Going Once, Going Twice Sold!

Cleveland, April 29th, 2000 - No major goldfish event would be complete without an auction of fish from importers and US breeders. And no GFSA event would be complete without TJ Mullarky as auctioneer, emcee, and general voice of the GFSA.

TJ Mullarky as the head auctioneer

True to tradition, TJ was the auctioneer on Saturday night, as fish and some dry goods were auctioned off. The GFSA held a 70-30 auction, with 30% of the proceeds donated to the GFSA and 70% of the price going to the person offering the items. There were dozens of bags of fish, assorted foods and products (with more of these dry goods to follow on Sunday), and other items. But the fish were the focus.

There was everything from one-half inch long fry to five-inch adults on the auction block. As TJ skillfully wheedled and cajoled that extra dollar or two for each item (occasionally throwing in his own bid for a particularly nice fish), there were still many exceptional bargains. A bag of five blue Veiltails, with inch-long bodies, for $12. Four 3-inch long "midnight" Bristol Shubunkins for $7 (an unusual variety that gradually turns all black as they age). A US-bred four-inch black Butterfly-Tail Demekin for $15. And many more!

A part of the crowd at the start of the auction

The auction lasted for several hours, with a large and enthusiastic crowd, primed by the earlier featured speaker and the pizza dinner. Observers, looking for a special fish to bring back with them from Cleveland, became bidders. As runners carried the bagged fish around for bidders to inspect, many found themselves caught up in the moment, bidding on fish that perhaps they had not originally considered.

A volunteer runner prepares to carry a bag of baby Veiltails around for inspection

There were many US-bred fish for sale. Some notable US breeders chose to auction fish rather than exhibit. The result was that there were many more breeder fish in the auction than in the show. But this was fine! This stock was distributed to more people and the GFSA was able to share in part of the proceeds.