new rule for October 2018All large items will be listed as Buy-It-Now for the first hour (until noon), so sellers must declare a Buy-It-Now price.  After the first hour, the tanks will be entered randomly throughout the auction, spaced from noon until the last item.

MAS Auction Rules & Guidelines for Sellers


  1. All items must be brought to the auction by the Seller, unless a pre-arrangement is made with the Auction Chair.
  2. DO NOT remove items from or move items between auction tables unless instructed to by the auctioneer or a designated assistant; you may lift bags to inspect, but please put the item back when done.
  3. Both Unsold/Unclaimed items NOT collected at the end of the auction by the Seller/Buyer become MAS PROPERTY.
  4. In the event of a major issue Sellers are advised to know how many items they brought, who (buyer number) bought each item, and how much each item sold for.  Mistakes happen, and without this information, corrections are difficult to impossible.
  5. Clean equipment and clean tanks generally seller at a higher price, as do fish in clean/clear water.
  6. Take time to provide all necessary information a Buyer would be interested in!  If selling tanks, mark whether or not there are leaks.  If selling equipment, mark whether the item is fully-functional.


  1. MAS auction committee reserves the right to refuse to sell sick or deformed fish.  High quality items are expected by the auction attendees!  As best practice, please destroy your culls, do not bring them to the sale.
  2. MAS maintains a list of PROHIBITED SPECIES that are recognized by the DNR and other state & federal agencies as ‘invasive’ organisms.  DO NOT BRING THESE ITEMS TO THE AUCTION.  These include select aquatic plants, aquatic and wetland weeds, fish, and invertebrates.  Please see the PROHIBITED SPECIES section of the Minnesota Aquarium Society’s website for a complete list.
  3. The seller is limited to a MAXIMUM of 20 total items PER HOUSEHOLD.  In addition, a seller is restricted to the following:
    • No more than 3 bags of any single species – plants, fish and invertebrates<
    • No more than 2 color variants of any single species
    • No more than 5 total hard-goods items – aquariums, equipment and food

  4. There are three categories of auction items
    • Fish & Plant – any item containing live fish, invertebrate, or plant life
    • Hard Goods – any item consisting of tank, equipment, food, substrate, medicine or other non-living aquarium item
    • Large Tank/Heavy Item – aquariums over 20 gallons, bags/pails/boxes of gravel, sand or rock, or other heavy/oversized items
      • Items classified as a Large Tank or Heavy Item will be moved into the Large Item Corral.  This is a special area in the back of the gymnasium separate from the tables where other items are displayed.  Do not move items from this area unless instructed by the Auctioneer or a designated assistant.
  5. No items sold during the auction will count towards either BAP or HAP point totals (exceptions can be made for outstate/out-of-state members)


  1. Proper Bagging
    • Please use plastic fish bags for all live fish and plants; bags can be purchased at MAS monthly meetings for a reasonable price.
    • All live fish and invertebrates MUST be double-bagged to prevent leaks and punctures.
    • Cichlids that are old enough to be sexed must be bagged separately; tape the pair or trio together or put each individually bagged fish inside a larger bag.
  2. Unacceptable Bagging
    • Items brought in ZIP-LOCK bags and GLASS containers will not be sold and will be required to be re-bagged before being added to the auction tables.
    • All items not meeting the bagging requirements above are subject to re-bagging by MAS at a cost of $2.00 PER ITEM to be paid by the Seller.


  1. MAS bag labels
    • MAS will generate and provide bag labels to Sellers on the day of the auction at no charge.  You must use MAS-supplied labels.
    • You may register your items on-site on Saturday.  However, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that sellers pre-register their items using the online MAS Auction entry form, which is available until 6:00AM the day of the auction.
    • [NOTE: this change begins for Spring 2017 auction:] *Pre-registered items retain a 75/25 split in favor of the seller, while items registered day-of auction will be a 67/33 split in favor of the seller, MAS member or not.
    • Following registration, each auction item MUST be labeled with a MAS-provided label containing:
  2. Fish & Plant Additional Label Information
    • Live plant/animal auction items require additional information to be included on the MAS-provided labels.
    • This additional information can be provided on the day of the auction or through the Online MAS Auction Entry Form and must contain:
      • COMMON NAME (completely optional)
      • QUANTITY
      • SEX (if known)
  3. Large Tank/Heavy Item Labels
    • Heavy items REQUIRE extra labeling via a Large Item Corral Sell Sheet to be completed at the registration desk.
    • The additional label must be taped to the side of the item in the Large Tank/Heavy Item corral.
    • new rule for October 2018:  All large items will be listed as Buy-It-Now for the first hour (until noon), so sellers must declare a Buy-It-Now price.  After the first hour, the tanks will be entered randomly throughout the auction, spaced from noon until the last item.

  4. Minimum Bid Labels
    • Sellers are able to set a minimum price on any item by purchasing a ‘Minimum Bid’ label at a cost of $2.00 per label from the registration area.
    • The Auctioneer with make two (2) separate attempts to reach your minimum.
    • If we fail to reach the minimum, the Seller’s item will be set aside and MUST be collected at the end of the auction; unclaimed items become the property of MAS.
    • The Auctioneer always tries to get the Seller the best possible price regardless if it has a minimum bid on it or not.
  5. Buy Up Labels
    • Both Buyer and Sellers have the option to purchase a Buy Up label to bring a specific auction item into the queue early.
    • Buy Up labels can be purchased from the registration area for $2.00 per label
    • To use the Buy Up program properly, follow these steps:
      • Purchase a label for each item you wish to Buy Up.
      • Take the item(s) and bring to the Auctioneer’s item setup table (usually to the left of the main table).
      • Provide the Auctioneers assistant with both the Buy Up item and label.
      • Your Buy Up item will be placed in the queue and should come up for auction in the next 10-20 minutes.


  1. All auction items are subject to a set price-split with a portion of each sale going to support MAS and auction site hosting fees.
  2. MAS members and non-member Sellers are subject to differing price-splits
    • Item sells for $2, MAS takes all of sale price
    • Item sells for $3, all Sellers get $1 and MAS takes $2
    • Item sells for $4, all Sellers get $2 and MAS takes $2
    • Item sells for $5, all Sellers get $3 and MAS takes $2
    • Item sells for $6, MAS members get $4, non-member Sellers get $3.60
    • Item sells for $7, MAS members get $5, non-member Sellers get $4.20
    • Item sells for $8, MAS members get $6, non-member Sellers get $4.80
    • Item sells for more than $8, MAS members get 75%, non-member Sellers get 67%
  3. MAS reserves the right to pay all Sellers by check within one month AFTER the auction.


  1. Sellers have the option to include items in the Buy It Now (BIN) program to sell items outside of the normal auction bidding process, prior to auction start.
  2. Items must be clearly marked with a selling price for potential Buyers and placed in the BIN corral aside from the auction tables.
  3. Items must be clearly labeled with a red or green sticker obtained from the registration desk.
    • Green sticker items will automatically be placed into the auction (if unsold) at 12:00pm (noon).
    • Red sticker items will remain out of the auction, but must be picked up prior to 1:00pm or will be automatically included in the auction.
  4. For full details please see the ‘Buy It Now’ section of the MAS website
  5. Note: as of October 2018, all items in the "large items" area must have a Buy-It-Now price to be available as BIN for the first hour. 



  1. Some auctions will be tied to a state-level ‘Surrender’ program where a fish or aquatic invertebrates can be donated to the MAS to be re-homed or otherwise handled.
  2. Please contact an Event Organizer to check if the Surrender program will be at the current auction.
  3. MAS CANNOT accept reptiles, amphibians or non-aquatic animals in this program.
  4. Animals must be brought in a bag or other water-holding container that will not be returned.
  5. For more details, see the MAS website.