Auction Information

Last updated March 28, 2015.

Con or Bust’s annual online auction is its principal source of funds for the entire year. In 2015, it will run from Monday, April 20, 2015 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern (time zone conversions) through Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. (time zone conversions, countdown). New this year: last-minute bidding on an item will extend the bidding for that item.

This page contains information on bidding on auctions, offering something for auction, and paying for your auction winnings.

Bidding on Auctions

How to Bid

Find things to bid on by searching over in the sidebar, looking at the 2015 auction tags, or sorting/filtering the Google Docs index (manually generated; the bidding information is generally not updated until the second half of the auction).

(Please note that publishers, authors, and other donors have generally donated books and other items on the understanding that they will be bid on by fans for their personal use, and not by resellers. Please respect this so that people will feel comfortable continuing to donate to the auction.)

Then leave a comment stating the amount of your bid (in U.S. dollars), with a working email address, before the end of the auction (see below). If you like, check the box that says “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” to make sure you don’t miss any later bids. You can also enter your email address where it says “Subscribe without commenting.”

Where multiple identical items are being auctioned in the same post, and the top n bids win, each consecutive bid must still increase, for the reasons stated here.

When to Bid

The auction ends Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. (time zone conversions, countdown). However, last-minute bidding on a specific item will extend the deadline for bids on that item. Specifically, if a bid on an item is received in the ten minutes before bidding was due to close, bidding on that item will be automatically extended by a ten-minute block.


  • The last valid bid on an item is received on May 3 at 3:45 p.m. = bidding on that item closes at 4:00 p.m., the last high bid wins.

  • A valid bid on another item is received on May 3 at 3:50 p.m. = bidding on that item now closes at 4:10 p.m.
    • And either no further bids are received between 4:00 and 4:10 p.m. = bidding is over at 4:10 p.m. and the last high bid wins; or,

    • Another bid is received between 4:00 and 4:10 p.m. = bidding continues until 4:20 p.m. Repeat as necessary.

If an item’s bidding period has been extended by last-minute bids, the bidding period will automatically extend until no bids have been received in a ten-minute block. I have chosen the auction end because I expect to be available to answer last-minute questions; but my intervention is not required for bidding on specific items to be extended.

Offering Something for Auction

Once again, all you need is an email address: just fill out the form on the Submit an Auction page. You’ll get an email confirmation when you submit the auction post and another when I approve and publish the post.

(If you have images for the post and you don’t have your own image host, you can upload them here and I will insert them into your post.)

Common things to offer are books and advance reading copies (ARCs), naming rights to a story character, jewelry, baked goods, editing, knitted goods, and so forth, but feel free to offer any good or service that’s legal, practical, and morally and ethically appropriate. You can also look at past years’ tags (2013, 2014) or indexes (2013, 2014) to get a sense of what’s been offered previously.

Notes and suggestions:

  • Shipping costs: the default is that the person offering the item will pay for shipping. If the cost of international shipping is an issue, people have in the past shipped internationally after the bidder has offered to donate extra to Con or Bust, or have limited their auctions to domestic shipping only. If you think this may be an issue, please check shipping costs ahead of time and make a note in your auction post. (Also, if you’re offering things media mail, please note that means US-only.)

    For authors auctioning their own books, an additional possibility is to see if your book is carried by the Book Depository, which ships free worldwide. If it is, you can borrow an idea from E.C. Myers and offer to send your book to international bidders through that site and separately mail a signed, personalized bookplate.

  • Food: if offering food, either figure out what you need to do to ship internationally or restrict your offer to your own country.
  • Items to be made specifically for the auction: if you are offering original creative work to a prompt, or custom-made crafts, please consider whether you’ve done anything like that before and what a realistic delivery time is. I would like to avoid people winning stories, knitted goods, etc. that the seller has trouble creating within the delivery time stated.

Paying for Your Winnings

Con or Bust accepts payment through PayPal. On the “review your donation” screen, please click “Add special instructions to the seller” and indicate whether this is a donation or payment for an auction item. If it’s an auction item, also specify the seller & item. This simplifies my bookkeeping tremendously.

If PayPal is absolutely impossible, please contact me at and we’ll work something out.