Let’s be brief.

The Auction takes place about every 6 weeks this year. (Not sure about next year.)

As the weeks have passed, I’ve found ways to quantify what the kids like.

March 2013 Auction Data Dispersion

And, due largely to my wife’s enforcement of a budget on my awesome ideas (I love you), I added a column to quantify my own investment.

Updated Table

The “Bang Per Buck” column divides the student cost (Poker Chips) over my cost (dollars). A low ratio means “not worth Mr. Vaudrey’s money”.

And I played the Price Is Right theme, which you can download here for free, along with tens of thousands of other themes.

Here’s this month’s cost breakdown, including currency conversions for my least viewed countries:

  • the rupee from Mauritius (an island by Madagascar, about 10 times the size of Washington, D.C.)
  • and Azerbaijan (Maine-sized central European country).
  • Because… why not?

    April Auction Costs

    My wife was thrilled to hear that this auction only cost $11.52 out of pocket.

    Many cost boxes are blank because they were stuff I had around the house. The reason that stuff still sold is this: Hype.

    Middle schoolers are the puppies of the consumer world; if you get them excited about something, they will pee money all over the carpet.

    "Are those Hot Chee-tos!?! OMGOMGOMG!"

    “Are those Hot Chee-tos!?! OMGOMGOMG!”

    “Grandma’s Specialty Items” were just crap from the Goodwill box at my in-law’s house.

    But, with added hype, it was one of the most anticipated items each period. Just put on a dramatic song, reach into the bag and slowly… ever so slowly pull out…

    …another bag. (Each class burst out laughing at this point). Straight face again… open the bag… slowly reach in… and pull out…

    another bag. Then peek the corner of the item out of the bag. At this point, they just have to know. What’s in the bag?*

    See the look on his face? He just HAS to know!

    See the look on his face? He just HAS to know!

    Another sweet hype-builder (or cost-inflator) was adding buzzwords to the description of the items. I learned that from McDonald’s and the home shopping network. “Deluxe”   “featuring”   “…but that’s not all”   “you also get…”

    Finally, the Box of Anything But Booze was just a bunch of Goodwill stuff in an old Bacardi box. The hype went like this:

    “Students, there could be anything in there! It could be… a pony? A dictionary? Stickers? It could be anything … anything but booze.”

    I put on the dramatic song and dramatically pulled a dollar from my wallet and put that in the box right before bidding.

    …oh… shoot, I didn’t include that in my spreadsheet. I gotta go.

    *Credit where credit is due: I learned hype from the master, Dave Burgess. Follow him on Twitter and buy his book, Teach Like A Pirate