This is a website to allow clubs and individuals to buy and sell fish, reptiles, amphibians, food cultures, and other pet keeping supplies.
Create a test auction here. Make sure to uncheck promote this auction, and set the end date for tomorrow.
After you create the auction, you'll get a series of emails walking you through exactly what to do. Most people find running an online auction a lot easier than running an in-person one!
It's completely free. Yes, really.
(But if you are in need of a not-completely-incompetent Django developer and want to give me a job, I wouldn't say no...)
This site does not get involved in disputes
There are a couple things you can do here:
Please limit the lots you sell to fish, reptiles, amphibians, food cultures, and related pet keeping supplies.
You cannot buy or sell anything illegal. If you spot someone selling something illegal, please contact us (using the email address at the bottom of this page) and we'll remove the lot in question and ban the user if they continue to submit illegal items.
The only time this has happened, the user did not know the item they were selling was illegal. (Mike is kind of an idiot like that...)
Yes: When you create a lot, there's an option to sell this lot independently. This site does not charge any fees for selling. However, remember that clubs bring a huge value to you as a seller:
Also remember that clubs provide knowledge and community. This hobby would not be what it is today without them!
This site was designed to be easy to use, and most of the people who have trouble aren't reading the giant red text that says they need to join an auction before they can bid. Sadly, having this question in the FAQ will not help you if you cannot read!
This site does not handle payments If we did, we'd need to charge a 30% fee, like other sites do.
That said, the site will generate invoices for your auction automatically. Here's an example of what that looks like.
You can easily export a list of these invoices to import into Paypal. Note that only people who owe you money are included in this; you'll need to send money to sellers separately. Most clubs mail a check for this to avoid Paypal fees.
You do not need to use this feature -- if you'd prefer to use cash, go right ahead.
While I have better things to do than rat you out to the IRS, you probably do need to charge sales tax in your auctions. This is true whether you use this site or not, don't shoot the messenger
A club auction that has multiple locations to pick up and drop off lots greatly increases participation. You can read more about how these work here
Take a look at the TFCB annual auction that we ran on this site.
You can see the rules, here.
Note: in reality, people spend under a minute reading the rules, so these rules are waaay too long. If you actually read them all, you are the only one
Or you can do what everyone else does, and jump right to the lots that were sold.
Our club treasurer used to spend hours in Excel balancing the books. With this site, not only are invoices generated instantly, but now she can relax on the beach while enjoying a wide variety of fun statistics. Take a look at these stats from our auction for yourself
If you're a math nerd (sadly, a demographic whose venn diagram does not seem to overlap with fish keepers) and you have a suggestion for a stat you'd like to see, let me know. And don't forget to check out the Nifty Numbers section of the site!
Please read carefully -- the lot page will tell you exactly why you can't bid. See How do I bid?, above.
Proxy bidding is a simple way to avoid needing to place multiple bids on a lot during an auction.
It's simplest to explain with an example:
Yes, that happens. You should expect this to happen. Try placing a proxy bid if you really want something, and read the article on how much items likely go for.
If you have a suggestion to help with this, you can leave a comment here.
No. That would encourage people to snipe lots by telling them exactly when to click bid.
The closest thing to a countdown is a Bidding on this lot ends in less than a minute message that appears in the chat exactly a minute before bidding ends.
I was stuck at home during COVID lockdowns with lots of time on my hands, lots of fish, and no way to sell them.
My club hadn't been able to run an auction for 4 months and other folks I talked with were in the same position as I was: fish were breeding everywhere and I had no way to find homes for the fry.
At the same time during the pandemic, fish sales increased between 40 and 200% (depending on whose numbers you believe) and importers and breeders were suddenly unable to ship fish on commercial flights.
This site is an attempt to find good homes for good fish.
This site is owned by the Tropical Fish Club of Burlington.
It's completely open source and the Github repo is here
This site was never intended to make money -- it's about getting fish to people who want them and offering hobbyists the opportunity to interact with each other.
The ads on the site are minimal, and the Tropical Fish Club of Burlington keeps all ad profits.
I built and maintain this site (my email address is at the bottom of this page, in case you want to tell me how much you hate it). Everything is open source, and you can view the source code here
The back end is Django, MariaDB, Daphne, and Redis, and the front end is Jquery and Bootstrap, along with lots of good old fashioned HTML and CSS.
You are welcome to contribute -- by far the best thing you can do is to tell others about the site!
Please also report any issues you find, and make any suggestions that you have.
Here are some examples of great feedback I've gotten from users that's helped make the site better:
If you're tech-savvy, you are welcome to create a pull request for a new feature or a bug fix!
This site is load-tested regularly, and supports around 20 requests per second without issue. In practice, this means that 100-200 users can all simultaneously bid, browse lots, etc., without experiencing any slowdowns. The site does start to slow down when more people than that are using it, but for most fish club auctions, this is more than enough.
If you anticipate that you'll need to have more users than this, please reach out and let's discuss it further.
It ticks up by one every time the page is loaded -- except that logged-in users only count once. This means that if one account views a lot 20 times, it will only record a single view for that account.
As you browse the site, the categories you view and bid on are recorded.
Your interest in each category is then calculated (bids are worth 10x what a view is. There's a bit of randomness involved, too, just to keep things interesting). Finally, lots you haven't viewed are shown to you.
Of course, this only happens if you sort the lot list by recommended, or are viewing a single lot. If you're viewing a lot from an auction, only other lots from that auction will be shown.
We never sell data on your interests or do anything with them other than give you recommended lots and make this cool chart.