FAQ: Questions about live game auctions
- Where IS the auction?
- How does the auction work?
- What can I sell there?
- How much is my game worth?
- Should I sell my stuff in batches or just piece-by-piece?
- How can I register my items in advance? Can I get item tags?
- How long do I have to pre-register?
- How long can the description be?
- How do I fix something I mess up?
- How do I delete an item?
- Can I pay in advance for my seller card & item tags?
- Any advice on how to place my tags on the item?
- I forgot my password for the pre-registration site. Help!
At the Show
- When will things be sold? Are they in categories?
- What's the difference between the stage and the store?
- If my items don't get bids on stage, will you put them into the store for me?
- Will my items be in a Collector session?
- Can I look at stuff before it's sold?
- Can I bid on stuff without being there? I'd rather be gaming...
- Can I get money as soon as my stuff sells?
- Can someone else pick up my money for me?
- What about my stuff that didn't sell?
Where IS the auction?
At Gen Con Indy it is in Rooms 130 - 133 in the Main Convention Center, directly across from the dealer's room.
At Origins it is in Grand Ballroom 3.
At other conventions, please check their website for the room location.
How does the auction work?
While there are similarities among live game auctions, they all have their own little differences. For a general description of a live game auction, check out this description. However, please be sure to check the page of the auction you plan on attending to become familiar with their rules.
You may also want to read our list of commonly used auction terms.
What can I sell there?
A game auction usually has everything in hobby gaming -- games and accessories, spare parts, rulebooks, adventures, figures and paints, collectible cards, video games, computer games, and more. Related items such as Star Trek and Star Wars memorabilia, fiction and reference books, toys, artworks and sculpture, and of course comic books can be a part of a game auction also. As a general rule they do not accept food or living beings of any sort, Humanoid or otherwise. Some auctions have specific restrictions such as bans against mildewed items, or weapons. Be sure to check the rules at the auction you are attending.
How much is my game worth?
We try to get you the best price for your stuff, but we cannot affect the fair market by offering opinions like this in advance. Value comes from many factors, including condition, packaging, regional price differences, and others. Independent price guides are available for some categories, and you can often find recent records on public auction web sites.
Should I sell my stuff in batches or just piece-by-piece?
Depends on the stuff. At the desk where you check in at the auction you'll find expert collectors who will offer advice like this. (You may have a valuable collectible and not even realize it!) If you're sure that some items are all common and related, it makes sense to group them. Some things should not be batched, such as unrelated items (a family game, a wargame, and a roleplaying piece), and games of higher value that will likely do better individually.
How can I register my items in advance? Can I get item tags?
You can pre-register your items for Gen con at our Pre-Registration Web Site.
The Origins website has forms that you can download and fill out in advance.
Please read the instructions for the auction you are attending and take advantage of their time saving options! Save more of your convention time for gaming!
If you are pre-registering your items at other auctions, most auctions now have pre-registration links on their websites.
How long do I have to pre-register?
You can use the Gen Con Pre-Registration Site until the weekend before the convention. After you log in to the site you can see the exact date that the registration has to be shutdown so that we can get ready for the con.
Origins forms will be available online up to the start of the auction.
How long can the description be? (Gen Con auction only)
You are limited to 255 characters for the item description (because we are using "mySQL" as the database engine). If you have more to say, write it on the tag after you print it, or include a separate sheet. You CAN add comments later, too. But please do NOT write on the back of the item tag. Please do not change a tag's prices.
How do I fix something I mess up? (Gen Con auction only)
To EDIT, just log into the pre-registration system and click on the convention name. You will see a list of items that you have registered. Click on an item (either Item ID or Title) to open an Edit window. You can change anything except the item's number, which is assigned by the software. Be sure to update & replace the tag.
How do I delete an item? (Gen Con auction only)
You just rewrite it (see EDIT, above) to become something else that you want to sell. If you end up with a blank tag, you can either ignore or rename it "Delete Me". Remember that every item has to be brought to us for check-in, and YOU WON'T BE CHARGED for blank tags or anything you don't bring.
Can I pay in advance for my seller card & item tags? (Gen Con auction only)
No, and we have no plans to allow this. You will pay for these items when you arrive at the convention.
Any advice on how to place my tags on the item?
To avoid damage to items and assist the staff with check-out, here are some suggestions on attaching tags to items.
- Scotch tape or low-tack tape should be used.
- Anything still in shrinkwrap can have the tag taped on anyplace.
- Magazine bags are recommended. Any item that will fit in one should be placed inside, and the tag taped to the outside.
- Books with slick covers (Palladium, for example) can have the tag taped on the cover. Please use scotch tape or low-tack tape for these.
- Boxed items or delicate books can have a strong rubber band or length of string put around it. Place the tag under the band/string, and then put a piece of tape over it onto the tag. This keeps the tape off the item, avoiding damage.
I forgot my password for the pre-registration site. Help! (Gen Con auction only)
When will things be sold? Are they in categories?
Most game auctions do schedule the live auction using categories.
The schedule and the categories used varies by the auction and what's submitted. Watch for on-site changes (posted at the auction site).
What's the difference between the Stage and the Store?
The fee to put items into live auction is slightly more than putting them in the consignment store. However, putting an item into live auction doesn’t guarantee a higher price, and sometimes you will get a lower price.
If you have a good idea of the value of an item, or it is a less desired item, then it is best to put that in the consignment store, putting your prices starting at the top price, and then lower prices for subsequent days. Make the price for the last day a price you would take as the lowest price rather than have to take the item home.
If putting the item in the live auction, it is often best to put it at $1.00 with no reserve. It is the job of the auctioneers to get the best price, and it is easier to get people to start low and go up in price, rather than start at a higher price. Sometimes, if two identical items are put in, one at $20 to start and the other at $1 to start, the one that started at $1 goes for more because more people had time to get involved in the bidding.
If my items don't get bids on stage, will you put them into the store for me? (Gen Con auction only)
Sure, just click "Allow Store" in the item registration screen. If checked, and that item does not sell on stage, it will be moved automatically to the store and get a second change at being sold! The sale price in the consignment store will be your reserve.
If you would prefer the item NOT go to the store, just leave that box unchecked when you are creating that item tag. You will see a NO STORE flag on the item tag when it is printed. If a "No Store" item happens to not sell when it crosses the stage, the item will simply be set aside and returned to you at Sunday pick-up.
Note that high-value and fragile items are not moved to the store.
Will my items be in a Collector session? (Gen Con auction only)
We have experts on staff who will decide which items are placed in our collector's session. We handle thousands of games at each auction and we've been doing this for many years, so we're pretty good at identifying collectibles. Among our staff members are experts who have seen and played virtually every game known to man. Those experts separate the collectibles from all the rest. Feel free to call attention to your collectible in the item description...but if something isn't collectible we'll know it, and it'll get put in the appropriate time slot.
Can I look at stuff before it's sold? (Gen Con auction only)
There is no pre-auction inspection period, due to the nature of the event; we get huge amounts of stuff coming in over a 3-day period. But we know that some things you just HAVE to see. Items such as Painted miniatures and ultra-rare collectibles are frequently displayed in showcases, and other special items are often displayed for a short time. And we offer a guarantee that you won't find elsewhere: when you pay for an item, you can (and SHOULD) check to be sure it's exactly as described. If it's not, you can cancel the sale, and we'll change the description accordingly and put it back up. (But you can't just change your mind; if it IS what was described, you are required to pay what you bid. That's a legal thing.)
Can I bid on stuff without being there? I'd rather be gaming...
Yes, you can. This procedure is called "Proxy Bidding". You can't do this for common items, or on items entered into our charity auction, but you can for almost any collectible or special item. First have a staff member bring the item for your inspection (we do the handling, you do the examining). Then show your bidder card and tell us your maximum bid for the item. The information is written on the item tag in a hidden place, and your bid will be part of the action when the item comes up. Your final bid price is typically $1 more than the last "live" bid (sometimes more for high-priced items), so you may get the item for at lot less than your Proxy (maximum) bid. Note that you will be required to open a tab to guarantee your bid, so have a credit or debit card, or cash deposit, handy if you plan on Proxy bidding. While the Gen Con auction allows Proxy Bidding, not all auctions do – check with the auctioneer to make sure.
Can I get money as soon as my stuff sells? (Gen Con auction only)
In our unique Advance Partial Payout system we start paying sellers on Thursday. If your items have sold, you can pick up the cash right away and go hit the dealer room. If your items haven't sold yet, of course you can't get paid yet; check back later.
Can someone else pick up my money for me? (Gen Con auction only)
No, and we require photo ID when consignors pick up their payouts. Within 7 days after the convention we mail out checks to everyone who hasn't picked up their money, so if you get tied up, don't worry about it.
What about my stuff that didn't sell? (Gen Con auction only)
In general, all items not picked up by 2pm local time on Sunday of the convention become auction property, and may be taken by auction volunteers, thrown away, or eaten. You cannot pick up items before 9am Sunday, because there are just too many items we'd have to search to find yours. But although nobody else can pick up your money, someone else CAN pick up your leftovers: they'll need your original seller card, your check in receipt, AND a hand-written signed note from you giving them permission to do this. If you make arrangements with us before Sunday, your leftovers can be stored or mailed to you, but those options are expensive, and you won't like them. Trust me.