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Auction XXVI

Mike Koop


It's spring, and time for the annual migration of astronomical paraphernalia from one garage to another! On Sunday, April 9, 2006, an astronomical auction and swap meet will be conducted at Houge Park in San Jose, sponsored by the San Jose Astronomical Association. The SJAA Auction is a great opportunity for beginners to purchase their first telescope at a great price! Experienced observers often find equipment they need for their next observing project, from OIII filters to finders to star charts. All kinds of interesting items are found in the auction.

It's an even year, so Kevin Medlock will be our auctioneer. Those who have observed his performance in previous auctions have learned to appreciate his skillful evaluation of classical astronomical items on the spot. Great entertainment for all!

Doors open at 11:30 am to register material for the auction. All material must be registered by 12:30 p.m. to allow sufficient time to enter the items into the computer and to allow bidders time to view the auction material. Over the years, we have discovered that the maximum number of items we can sell before the audience gets restless is about 100. Please limit yourself to four items maximum for the auction. In order to reserve your spot in the auction, please preregister your items so that people know what you are bringing as described below. The club reserves the right to accept only appropriate material for the auction.

The auction will begin at 1 p.m., and will run as long as needed. Seller may specify a minimum bid, which if not met, will return the item back to the seller with no commission applied. After the auction, buyers and sellers settle up using one check to (or from) SJAA and claim their items. Seller pays 10% commission, with a cap of $50 for any one item. We do not handle charge cards. There is no fee for bidder cards.

After the auction, material for the swap meet will be allowed into the hall, about 3 p.m The swap also allows people some additional haggling time for those items that were optimistically priced by the seller in the auction, or to sell those odds and ends items which were better off being in a swap, or turned away due to the 100 item auction limit. Sellers are encouraged to bring items that would interest the astronomical audience such as astronomical, science, computer, or tech items. Joe Sunseri of Earth and Sky Adventure Products will be there with many fine new and used items, including eyepieces, finders, and binoculars. At the swap, each buyer pays the seller. Sellers are to keep track of their sales, and pay a 10% commission, as for the auction. There are no table fees. All commissions from the auction and the swap are tax-deductible, as SJAA is a 501(c)(3)educational organization.

The SJAA offers free advertising if you preregister your items for the auction. Please email the auction team at with a description of the item and a picture if possible. All items submitted by 6 PM on Saturday, April 8th will be added to the auction website. This allows the bidders to find out how much that APO scope is really worth, so you will be more likely to sell it.

Part of running a successful auction is to make sure that there are people who are new to astronomy in attendance. We can use your help to make this so! Go to the auction website linked off the main page, download, and print a auction poster to display. Post them at the bulletin boards at work, at church, at your local library, or where you think people might be interested. Hand it out to a friend who has expressed interest in getting a telescope. You get the idea! Thanks for your assistance!

For more about SJAA, visit our web site or email to the above address. See you there!

Directions to Hogue Park are on page 7.


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