01-JUN-2020: FB UPDATEnewsblog01-Jun-2020

UPDATE No. 46.

Monthly update on progress of the Golly reference material and other topics for 1-Jun-20…

Welcome back everyone... you might have noticed that I skipped an update last month. This wasn't intentional... I kept meaning to get around to it but by the time I actually did, the month had gone - sorry about that. The last few months have been a funny time for the whole country. My line of work caused me to be exceptionally busy for an extended period. Hopefully we will start to slowly get back to the new normal in a safe way over the coming months.

So this update must cover two months... April and May... it will come as no surprise to you that almost the entire time has been taken up by creation, tweaks and running of the new Golly Auction. Its great to see that it is off to a brilliant start. Over one hundred collectors have registered to vote and over fifty were successful in securing one of the 320 badges which have appeared in the five auctions so far. The auction functionality is fully automated to ensure the complete integrity of the auction process and all auctions are overseen by the Golly Checklist team so you can be confident that all items are genuine Robertsons... in particular we take extra care to provide you with the highest quality images and detailed descriptions so you can see exactly what you are bidding on.

Some notable highlights from the GOLLY AUCTION 005 include:

  • PROPAT Standard for £237
  • A perfect PREWAR CRICKETER (SUSSEX) for £115
  • A beautiful PREWAR TENNIS player for less than £100
  • ... and the first of a number SILVER PENDANTS for £235

(all prices subject to fees and postage).

It has taken us a while to get to this point... I remember first discussing it with Colin around August 2016 (when eBay made that fateful decision)... but it wasn't until recenlty that we decided to pursue it for real. As with everything we do at the Golly Checklist, we prefer to take our time to get it right than rush it through, rough and ready. When designing the new Golly Auction we spent months testing it, with many pseudo-auctions held over lots of weekends - only launching once we were happy with how it performed. After each round of tests we went back to the web design team with a list of changes before retesting. This means the auction software has been custom designed to meet our exact needs. We could have opted for a much cheaper 'off the shelf' solution but after trialling two it was clear we would need to make compromises that we weren't willing to accept. What we have now is a unique piece of software built directly into the back end of the Golly Checklist website, so it links up seamlessly to a single Golly Guide user account. The biggest benefit of this custom build is that we now full control over any enhancements or updates we wish to make. For the next few auctions we intend to concentrate on the high end badges... listing only ten per month at present. This was another conscious choice. As we are in the initial launch phase of the Auction we closely monitor the performance of the system each time and make further tweaks as necessary. I'm very pleased to say that we have not had a single major issue so far. I have asked the web design team to make 11 further tweaks to the functionality in time for the next auction at the end of June - some are trivial that won't be noticed by bidders, others are more significant that will enhance the auction experience. If we manage to get these completed and tested before the next auction is due to start (on the 20-June) I will share details of these with you. In the meantime, thanks for your support and I hope you manage to pick up some nice items for your collection. If you have any feedback on the auction - however small - please do let us know.

In other news, we continue to receive reports from collectors about various interesting variations they have discovered. The lockdown period seems to have given people a bit more time to enjoy their hobby so there have been more reports than usual. We are looking at ways of sharing these with GG subscribers. It's early days yet, so more on this later. One aspect that the Golly Auction has required of us is not something we have pursued very actively in the past.... Marketing! We have always taken a laid back approach to promoting the Golly Checklist material in the past, believing that the true collectors will reach out and find us with a little searching. However, in order to give the Auctions the best chance of success from the outset we have had to be more proactive. So from the start we have trialled a number of outlets to promote the Golly Auction. Including posting on the various other Facebook Golly groups, direct email marketing, mailshots and website announcements. The success of each of these sources in getting through to new collectors has been mixed. We still have a number of other marketing avenues to pursue and look forward to launching these prior to the next auction. Once we have tried them all out this will feed into our decisions for future promotions and indeed the future direction of the Golly Checklist material in general.

The next auction is scheduled to open from 20-Jun-2020 for all subscribers to the Golly Guide and conclude on 27-Jun-2020 at 9pm. As usual, Golly Guide subscribers get a 50% discount on commission for all successful purchases.

GOLLY GUIDE UPDATES

The Golly Guide updates have taken a back seat whilst we get the Auctions on their feet. We look forward to continuing with the updates in due course.

That's all for this month...

See you next month for another update!