No one knew what would happen on June 9, 2021, when Ring 216 held its annual auction for the first time online over Zoom. Would there be sellers? Would there be buyers? There were indeed ten sellers, with were some three dozen attendees onscreen. Unlike a normal auction, the potential buyers were unable to browse the wares ahead of time, nor could they look forward to taking immediate possession of their items. As the new rules specified, at the start of the meeting each seller was given two minutes to outline what they had brought to the auction. When the auction itself began, each seller had ten minutes to make the sales. For the delivery of the items, the buyer and seller were to arrange for pickup or delivery between themselves.
Despite these barriers, there was enjoyment in getting a peek into other magicians’ closets, and quite a few sales were made. The sellers included Dan Chan; Mike Della Penna, with a charming mirror box; Mitch Kothe, who found a buyer for the “Box Office” mentalism effect; Al Skinner; Steven Goldstein; Tom Collette, offering a Losander Bubble Zombie among other items; Alan Kahn, displaying a chair suspension; Suyash Joshi; Sohum Modha, successfully selling “Sheer Luck”; and David Martinez, whose “Triple Split” sale was the item that sold for the highest price of the evening; David also auctioned items that had been donated to the club. Some other items that gained multiple bids included “Mint Box,” a set of Ninja rings, the Multiplying Bottles, and a bag of wands.
The experiment in online auctions was a fun way to revisit magic history, but it is hoped there will be no need to repeat the experiment next year.