Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Everyone should remember a thread on this forum that I started on the 28th March when I asked for suggestion to help improve the auctions. http://www.qldaf.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=25222

My request was, If you have any suggestions on how to improve the auctions please place them here. Just keep them sensible and try to stay within the main criteria that we are looking for; "How can we ensure that future auctions do not go past 12.30am, and still maintain the variety of sellers and products/fish sold?"

I also promised that all SENSIBLE suggestions would be taken to a Q.F.A.S. meeting and discussed. The following is what I presented at the meeting.

“THANK YOU for all the suggestions.

While some are to say the least "tongue in cheek" there are some which might be made to work.

This is the list of the suggestions made in no particular order.

Reduce sellers to maximum of 30. ** To do this we could not have sellers just turning up on the day all sellers letters /numbers would need to be finalised well in advance otherwise there will be a lot of very upset people who turn up with items to sell only to be told sorry we are full. This might be possible if we hold an online auction for sellers letters /numbers two weeks before the actual auction. Sellers get 1 day to nominate a letter and how much they are willing to pay to get that letter, at the end of the day the highest bidder wins that letter. Do the same thing the next day with any letters not sold, and so on till all letters are taken. The 20% commission would also need to be reduced to 15% otherwise sellers probably will not come to the auctions.

Reduce sellers maximum lots from 60 to 45 or lower. ** easily done but we would need to enforce it, not like at present where we let some get away with 80+ lots.

30 lots per family name * what about brothers that live separately they should be allowed to have separate lots, so this could be hard to control.

Sort and bundle all lots of the same items together. Not every bag of java fern is the same size not every bag of electric yellow has the same size fish or the same number of fish, this suggestion is far too much extra work for no gain.

Sale tables for items would need at least one person to man each table all night and record sales – not feasible without lots of volunteers. Perhaps we could hold a “Market Day” type sale where we invite sellers to come along and buy a table to sell their own products.

Check and see which group is least profitable and drop from auctions

Ban food and chemicals

Get rid of African cichlids -

Get rid of bristle nose and electric yellows

Get rid of plants

Get rid of dry goods

All of these have all been discussed a number of times and it comes back to the fact that every section of the hobby has as much right to be at the auction as any other and it would be wrong to discriminate.

Sellers to send Q.F.A.S. list of items in advance * this would make it easier for Greg to organise the pictures at the front and to produce a catalogue but again someone would have to put it all together and listing 1300 lots is a massive job without having the volunteers available.

Catalogue for buyers * see above comments

More Advertising maybe we should look at other types of advertising what where and how?

Letter drop within 5klm way too limited in scope and too expensive for returns

3 auctioneers – do not see the need as it is hard enough getting enough auctioneers now.

Speed up auctioneers description only use what is on label – it is the auctioneers responsibility to get the best price possible for each item I feel this would be counter productive as a lot of people don’t know what certain fish look like and need the description and or photo. Having said that sometimes the auctioneers waste a lot of time not only with the description but with trying to drag out bids and maybe we need to retain our auctioneers a little.

$2 min bids *** If we only accept $2.00, $5.00 and $10.00 bidding increments then the time taken to sell each item could be halved. If an item is over $100.00 then only $10.00 bid increments are used if 0ver $50.00 then $5.00 bid increments and up to $50.00 only $2.00 increments. This along with getting rid of the “going once, going twice, going three times, sold” and replacing it with “any further bids – sold” would make each sale faster as you get to the serious bidders quicker.

Hire professional auctioneers - too expensive – not feasible

Twice as many auctions not feasible just not enough volunteers or months to do them in

Limits on species – this already happens

Split auction into sections not feasible just not enough volunteers to sort everything

Run 2 auctions at same time one for livestock and the other for everything else not feasible just not enough volunteers

Fix speaker system - unfortunately we are limited to using whatever is provided by the school

Headset microphones *** would be very good if they can be made to work with the schools existing pa system.

No runners - have buyers table at front and use buyer numbers *** This is a very good idea but we need to think it through and work out new paperwork and procedures. Firstly the buyers numbers they need to be printed so that they can be easily read by the auctioneers and pencillers otherwise it is a waste of time having to ask for the bidders number all the time. These numbers would need to be given out or sold from a table at the entrance which would need to be manned all night. There would also need to be a register of buyers kept. From experience people forget to return numbers at end of auctions and with over 300 attending these auctions we would need anything up to 400 new numbers printed for every auction this could be quite expensive.

Next the procedure would be that the auctioneer sells the goods and then passes the goods to the buyers table along with a record of the winning bidders and the $ value. New paperwork will need to be designed for this. The bidders would then come to the buyers table and pay for their purchase. Failure to do so straight away would mean that the goods are re auctioned and that buyer gets a black mark against their number and more than 2 black marks and no further bids will be accepted from that number. As usual in multiple lots the winning bidder would have first choice. While this may eliminate runners we would still need at least two volunteers at the buyers table and one at the buyers number table so 3 instead of 4 volunteers.

Sellers name on bags – not a good idea

Have display tanks setup with fish and plants for sale – who is going to bring in the tanks set them up and pull them down – no volunteers

Ban car park selling – agree no one should be selling goods from the car park but if the deal has already been done and just the delivery is taking place in the car park it becomes very hard to police and I don’t think it affects the auction that much.

Seller not to bring in deformed fish this is already part of the guidelines with the auctioneer having the final say – auctioneers should also become stricter on size limits as a lot of small under 4cm fish went through this last auction that were not dwarf species.

Colour label to indicate contents of boxes this might work if we were going to try and sort fish and goods into different groups but otherwise has very little value

More Bats :lol::lol:a joke

Big fish sold before 10pm again unless we have some way of sorting and that means extra volunteers then it is not feasible at present.

Video camera to show actual fish * this was done a number of times, years ago but because most of the fish are juveniles all you are doing is looking at a lot of grey fish and if they are not bagged in clear bags it can be very hard to see them clearly. Eg. Those blue fish bags with writing on both sides.

Just about every one of these has been put forward or tried before, but there are some minor changes that make some of them more appealing this time. Comments is red and blue are my personal comments only.

The ones I have marked with * , ** or *** are ones that I personally think have a good chance of being looked at further with the three *** being very good ideas that will definitely be looked into in more detail. Every one will need a lot of thought put in to working out new systems and the like but at least we have somewhere to start.

I will keep everyone informed as to what happens at the next Q.F.A.S. meeting”.

At the Q.F.A.S. meeting on 27/5/2010, a complete examination of the way the Super Auctions are run was held. All the above suggestions were discussed. As a result of this there will be some changes coming in starting with the next Super Auction to be held on the 19th June, with a second stage of changes to come in with the following Super Auction on November 20th

Changes to Auction procedures

1. Sellers letters will be given out on a first come first served basis with the exception that any Auction Staff from the previous Auction will be given first choice of letters. What this means is that if you help out as a volunteer at an auction you will be able to choose your sellers letter for the next auction. Having said that it will still be first in first served for the auction staff as well. Just as an example of this letter F for this coming auction has already been allocated.

To Qualify as Auction Staff you MUST be a member of a Q.F.A.S. affiliated Club and work a Minimum of 6 hours at the auction this includes setup work, back stage work, auctioneering, pencilling, running and helping in the canteen. As workers for the auctions usually start at 1.00 - 1.30pm and finish at least 3/4 hour after the last lot is sold. Having to work only 6 hours is dead easy, most of us at present put in 10 - 12 hour days sometimes longer.

2. Q.F.A.S. was alarmed by the number of dead fish at the last auction and from now on will NOT accept any more than 5 fish in any one bag unless they are small fish or the bag is very very large. All sellers as they hand their boxes over to be put up the back will be asked two questions, 1. Do you have any large fish? 2. Do you have bags with more than 5 fish in them? Any yes answers and the seller will be required to check those bags in front of Auction Staff to ensure they are bagged satisfactorly otherwise they will told to rebag them immediately.

Extra large fish must be in suitably sized containers not squashed up in a small bucket etc. If seller does not have suitable bags etc they will be charged a fee for rebagging depending on what is required to fix the problem.

3. Sellers will also be asked to identify the majority contents of their boxes by placing a coloured dot sticker onto the box label. This will enable the auctioneers and auction staff to avoid having the same things coming up at each auctioneer at the same time. The most that could happen is that a seller’s letter might be moved out of order by one. Colour dots will be available at the sellers sign in area and will be as follows:

Green - Plants

Red - Americans

Blue - Africans

Yellow - Natives

Black - Catfish

NO DOT - Dry Goods, food, etc.

4. The next Change is in the minimum bid increments, from now on the minimum bids on all items up $20.00 in value will be $2.00, from $21.00 to $50.00 will be $5.00, and for items $51.00 and over will be $10.00 with final bid increment amounts at discretion of the auctioneer.

5. Auctioneers will be asked to no longer use, going once, going twice, going three times, sold. Once no further bids are forthcoming items will be sold.

6. Headset microphones will be purchased as soon as we can organise some that will work in with the existing pa system. Lapel microphones will be trialled as well.

7. A copier/printer will be purchased and copies of all sellers sheets will be given to Greg so that he can get photos up onto the screen quicker.

8. The biggest change will be how bids are made. In June any person wishing to purchase anything from an auction will need to register and obtain a bidding number. Name, address, contact number, and email address required.

Numbers will be coloured and only be used at one auction with new different coloured numbers issued for the next auction. Registration will need to be done at every auction you wish to purchase anything.

9. No bids will be accepted unless bidding number is held aloft and clearly shown to the auctioneer.

10. For the June auction runners will continue to bring the items purchased to the buyer but the runners will be given a list of the winning numbers so there can be no argument as to who won the bid.

11. From November there will no longer be any runners. The Buyers will need to pick up their purchase from a special buyers table at the front of the auction. Failure to pick up items promptly will result in that item being returned to the auctioneer to be sold again. The bidder number will be recorded and if it happens on more than one occasion that bidder number will be banned from the auction ( bids will no longer be accepted from that number) it this happens regularly then that person may be banned from future auctions as well. In other words when you have a winning bid you get up off your backside and make your way immediately to the buying table where you will pay for your item and pick it up and take it back to your seat, then start bidding again.

12. Market Day type sale to be looked at as posssible future event.

13. In the event of a very rare or expensive item coming up for auction it will be placed on a special viewing area so people interested can have a look before making any bids. Item will remain in viewing area only as long as sellers good are being sold.

We know that there are quite a few changes and it will take a while for everyone to get used to them. The reason why we are using the next June 19th auction to start them Is simply that the June auctions are usually the smallest.

The main thing now is for everyone to get out there and become active members of the clubs and start helping at the auctions that way you will get advantages over everyone else who is too lazy to help.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Item 4 - if the item has no reserve is the value for the increment based on what the auctioneer starts the item at?

Should the auctioneer say "sarting price for this bag is $23 and the increment will be in $5 lots".


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The auctioneers have a faily good idea of what the items real value is and will use the incremental guidelines as needed.

Lets say a lot had 4 x 7cm 6 bar Frontosa in it. We all know that Frontosa this size will sell for $30.00 plus. If there was no reserve marked it would be up to the auctioneer to pick a starting price and bid increment to use. but if it were me, I would start around $60.00 and go up in $10.00 increments and accept a $5.00 bid increment at the end.

Most of the time the auctioneer will start at a reasonable price not just the reserve unless the reserve is set high then they will start at the reserve.

The main point the you have missed is that $1.00 bids are no longer accetable the minimum bid increment is $2.00


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The changes sound good so far.

I personally would also like to see the auction split into 2 sections.

These days there is enough lovely plants to possibly have a plant auction first up and then later have the fish and dry goods.

Anyone wanting to buy plants can arrive for the first part of the auction and then the fish only people can arrive later in the evening.

If you are interested in buying both plants and fish you can arrive early and be part of both auctions.

As it stands now sellers have there fish/plants/dry goods in from 3-4pm with the auction starting at 4pm or there abouts.

An easy work around would be plants in at 3-4pm with auction starting at 4pm and then have the fish/dry goods in at 4-5pm with the fish and dry goods starting at 5pm or when the plant section has finished.

This way fish will have less time in bags as the sellers don't have to bag them up so early in the day.

There will be no extra work involved because its the sellers who will need to organize their lots before they submit them.

Anyway its just another option to discuss amongst yourselves there but i think it would work perfectly and it will stop all of those wingers out there that either hate sitting there while fish or plants are being auctioned off as they will then have a choice of when to attend the auction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This purpose of the post is purely to keep everyone informed of the new changes to the auctions it is NOT for going back over old material.

Please understand when I say that everything about the auctions has been looked at in detail I can assure you I mean every detail.

None of the suggestions with, the exception of the "more bats" was thrown out without fisrt being pulled apart and put back together to see if it could be used in any way at all.

I will try and answer you post only so it might stop others from putting up suggestions that have been looked at in detail and rejected like yours has.

Firstly lets look at just what is the problem your solution is trying to fix.

At a guess YOU get bored with all the plants and just want to see fish at the auction.

So the problem is too many items of the same thing going through at the same time.

Now lets look at your solution of splitting up the auction. Firstly how many sections should the auctions be split into. After all there are lots of different categories of fish, America, African, Native, Tropical, Catfish etc., You could even go down to species. You say Plants and Fish and Dry goods. Does dry goods include food and timber? Where do they go with the plants or the fish.

Get the idea.

It is not just as simple as plants & fish.

But lets for a moment assume that it is.

First you say that splitting into plants and fish would be better for buyers because the fish buyers would know when fish are coming up and don't need to be there for plants. This is not really the case. From talking to a majority of the people that attend the auctions they go to buy whatever comes up not just fish. Some go purely for food some just for fun, not everyone goes to buy something. In fact when we asked a sample of people that we know regularly attend the auctions. If the auctions were split plants then fish, would they only turn up later for the fish? They said NO. They would still go for the whole night. Yes there would be a small percentage that would only come later but that would be only a VERY small percentage of the overall numbers, so there is no major benefit.

Next comment is that by splitting up the auction into parts the fish would be in bags for less time.

In actual fact if the auction was run as a split auction plants then fish most fish would be bagged for longer. Just about every person that sells plants also sells fish so their fish would need to be bagged earlier so they could get there first to put their plants in. Their fish would sit around in bags longer before they came up for auction, because the fish auction comes after the plants.

It is also obvious from your comments that you have never helped at an auction because you also say there would be no extra work involved for the auction staff. If you had helped you would know that stock comes in from 3.00 through to 7.00pm not just 3.00 - 5.00pm. Also as there are now effectivly two auctions being run you need to track sellers on two seperate lists and would require at least one extra person to do this. The sellers would need to line up in one line to put the plants then into another line for the fish. Your time frame for stock in would not be enough time for all stock to be taken in unless there were double the amount of auction staff on hand to check and stack the stock.

AS you can see when you sit down and pull your suggestion apart it just does not come up with a workable solution that does not put extra work onto the already overworked auction staff.

The new coloured stickers for the sellers boxes is in fact an attempt to solving the very problem you want tof fix. That of having all plants at the same time or for that matter all fish at the same time. Bye looking at the sticker the auctioneers and auction staff can now tell what is in the next boxes and if the same as on the other table they can jump to the next seller. They will not be allowed to just more than one seller as that would then disadvantage the sellers. We are trying to keep the auctions as varied as possible.

I hope this has helped you to understand.

Lets try to keep this post the way it is intended and that is to let everyone know about the NEW changes to the auctions, Lets not bring up old ideas.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

If sellers are worried about their fish being in bags for so long do what I did last auction and put them in Kordon breather bags. I bought mine from the usa at http://www.kensfish.com/shippingsupplie.html

Works out to be $1 a bag or something by the time you add in freight.

Be aware if you buy a big lot, freight will be high because of the weight and bulk but small lots are easy to post and cost way less. Contact them and query freight on what you are after if you aren't sure. Ken is very reasonable and can work something out for you.

Be also mindful using Kordon bags are filled with all water and no air, as the fish can breathe thru the bag, so your boxes are going to be quite a bit heavier to carry in.

I can just claim damsel in distress and get some burly fellas to give me a hand carrying them in.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Be also mindful using Kordon bags are filled with all water and no air, as the fish can breathe thru the bag, so your boxes are going to be quite a bit heavier to carry in.

I can just claim damsel in distress and get some burly fellas to give me a hand carrying them in.


Hey Brenda,

I heard u can't have the bags touching each other or they won't work. Is this true? Just incase ppl don't know much bout this new technology ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


The worst idea that i can see is the table for the winning bidders, I can see that it will be backlogged with buyers choosing which bag to buy. If the auction speeds up it will only get worse with more people waiting to get their fish. The disruption to the auctioneers of people walking to the table will have to be monitered. I agree that the auctioneers need to speed up but people need to remember that they are there to get as much money as possible for the sellers. I feel as an auctioneer myself that to speed up the whole process the general public themselves need to take more responsibility for their bidding speed. There should be no need for an auctioneer to have to say going once, twice, three times sold more than once per lot. I hope that we will be able to have a bit of leeway with the bid increments when the lot gets close to the final price. Just remember people that the auction is and has always been run by people that give their time freely and willingly to help us all sell and buy our fish. The workers get nothing other than free food and drinks for their hard work. IF YOU DONT LIKE THE WAY IT IS RUN AND ARE NOT PREPARED TO HELP DONT COME BACK. It is as simple as that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re the buyer's table & the buyer being expected to get themselves there immediately to pay/collect otherwise items will be re-auctioned .... how are they supposed to do that whilst they may be bidding on lots immediately after their last purchase, or trying to focus on subsequent lots & bid during the actual payment/handover procedure?

From what I understand above, it would appear they're doing away with "once", "twice", "third & final time", "sold" all together i.e. auction closes when no further bids are forthcoming. Every live auction in the world operates under that "1/2/3 sold" premise & I cannot see how a silent ending will work, especially when it paves the way for lots to be knocked down prematurely, possibly even to friends/associates etc. (not saying that would be the case here, but it certainly could leave room for doubt & disputes among the uninitiated).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Heres a tip for sellers. The rules state Fish etc in from 3pm start 4pm. It does not say drag yourself in at 4.30 with fish for sale.

Heres another one which really helps me. Download and print out the form here


It looks like something like this

Seller ( ) _______________ Phone & Address _______________________________________

Club Lot Numbers : _____ To ________ Date ____/____/_____ ? Id Cited

Lot Numbers------ Item Description---Quantity/Fish Sex---Reserve---Selling Price

1-----------------royal whiptail 5cm---3 / 1m-2f---------$10-------for club to fill in

2-----------------royal whiptail 5cm---3 / 1m-2f---------$10-------for club to fill in

3-----------------cherry shrimp-------20----------------$10-------for club to fill in

Page _1____ of ____3____________ Sales Total_____club to fill in_________________

Commission 20% __________________

Rebagging ($1 Bag) __________________

Paid To : _________________________ Amount Paid __________________

It saves heaps of time if you already have that filled in. Then all you have to do is register for your selling code, put stickers on boxes and bags in the order of your lots and your all set to go. :)

If you are a newbie at it, be forward and ask someone to give you a hand and get there nice and early.

I love the auctions. I am all excited already and its over 2 weeks to go. :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sellers to send Q.F.A.S. list of items in advance * this would make it easier for Greg to organise the pictures at the front and to produce a catalogue but again someone would have to put it all together and listing 1300 lots is a massive job without having the volunteers available.

Catalogue for buyers * see above comments

Hi Graeme,

That is a little sad, I would have though that would have generated a bit more revenue directly to the club itself. However, I do understand the reasons and the workload.

However, how would you feel about an offer to perhaps create a web app that would allow people to submit their all the details and lot info that way? Then I imagine, once it is stored in a database, it should be pretty easy to manipulate it to whatever way you want… I could be able to show you a way to extract that data then make labels out of them (if you had a label maker that is) at a press of a button, or in-fact make a catalogue from it.

The hardest bit would be the actual input of the data.. But making so people input the data themselves..

I imagine the initial workload would be a bit, once you steamline it and get used it it, I imagine the actual workload would greatly reduce both before the auction and on the actual day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This purpose of the post is purely to keep everyone informed of the new changes to the auctions it is NOT for going back over old material.

Please understand when I say that everything about the auctions has been looked at in detail I can assure you I mean every detail.

None of the suggestions with, the exception of the "more bats" was thrown out without fisrt being pulled apart and put back together to see if it could be used in any way at all.

Lets try to keep this post the way it is intended and that is to let everyone know about the NEW changes to the auctions, Lets not bring up old ideas.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting Graeme. You must have a lot of patience to keep hearing the same old unworkable suggestions so many people when so few get off their bums to help out. It's always impressed me that the clubs, with less and less support, still manage to find people who'll put in a 12+ hour day (and night) for the sake of other hobbyists and then have to put up with the b!tching and moaning afterwards...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Graeme,

Thankyou for the effort you put in that reply there. It is, um, appreciated?

I am not sure if you actually read my post or not, or just glanced over and thought “oh noes just more rehashing of old ideas” - the reply tends to make me think the latter in this case, but I was in fact offering to provide the volunteer work that you seem to scream out for in potential development of an application suite for your organisation that I imagine would cost a couple of thousand of dollars out there in the open market (at the very least I would have made you a new web site) not to mention the many many many man hours to do it. Now I am not saying what I could have created would have been “the best thing since sliced bread” nor would have I been offended if you did not even use it. But none-the-less, it was still an offer....

Whilst I am unable to be an ‘on-the-floor’ volunteer due to very sporadic out of state requirements courtesy of work and as such unable to commit to most location/time based events, I thought I would offer my IT development/design/analysts skills as I see value and have an incredibly high regard of what you, your auctions and your organisation do for the hobby in this section of Australia and treat it with the utmost respect.

I sincerely hope that you do not treat every offer for volunteer work like that however, regardless if you require it or not. A simple “Thanks for the offer, but no” would have been a bit more appreciated and polite than the copy/paste job you did there, especially on an open forum.

I know I may be flamed for this... but that was the impression/feeling I got from your reply.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Sorry about the short reply it is setup time at Caboolture Show as you are probably aware so I did not have a lot of time to do a proper reply before now.

The idea was not knocked back because of lack of volunteers and we do appreciate all offers of help.

The idea was knocked on the head because of the fact that NOT EVERY person that puts fish into the auctions uses computers. When this was discused it became apparent that at least four regular sellers do not use computers socially. Some of the sellers have said they would not do be able to have a list until lunch time on the day of the auction. Some don't even know what they have bagged up until they write out their sheets at the auction itself.

Obviously it is not worth the extra effort involved unless every seller can be on the list.

Once again thanks for the offer.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...