Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong (shadesong) wrote,
Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong

Auctions: eBay vs. LJ

I held the auctions on LJ this year instead of eBay, because

1. Fandom auctions on LJ have been successful in the past, and
2. eBay takes a big chunk out of the proceeds, whereas auctioning on LJ ensures that every penny actually goes to BARCC.

So, as with any experiment, I found a few problems.

1. Word didn't get spread about this like it did for other LJ auctions. It did, but the different in scale between this and saveours00j, helpvera, and adoptingcat was very significant. My working theory on this is that people are more likely to get the word out when the fundraiser is for a specific person in dire need of immediate funds, rather than an organization that is also in dire need of funds, but is not about to lose a house or a pet or anything.

2. The comment-in-thread issue is crazymaking. dulcinbradbury offered during the 'thon to take on the huge task of commenting to all of the people bidding outside of the thread to tell them to bid properly, and commenting to all the people who'd been outbid outside of the thread and therefore received no notification. I sing praises to her, because if she hadn't done that, I would've had to spend all day today doing it, as opposed to the hour or two I'll have to spend on it later tonight.

3. Since anonymous commenters don't get e-mail notification of replies, I worry that they won't be aware they've been bid up. I announced it on Facebook, but if you know any of the anonymous commenters, please nudge them to keep an eye on the items they're bidding on!

Altogether, eBay's a better system, because it's all automated and it notifies everyone. But that extra-big chunk taken out of charity auctions does tick me off - they take money out at the eBay level and also through MissionFish, which you must list all charity auctions through or they'll delete your items. EDIT: conscience points out that now eBay only accepts PayPal, which charges additional fee - so that's three separate places where an eBay auction steals the money you thought was going to charity.

So for net year, I'll be looking for something automated that doesn't steal money from the charity. Anyone know of anything? Or do I have to get someone to code something? :)

And i the meantime - many kickass items are still going for cheap, so run on over to blogforbarcc - and if you can give those auctions a last-minute shout-out, please do!
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