Non-spammy ways to spread the word about an auction?
August 7, 2004 12:17 AM   Subscribe

Help me figure out this auction marketing thing.

I'm thinking about selling some items from a defunct tv show. Since the current market for the show appears slow on eBay, and its fanbase seems to be pretty scattered. Fanfic, episodes guides, FAQs, etc. but not much in the way of communities. So I'm not confident an auction would be noticed by interested collectors without spreading word of mouth. Is that how this works? And if so, are there generally-accepted ground rules for (tasteful, non-spammy ways of) putting the word out?
posted by nakedcodemonkey to Media & Arts (17 answers total)
Post on AskMe? Being serious, they may not be a market for your items on eBay - I tried selling a bunch of magazines recently, and none of them sold.
posted by Orange Goblin at 3:03 AM on August 7, 2004

Email the folks who may be interested (the Fanfic writers, episode guide and FAQ compilers), tell them you're planning to auction various items to do with the show, thought you might be interested, and ask if they'd like to be informed when you *do* auction them. They can only say 'no'.

I mean, realistically, how else could you sell this stuff, aside from eBay?
posted by armoured-ant at 8:58 AM on August 7, 2004

unless you just made a site simply to list, detail/document, and sell them, spread the word, and waited for offers. (like some used book places still do, and that historical hair post magullo made the other day)
posted by amberglow at 9:13 AM on August 7, 2004

Are we talking about The Mysterious Cities of Gold?

posted by crazy finger at 9:49 AM on August 7, 2004

I might be wrong, but in my experience, if people are interested in collecting it, and if you list it right, they will know as soon as it's listed, extra promotion might help (emailling people that bought similar merchandise for example) but probably not much.

Or you could wait til a movie of the show is made and then reap the rewards.
posted by drezdn at 10:04 AM on August 7, 2004

Response by poster: Crazy finger, sorry we're not.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 10:17 AM on August 7, 2004

Response by poster: I doubt a movie would happen. Usually the studios like to cash in on shows with a demonstrably big merchandising market, which is not the case for this one.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 10:20 AM on August 7, 2004

Response by poster: Armoured-ant, I guess what part of my question is: is directly emailing a bunch of webmasters considered acceptable among fandom communities? Commercial, unsolicited, mass...this sounds dangerously close to spamming, and this stuff sure isn't worth putting my email account at risk of shutdown.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 10:48 AM on August 7, 2004

Sounds like spam to me. Very very tiny spam, but spam. And I don't anticipate that it would get you many more buyers, either.
posted by majick at 11:02 AM on August 7, 2004

Armoured-ant, I guess what part of my question is: is directly emailing a bunch of webmasters considered acceptable among fandom communities?


If there isn't a message board out there for it, then there's not really a place to advertise your stuff. Message boards are usually the only place acceptable to do that with, and, even then, it tends to be a bit iffy.

Have you checked livejournal as well? There might be a community there, and I imagine they wouldn't mind a bit of adspam, because god knows it seems all the communities I'm on have those.

What's the show, anyways? I might know a few places...
posted by Katemonkey at 11:37 AM on August 7, 2004

Yeah, what katemonkey said- what show? I've been in fandom a long time, and might be able to point you in the right direction.
posted by headspace at 1:48 PM on August 7, 2004

Now is just not a good time to sell anything collectible on eBay, because the market is down due to the poor economy. Unless you have primo pieces that are recession proof, the stuff just won't sell for as much as you could get three or four years ago. Gloom aside, I'd say just put them on eBay and let people find it themselves. Serious collectors interested in buying already browse eBay regularly; you don't need to remind them to look. (My wild guess for the TV show: X-Files.)
posted by MegoSteve at 3:18 PM on August 7, 2004

Response by poster: Hmm, I'd assumed it was bad form to get that specific but <shrug> apparently not. Okay, the memorabilia is from Strange Luck. MegoSteve, your guess was not, timeslot-wise, that far off though of course SL hasn't a tenth of XF's fanbase.

Headspace and Katemonkey, if you do have leads I'd be grateful. Though if MegoSteve is right, maybe I should just skip it. There's no rush.

Unless you have primo pieces that are recession proof

Okay, now you've got me curious. What fits in that category? I don't collect or trade, so have no idea what's normally considered primo.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 5:28 PM on August 7, 2004

Oooh, goodies! My best friend and I still have the very much happies for DB Sweeney, and SL schwag would be awesome for her Christmas present. Also, I have more than a few SL fans on my LJ flist, so if you'd like to make a list and give me some contact info, I can pass it along.
posted by headspace at 7:05 PM on August 7, 2004

I'm talking about holy grails of collecting categories when I mention primo pieces, naked, and I'm speaking pretty broadly, because even a few years ago, those kinds of things went into the stratosphere biddingwise. Now they're just in the tropopause. Just as an example, I collect Megos. A grail in that category might be this Logan's Run prototype which recently sold for $3700. Bidding was impressive, but a few years ago, it might have possibly reached $5000+. It's still got significant value and will tend to hold it within a range because there will always be fewer of these than there are collectors that want it.
posted by MegoSteve at 7:26 PM on August 7, 2004

If it's those giant novelty playing cards from Card Sharks, I am totally all over this.
posted by PrinceValium at 8:16 PM on August 7, 2004

Response by poster: Oh okay, thanks for the info, Mego.

Headspace, no kidding? Yeah, that'd be great. Please do make that list, meanwhile I'll do the same and touch base with you in a day or two. A christmas gift. What a neat idea. I know someone crazy about The Godfather and you've just planted an idea.

Sorry to disappoint, PrinceValium. No cards.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 9:52 PM on August 7, 2004

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