Sunday, 19 June 2011

Going once, going twice, I just keep going: Meeroos Auctions

Meeroos auctions are a lot of fun. If you have any interest in buying for selling Meeroos I suggest you check a few out. I do mean a few and I will tell you why a bit further down. Even if you do not have a Meeroo to sell or any plans to purchase one you might still learn a few things from watching an auction. It gets more exciting if you do have a Meeroo to sell. Or if you are looking to bid on something special and hoping to get a deal. There are certainly deals to be had and the auctions are not nearly as scary as they might appear if you have never participated in one before.

Auctions are a good place to buy and sell more unusual, rarer Meeroos. A normal Meeroo without any special traits is not going to be cost effective to sell in most cases. Where auctions really come into their own is with rare Meeroos and Meeroos with exceptional heritage. The parentage of Meeroos can be highlighted better in an auction than a store. Many of the people attending auctions have an understanding of the importance of genetics and they pay attention when Mother and Father data is read out. If you have a Meeroo that is not overly special itself but has rare trait parents; an auction may be the way to go.

Of course special Meeroos are even better, sometimes ultra new traits are only available at auction. Attending an auction or two will give you an idea of the current value of new traits and where prices have dropped to on older traits. The secondary market can be a volatile place and prices change rapidly. Store and marketplace prices take a few days to catch up to auction valuations. Some store owners are very active with pricing and stay right on top of current market prices. Others are less so and their prices may not be indicative of the current market value of a specific Meeroo. You can go to a lot of markets and still be unsure what the Meeroo you have, or want, is worth. Attend an auction or two you should have a much more accurate idea of what you should ask, or pay. [All Meeroo value is, of course, subjective. They have no objective value, but are worth what people are willing to pay or what it would cost for you to be willing to part with one.]

Not all auctions are the same. I am not going to use any auction house names here but some are better than others. It is all about the auctioneer. The auctioneer brings their personality to the table and they use it to sell Meeroos. An interesting auctioneer can hold the audiences attention, keeping people interested and, most importantly, in their seats. A good auctioneer brings excitement to the auction, they talk up the Meeroos and point out their rare traits and parents genetics. A good auctioneer makes the auction process fun and keeps you entertained. The last thing you want is someone you can not understand, or who talks in an eternal monotone. A good auctioneer is organized and fluid. While there are always problems with everything in SL, having a good speaker at the helm makes for an enjoyable experience. Before you book an auction space, drop by an auction and check out the auctioneer. If you are not impressed your potential buyers probably will not be either. The more auctions you observe the better you will be able to separate the good from the bad ones. Keep looking until you find an auctioneer you like.

Check how quickly the auction you are interested in fills up. If they still have over half their slots open half an hour before the auction starts... well it might be an off day, or the middle of the week, or it might be an unpopular auction. The popular auctions fill up fast. You may find you have to reserve your slot almost immediately after the preceding auction ends. Auctions that are filled far in advance tend to be well attended and, for me, much more exciting for buyers and sellers both.

You do need to be able to run voice for most, if not all, auctions. The auctioneer will be using voice to conduct the auction while bidding is done by shouting in chat. This ensures that the auctioneer can see/hear your chat and does not miss any bids. I would not suggest trying to enter, or bid, in a voice auction if you can not use voice on your computer. To prepare you for one thing that amused me: some people say "Meeroos" in, well, unexpected ways. I do not know what the correct, or official, pronunciation is. I do know that hearing people say it differently than I do makes me smile.

The process for entering your Meeroo in most auctions is as follows: A few hours [or more] before your auction starts you go to the auction area and select the slot, or slots that you want. The norm seems to be to limit individuals to two (2) slots each. Some auction houses allow multiple items on a single slot so long as they are sold as a lot, not individually. After paying the rental Object for the slot you want you will need to join the auction house Group so you can rez and fill out a notecard about your Meeroo. Often the Group invite is automatic when you pay to rent the slot, other times you may have to find a group joiner sign or Object. If you find you can not rez your Meeroo it may be because you are not in the land group or are not wearing the correct Group tag. There are different guidelines on when you can and should rez your Meeroos for auction. You can normally find that information in the notecard you fill out for the auction. That notecard will need to be filled out with all of the important information about your Meeroo. The auctioneers can not do their job whilst camera controlling about and clicking on Meeroos, so they work off notecards. It is important that you get all of the information requested on the notecard and that it is correct. Most auction houses request that you get your notecard turned in no later than two (2) hours before the auction starts.

A word on pricing: one way to keep the auction fun and exciting rather than scary or nerve racking is to set your minimum price at what you would be happy to accept for the Meeroo you are selling. Ask yourself if you would be happy selling the Meeroo for the opening bid and no more. Do not price your Meeroo so low that you could be disappointed with the price you get for it. If you feel your Meeroo is worth L$3,000, then set its minimum bid to that. Even if you saw one go for L$2,500 yesterday, or you think if you start low people will bid it above 3K. That way you can sit back and enjoy the auction and if your Meeroo does not sell then you are only out your slot fee, normally L$50 to L$100. You can always re-list it again another day, or at another auction.

Be aware that auctions are lengthy. There are speed auctions that complete in half an hour but that is not the standard. Auctions can take quite some time depending on the number of slots they have and how many are filled. I estimate it can take two (2) to five (5) minutes a slot in a normal auction, sometimes more. If you are slot number ten (10) you might be waiting almost an hour for your turn. Of course if you are there to buy as well then it is not really waiting, is it? Just be aware that you will need to be present when your Meeroo is auctioned. As soon as the auction completes you need to be able to set the Meeroo for sale so the winner can buy it. If you are not there your Meeroo can not be sold. Auctions are time consuming but worth the effort especially when that clear eye goes for twice what you expected for it, or you buy that teacup you wanted for half what you thought you would have to pay.

Final thought: If you are not having fun, you are doing it wrong. For me Meeroos are all about having fun. If you are only involved with Meeroos to make a profit then auctions may, or may not be for you. If you want to have a good time and maybe make a few L$ in the process I suggest you check some out. You might find that perfect Meeroo for less than you expected.

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