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Auction XXV

Jim Van Nuland


It's spring, and time for the annual migration of astronomical paraphernalia from one garage to another! On Sunday, April 24, 2005, 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. We will have the auction first, followed by a swap, to allow 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. It is an odd year, so Jay Freeman 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 12:00 p.m. (or only slightly before) to register material for the auction, and view the auction material. The club reserves the right to accept only appropriate material for the auction so that the auction will run smoothly. 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. or perhaps earlier. Sellers are encouraged to bring items that would interest the astronomical audience such as astronomical, science, computer, or tech items. The SJAA reserves the right to turn away inappropriate items for the swap. Joe Sunseri of Earth and Sky Adventure Products will be there with many fine new and used items. 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.

Do you have a large item such as a telescope? Please email the auction team at with a description of the scope and a picture if possible. We will add it to the auction website for some pre-auction publicity. This allows the bidders to find out how much that APO scope is really worth, so you will be more likely to sell it. Do you have 5 or more items? We suggest pre-registering at the above email address as much as possible to avoid a crush at the registration table. For more about SJAA, visit our web site at or email Jim Van Nuland at the above address. See you there!


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