Gen Con 2011 Auction Report

We hit a record number of items in the auction this year with 13,173 items.  The more numerically capable of you may be wondering how that is a record considering that last year we had 13,255 items in the auction.  The answer is simple!  Last year's count included the charity items, this year's count does not.  We started a new procedure to make the charity auction a bit easier on us.  We devoted a cash register to this section.  All charity items had to be paid for immediately and at the end of the segment we ran the tape to get the total raised for charity - much simpler than creating an auction tag for each charity item.

Here's some quick statistics :

Number of Items in the Auction 16,753
Number of Items Sold 11,699
Value of Items Sold $138,071.25
Number of Items Auctioned (non-Consignment Store) 5,909
Number of Items Sold from the Consignment Store 5,789
Amount Raised for Charity (Books on Wheels) $13,077.59


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Graph: Number of Items Sold by Hour

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Graph: The procrastination factor. Number of items registered by day.

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Here's a down-loadable spreadsheet of every item in the auction. Make sure to save with an extension of XLS.

GenCon 2011 After-action report:


We arrived on Tuesday and picked up the keys to the new auction room. The setup people were just finishing the room. They had set it up perfectly. No need to do any re-arranging!  All the auction volunteers in town on Tuesday headed over to Harry and Izzy's for dinner


The computer equipment arrived around 9:00 am. Wow! So much less stressful than last year (so far). I got the computers all setup by 12:00 noon. Last year I only borrowed one barcode scanner from work - this year I brought 4!! So even though the auction scanners weren't charged, we had the ones that I brought. We have 3 intake computers, the server, and 4 computers setup for people to register items on-site. So aside from the HUGE number of items coming in, things are going smoothly this year.

As usual the doors close at 6:00 pm, so no addition people in line.  Gen Con only has the convention center until 8:00 at night - so we had to clear out by then!  We were still doing sorting and arranging so we'll have to continue that tomorrow morning.

After we get out of the room, a few friends and I head over to Buffalo Wings and Rings for some buffalo chicken wings.


We started off with the traditional auction volunteer meeting at 9:00 and then opened the auction for the busiest auction we've ever had starting at 10:00am.  There are still lots of people coming in to drop of items for us to sell (and even do registration on-site).


Things seem to be under control.  So I head to my one and only game. The game was "Full Thrust", with 11 players.  Our team didn't win - even though we smashed their fleet without suffering any losses.  The victory conditions involved mining some asteroids and the fleet with the most resources on board at the end win.  Well, our dice rolling was pathetic and we didn't get any.  One (only one) of the opposition managed to roll a 6 and gather a resource that wasn't on a ship we destroyed.


Saturday was extremely busy, as usual.  And we were short of volunteers today, as usual.  I did a stint in "The Pit" (were tabs are stored).  I managed to rearrange it so that the tab numbers were in order, rather than scattered around as tabs were opened.  I've got to come up with a better way to assign tab numbers so that they get assigned in order.

I missed most of TOVA (Toys, Oddities, Video, and Art) even though I was in the room.  Too many sellers wanted to collect cash and/or close out their tab.  We didn't get through all the TOVA items, so Soren (the lead auctioneer) went through and put in a refund for sellers whos items we didn't get to.

After TOVA we switched over to Charity - the regular auction was complete and we all started to organize the unsold items for returning to the sellers tomorrow.


Payouts on Sunday could have been better.  We had one seller who had failed to pick up their items on Saturday night.  Unfortunately we had returned our credit card machine (the person who had it wasn't available) so we had to borrow one - this took over an hour and the customer was properly mad.  Sorry - we'll try to do better next year!  We also had a few more items "go missing" this year.  Which is kind of understandable due to the huge number of items we had.

A tradition we have is to take the auction volunteers out to dinner after the convention (those that are still around Sunday evening, anyway). This year was no exception. We had 24 of the volunteers meet at Buca di Beppo.  My table ordered just the right amount of food - but others ordered a bit too much and the full dishes came over to our table for us to help "polish off".  By the end we were all stuffed - but still managed to find room for the chocolate cake and cheese cake!