no one is allowed to check out during the auction. Breaks Only.

 

Now I was thinking maybe next year Jeff should make his way on stage. This should help with glare and insure he sees everyone easily. As well as that I liked the tables and chairs set up but maybe not the very back tables if there is a problem visually from the stage.

 

 

I would also like to thank everyone that put this together in really happy with my corals and my $$$ you all did a great job!

 

Last little note here....

My pictures weren't great I understand that fully but I thought it was an accurate representation (besides a few that turned out much darker then I wanted)

This being said some of the corals I got I would have paid 3 times what I paid for them if I realized how good they really looked. Some looked worse then I remember in the pictures but MOST look way better. I know it depends on lighting and the pictures change and vary by camera and light quality however a video would help some people out something simple and to the point that will help them get the best representation of their item.

Plus we all would agree I'm sure. Better picture better price.

But didnt the highest bid item not have a picture? Lol anyway that's my two cents :)/>

Edited by Brad1215

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My First Auction and I couldn't have been more pleased. I am so excited about the Biocube. Overall, everything seemed to go really smooth. Everyone was friendly and welcoming!

 

Adding only rookie input,

 

I will admit, the number of corals were overwhelming.

Maybe take breaks every 150 corals. Then if the number is maxed at 300, there will only be one break.

Maybe start an hour earlier so we can get home before dinner? Wife was not too pleased after 6 hours of auction then 3 hours of tank integration!

 

Can't thank everyone enough for all their hard work with the auction. It looked like a tedious task. Looking forward to future events

 

Cliff Burmeister

 

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Any new members sign up yesterday?

 

We welcomed 4 new members at the auction: Blacketer Fam, GreenNgoldFeveR, norman and shovelhead. 3 of these are family membershiips and we are excited to see them at upcoming events.

 

My First Auction and I couldn't have been more pleased. I am so excited about the Biocube. Overall, everything seemed to go really smooth. Everyone was friendly and welcoming!

 

Adding only rookie input,

 

I will admit, the number of corals were overwhelming.

Maybe take breaks every 150 corals. Then if the number is maxed at 300, there will only be one break.

Maybe start an hour earlier so we can get home before dinner? Wife was not too pleased after 6 hours of auction then 3 hours of tank integration!

 

Can't thank everyone enough for all their hard work with the auction. It looked like a tedious task. Looking forward to future events

 

Cliff Burmeister

 

Hopefully your wife's new biocube made up for the long day! :) Congratulations again, and looking forward to updates on setup and continued success with it!

 

 

Thank you to everyone who came out, this auction was a great success all the way around, happy buyers, happy sellers, great boost to this year's scholarship, smooth setup, mostly smooth coral check-in, easy and tasty food, efficient check-out, tired volunteers and auctioneer, great club fundraiser!

 

My notes and comments:

 

Duration: We want this to be a big annual event (we won't be doing 2 of these auctions a year as we have found from past experience that it really dilutes the fundraising, and is too much work to set up and organize). With that being said, dropping total coral count (before donations) to 300 should shorten things up a little. I do agree with dropping max corals per seller to 30. Dropping per species counts is a much harder issue to manage. We don't know prior to the day of the event whether a "mushroom", a "green mushroom", and a "hairy mushroom" are the same coral before we see the coral at check-in, so it is very difficult to limit per species counts.

 

Coral diversity: While GSP (Green Star Polyps), xenia, and mushrooms seem to take the brunt of the "we don't want to see them in the auction" criticism, these are great starter corals, and I know some experts that collect varying species / color variations of some of those, so we don't want to discriminate against certain corals. Also, these corals almost always get good prices (= good demand) at auction.

 

Pictures: I have always been a big proponent of required pictures. It is a little effort up front to the seller, but increases bidding, and therefore club fundraising. The main effort with pictures is sorting them and preparing the slideshow, which I am the one doing, so no worries from the club side about extra work for required pictures. This year's pictures were great overall. Most were properly sized, properly labeld, and quality pics. I think some instructional videos are a great idea for pics (and for bagging).

 

Coral check-in: This seemed to be the pain point for this year. The process is always challenging but we try to improve on it every year. We will reach out to the check-in volunteers and runners and get consensus on bin size, quantity and other changes to expedite. Partitions may be a great idea, but we have to remember that corals come in all shapes and sizes, so that will need to be evaluated. Proper bagging is a must for quick sorting and holding the corals in their bins. We will continue to refine the instructions to sellers. The CaribSea bags were a donation to the club from our sponsors, and once we run out (probably by the end of the next auction), we will re-evaluate whether to ask for more, or purchase clear bags. Some spare salt water will be requested for the next auction to cover for inevitable leaks. Maybe we can go over different bagging techniques in the requested videos, such as using small pieces of styrofoam to suspend delicate SPS upside down in the bags, and ratio of water to air, and knot tying/rubber bands (maybe we need to provide rubber bands next time...)

 

Storage: A special thank you to Frank and his kids for meeting early and helping out with getting everything to the event, and to Charlie and Robin for helping us return equipment to storage after a long day, we locked up the storage unit at about 9pm! (after dinner)

 

Food: Don't mess with my lunch. No cost to club, minimal club effort to set up day of (thank you Carol for the leg-work prior to the event :) ). As far as I am concerned, other than choice of food, offering a lunch option is no longer a point of discussion.

 

Promotion: Thanks to Heather and all the Facebookers and other forum members out there for diligently posting, sharing, commenting, and generally making noise about this event. While we hope to grow attendance each year, the promotion worked and brought out a lot of new faces and bidders to the auction.

 

Great input in this post, keep it coming!

 

Thanks again to all attendees, sellers and volunteers (Carol, Micah, Ron, Jeff, Paul, Christine, Matt S, Robin, Charlie, Wayne, Rick, David, Heather, Danny, Frank and his heavy lifting team and all other volunteers I forgot to name), we can't do this without you!

 

Matt.

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This is great! We've heard from most of the BOD which is wonderful, we've heard from some of the volunteers...many are also BOD members, but some others as well, and their opinions are very important to us. We've heard from some buyers and sellers, and that is a group I would love to hear more from. Especially if you can offer more than just 'great event' or 'thanks for all the hard work'! Please keep the comments coming. Suggestions and opinions are always welcome. Sometimes you get off the wall ideas from people without the 'inside' view of things. So even if this was your very first event, help out and pass along your thoughts.

 

My sincere thank you,

Ron Reefman (BOD member, volunteer, seller & buyer)

BTW, I bought more than I sold... even while I worked all through the auction! wink.gif

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The bags that leaked, do we know how thick they were? Maybe using thicker bags would solve that issue. 3 or 4ml. Anything less that 3ml I would double bag just to be safe.

Edited by Eric Noa

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I think part of the leaking problem was things that were on pointy rocks or things that seemed to not be twisted real well before tied in a knot. At least that's what I noticed when I was debagging them.

 

Also for the sorting bins my first thought was those plastic bins that are like 2ft by 4 or 3 ft and about 6-10 inches deep. I could easily make heavy duty rubber band dividers and I think it would make sorting simpler

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BTW, I bought more than I sold... even while I worked all through the auction! wink.gif

 

I call this "SUCCESS"!

 

 

 

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Well I started this thread simply to say Thank You to those involved in the auction. Since it’s sort of turned in to a feedback thread (a good thing with great participation thus far) I thought I would echo some of the thoughts presented.

 

  • Yes, it was too long, if for no one other than Jeff, who does such a great job.
  • Limiting to 300 plus donations will certainly help.
  • I agree with Matt on trying to limit the number of “common” corals (GSP, Mushrooms, etc.) could prove to be difficult
  • Someone would have to monitor and then notify those that have them on their list they need to find a replacement because we’re over the limit
  • Besides, there are always new aquarists in the crowd and these are all good starter corals
  • Move everything back one hour
  • I think people would rather get home a little earlier because anyone that purchased had work to do when they got home - aka DIPPING
  • Lunch seemed to work out for those that participiated
  • Pictures should be mandatory - no picture, no sale (I mentioned this in another thread a while ago)
  • I think the bagging/packing tutorial video is a great idea
  • I tried to help sort this year and it was a nightmare
  • I belive the easy fix is simply having additional bins
  • It would be easier to limit the number of corals per bin to say 20-30 a the most
  • Make it clear there is no checking out during the auction unless it's an emergency
  • Checking out at breaks could work but that would be up to Matt and Heather
  • Combo packs are fine but the number in the combo pack should still count to the total number of corals per seller
  • Let's face it, Jeff still has to explain each coral in the pack so more time needs to be allotted to a combo pack
  • Promotion seemed to work better this year - that was the largest crowd I've see in the three years I've attended
  • As to coral diversity, I think it will continue to improve each year
  • Members become more successful and desire more "advanced" corals
  • I felt like it was a more diverse selection this year than prior years

Anyway, those are just some thoughts for what they're worth. And to bring this thread back to how it started, THANK YOU to all the volunteers and the BOD's for what I think was a great event overall.

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