Description of how a live game auction and consignment store works
This is a description of how such an auction and consignment store may work. Please read the actual description for the website of the live game auction you plan to attend, to see how that will differ from this sample description.
A live game auction is run by either the show organizers themselves, or a private group chosen by the organizers of the show. These are known as the auctioneers.
In some states, such as Ohio, a licensed auctioneer is required by state law to actually solicit bids and oversee the money. The Origins auction is one of those live game auctions at which a licensed auctioneer is required.
Most live game auctions now allow items to be pre-registered on a website. Some also allow the items to be registered at the show. Usually a form is printed or filled out by hand, which is then attached to the item that is being sold.
Usually a fee, known as a registration fee, is charged per item or per lot of items.
If there is a consignment store, the form usually includes a space to mark whether the item should be placed in the consignment store or sold at live auction. The registration fee may also be different (and higher) for live auction items then the fee for store items.
If items are placed in the consignment store, they may have one fixed price, or several prices which change based on the date or time the item is purchased. Price changes allow the seller to change the price of the item if it hasn’t sold in the beginning period of the store’s opening. The Gen Con consignment store allows the price to be lower on the 2nd and 3rd days. The WBC auction allows the store item price to change as the day progresses (the BPA store is held over one day). A buyer can pick any item or items up in the consignment store, take them to the purchasing stations, and pay for them, like in a retail store.
If items are placed in the live auction, then the auctioneers will choose an order to sell the items. Frequently, they will group them by type, e.g. “family board games”, “lead miniatures”, “wargames”. Etc. A schedule is often posted, so the bidders will know when items they are interested in are being offered for sale.
You may want to also read our list of commonly used auction terms