Art, Charity Auctions, Gaming, Personal Life, Star Craft 2, World of Warcraft

BlizzCon Charity Auction – Lessons for the Organizers?

MineI am beyond squeeing at this: I have won the BlizzCon Charity Auction for this gorgeous statue of The Queen of Blades. The Kerrigan statue has previously been a gift for employees, and is a limited edition. As soon as I saw it on the list of items when this year’s auction was announced and instantly knew I would be bidding. The husband and I agreed on a max we were willing to commit to. And the nervous wait started. I went to see it at BlizzCon and could barely look at it. I was afraid to fall even more in love and be disappointed.

You know me and Kerrigan. She’s my girl.

I got up at 3:00 AM this morning, because the eBay auction ended at 4:00 AM my time. I had not placed a bid before then. I’ve learned a thing or two when it comes to auctions, and I definitely did not want to show my hand early. Nor did I officially confirm on Twitter or FaceBook what I was bidding on. No need to get some troll to ruin it all for me.

We also won an auction last year, for the Diablo Box art signed and framed. It’s spectacular, and I feel super fortunate to have it.

But the auction felt completely different this year. And we spent way more money last year. And the thing is, I would have spent the same amount this year, but didn’t have to do so. And I feel the new format is why we did not spend as much.

This year, the BlizzCon charity auction organizers chose to make the auction available not only to BlizzCon attendees but also to anyone who could access eBay. And the auction, as a result, was ‘on’ for much longer than 3 days. There are a few reasons why I think this was a mistake:

1. The excitement of bidding while there disappeared. We were trying to speculate WHO our competition was.  We continually came back to the art to check our bid, and we were fairly sure who our competitors were. This was a game in itself.

2. We bid in far higher increments. Because of the way eBay bidding works, we bid in $10 or $20 increments (I can’t remember what the exact increasing dollar amounts are). There was no need to strategically bid ‘just enough’ to let your competition know you were serious, yet not so much that you felt you couldn’t go higher. And my husband and I actually bid AGAINST each other last year, convinced that we would scare off the main other bidders if they thought there were three bidders seriously in the race. It did scare them off, but we probably spent more than we had to. Of course this was great for the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOOC), but we spent more.

So this year, when I started bidding, I bid as low as I had to. Of course thinking of my own pocket book. There was no one to ‘scare off’ – and I tried securing my bid by telling eBay how much I would in the end probably stop at. I was willing to pay more than double what I finally paid. I’m not saying they would have gotten quite that much if  the bidding had been ‘live’ at BlizzCon, but I probably would have made my opening bid higher in order to hopefully scare anyone else off.

3. The auction end time was ridiculous. 4 AM mountain???? Really??? More people might have watched the end if it had been at a reasonable time. I watched many of the auctions rather closely, and very few of them went for much more than they were going for at the end of last weekend – the end of BlizzCon.

4. The whole idea that you ‘bought it at BlizzCon’ is completely gone.

These are just my personal feelings. I’m happy I won at a price I feel is a bargain, but Children’s Hospital of Orange County could have gotten more from me.

Anyway, I’m super happy – and feel fortunate, and can’t wait to get her home on or before December 15th!



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