Author Topic: Hold a Swap Meet instead of an Auction  (Read 2345 times)

Dave Ittner

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Hold a Swap Meet instead of an Auction
« on: December 21, 2015, 01:31:42 PM »
Hi folks,
 
SJAA conducts an Annual Auction each Spring. It's a great social event that allows longtime astronomy friends to see each other, it provides a way to buy and sell astronomy gear locally, and it serves as an important fundraiser for the SJAA. However, we’ve had a number of complaints about the auction.   The biggest issue we have heard is that anyone who buys or sells an item has to stay to the very end of the auction.  It is at that time that the books are “settled”, when the money from the buyers is collected and the sellers receive their proceeds from the sale.

This makes for a very long day for everyone involved, not just the buyers and sellers but also the volunteers who run the event.

Last month, we conducted the Annual Swap Meet and raised almost as much money as we did at the auction but with a number of significant benefits to all involved. Sellers were able to set up their wares and negotiate with potential buyers on the spot. The sellers were able to leave any time they felt like it.   Buyers were able to come in and examine all of the available items and also negotiate with sellers.  Once they had items in hand and did not find anything else of interest, they were free to leave. There was significantly less effort invested by those hosting this event.   So overall it appears that it is a win-win-win situation.

The leadership of the SJAA Swap and Auction programs is asking for input on this idea of dropping our Annual Auction and instead replacing it with another Swap Meet.   That would make it 2 swap meets per year.  One in the spring and one in the fall.
 
The club will advertise to the local amateur astronomy community as well as to the general public so as to maximize participation for all. 

Please reply here (or email sjaamentor@gmail.com) with your comments.

Warm regards and best wishes for the Holidays,

Dave Ittner
President
SJAA

John Pierce

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Re: Hold a Swap Meet instead of an Auction
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2015, 01:18:12 PM »
as an interested outsider, sure, go for it.   but I'm not a voting SJAA club member, so my opinion holds about as much weight as a bag of neutrinos.

Dave Ittner

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Re: Hold a Swap Meet instead of an Auction
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2015, 02:56:40 PM »
hehe John, we (SJAA and myself) very much want everyone's thoughts.  The auction serves the entire astro community which is far larger than just the SJAA membership.  So this change will impact a lot of folks.   Please do share your thoughts and concerns. 

Dave Ittner

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Re: Hold a Swap Meet instead of an Auction
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2016, 06:07:04 PM »
Hey folks, we solicited comments from the astro community and the members of SJAA and the response we got back was for us to conduct another swap meet instead of an auction.    So that is what we will be doing this coming March.   The details of the event will be posted a month or so ahead of time. 

I would like to thank all of those who took the time to respond with their very thoughtful comments.

FWIW we are also looking into holding 3 swap meets per year (versus the 1 auction in the spring and 1 swap meet in the fall).  One every 4 months.   That should provide folks with plenty of opportunities to buy and sell astro gear.