The count down has started! It is now one week until the annual fundraiser on the occasion of RA’s birthday starts. We are going to have a week of fundraiser fun from the 15th to the 22nd of August 2021. Thanks to Richard’s own donation to the fundraiser, we
possibly may definitely will widen our reach this year, so I’d like to take the opportunity to give notice to all interested parties and provide a run-down of how the fundraiser week is going to take place – the individual elements of the fundraiser, the respective dates, the general process and the necessary small print. For those who have been part of the fundraiser before, there will be no major changes, but I would be grateful if you read through this post regardless, just to refresh your memory. To everyone who is new here: Welcome, and I hope you will enjoy the upcoming initiative that has been prepared *by* fans and *for* fans.
The birthday fundraiser is a community effort by fans of Richard Armitage, fronted by me (Sonja/Guylty) but made possible by many fellow fans. Instead of sending Richard individual birthday presents, those who enjoy group activities have come together to provide an opportunity for fans to pool their birthday present budget into a community “token” gift in the shape of a donation to charity. We are all giving our time and items for free – for no personal financial gain. To generate the donation, we have established a two-pronged approach: We are auctioning off fan items on eBay, and we are selling fixed-price items on Pattern (Etsy). The auctions and fixed-price sale are made possible thanks to our participants who have donated fan memorabilia and hand-made fan items. In the course of the past six years we have thus generated over 12,000 Euro, which have all been passed on to charity.
The charity benefitted by the fundraiser proceeds is LOROS, a hospice care charity that provides this indispensable service in the Leicester area in the UK. We have chosen this cause as it is close to Richard’s heart: His mother was cared for by LOROS before she passed away. Her memorial page, set up by Richard, continues to be online and allows for the transfer of donations to LOROS. This is where the final donation will be transferred by me, (hopefully) on Richard’s birthday, as our gift to him.
- The 2021 fundraiser will kick off with an as yet secret number of individual three-day auctions of coveted fan items from August 15 to August 18. These auctions are conducted on eBay. (For more information on that, please read the section entitled “small print” below.)
- We will start with the much anticipated eBay auction of the Guy of Gisborne leather jacket, kindly donated by Richard himself. This item has already received a lot of attention, and the auction will probably be followed by many fans. In order to give both the Guy of Gisborne jacket, as well as our own fan-donated items the attention and glory they deserve, I am going to give the leather jacket a head start of a few hours. I.e. the Gisborne jacket auction will start mid-afternoon on August 15, leaving a few hours of time before the fan-donated items will also be listed on eBay. This is to facilitate a bit of space and time at the end for me and all fundraiser followers to watch the last, exciting moments of the Gisborne jacket auction and organise the payment admin, as well as live-tweeting, announcing and celebrating the results.
- The main bulk of the fan item auctions will kick off early evening on August 15, ending the same day but a little later as the Gisborne jacket. This also gives us the opportunity to watch the final bids coming in, cheering on the bidders, and celebrating the auctions results together. Among the pieces on offer will be magazines, DVDs and one-off fan-made items. Teaser post to follow! All these items have been donated by fellow fans – a massive thank you to all of the donors.
- The auctions are followed/overlapped by a second three-day period, during which we follow up the auctions with a fixed-price sale on Etsy from August 18 to August 21. The fixed-price sale is our opportunity to provide a more inclusive fundraising event by offering multiples of low-price fan items, mostly hand-made by fellow fans. More info on items on offer, soon!
- To make it a full-week event, I have scheduled August 22 – RA’s birthday – as the day for tallying up, finalising the admin and transferring the donation to LOROS via Mrs Armitage’s memorial page, including a birthday message in the name of all auction participants.
- Communication on the fundraiser and all elements will be through this blog and my Twitter. You are welcome to reblog, repost or comment via your own SM platforms, too!
The Small Print +++ PLEASE READ +++
All auctions – both Gisborne jacket as well as fan-donated items – will be conducted on eBay via my profile. This is for ease of transaction, access and visibility. They are all private and non-commercial, a fundraiser for charity. I.e. the proceeds of the eBay auctions will be donated to our chosen charity in their entirety (minus incurred costs such as postage, insurance, tracking, eBay and Paypal transaction fees). Some postage costs will be covered by the senders.
So, how does an eBay auction work? In case you are not familiar with the online marketplace, you need to register on eBay in order to be able to bid. You can do so on the eBay platform of your country/territory and in your own language – you will still be able to access the auctions (which will most likely be conducted over my home platform, eBay IE). I will provide direct links to the individual auctions in the kick-off post on this here blog, and you can click on them to access the items that you are interested in. In the individual eBay listings you will see the current highest bid on the item, and you can bid more in order to win the auction. The items will go to the highest bidders, upon payment. If you are the auction winner, you will receive a notification e-mail that contains all the info on how to pay for your item and other next steps. There is no need to send messages to me with requests for invoice/payment details; those are generated by eBay and will be sent automatically or manually by me asap. PLEASE NOTE: The auctions will all end in quick succession, sometimes with barely two minutes in between. In most cases, I, as the auction owner, have to manually send invoice requests to the auction winner. I will do so as quickly as I can, but please give me a few moments, especially if you have bids on several items. If you receive the (automatic) notification that you have won the auction, the item will be yours, no matter how quickly you receive the invoice. And if you have several bids running, it is easier for both you and me if the payment can be combined in *one* invoice. I can guarantee you that I will make sure that *all* invoices will be sent out the same night!
Please bear in mind that the items you are bidding on are pre-loved (unless described otherwise). That means there may be signs of use on the items, as per item descriptions. All efforts will be made to describe the items as detailed as possible. The listings will have photos so you know what you are bidding on. For the hand-made items it goes without saying that they might deviate in details – but are perfect in imperfection!
Since our items are all for fundraising, we are charging no postage fees (see above). The items will be carefully packaged and sent anywhere in the world. I am based in Ireland, so am sending from within the EU. IMPORTANT: For dispatch to some territories, I will have to fill in a customs form that records the price of the contained item(s). Depending on your jurisdiction, you may have to pay customs duty! While the fundraiser will cover the postage, the customs fees will be *your* duty as it can’t be paid in advance! You may need to factor that into your bids!!! Depending on items and final price, some packages may be sent by registered mail, so buyers will receive a tracking number to track the progress of their parcel. No returns possible, I am afraid, as this is a charity project. Please consider your bids as a donation to charity – with the won item a little bonus – hence the no returns policy. Bidding is open to all, anywhere in the world! (But to avoid disappointment, I would like to ask you to please have a look at your national postal services and check whether your postal provider actually accepts incoming mail from abroad *at this time*. If that is the case in your country, it is still possible that there are delays in shipping your auction winnings to you.)
If auctions are not your thing or you find yourself priced out of a particular item, we are also offering more affordable fixed-price items for a simple purchasing transaction. These can be bought via my storefront on my Pattern by Etsy website. This is the URL: https://scissorsandsmiles.patternbyetsy.com All items have a set price and are priced to include regular postage anywhere in the world. These items are also fan-made, many of them hand-made, most of them made in multiples. You can buy multiples of the same item (via the “quantity” button in the individual listing) – or buy several different items during the same session. The shopping process is pretty self-explanatory on Etsy – and you don’t have to register for an account there in order to buy. IMPORTANT: The full range of items on offer will only be visible on the above mentioned Pattern by Etsy site (not my regular Etsy storefront.) Note: As this is my own Etsy shop, there will be other items visible that are *not* part of the fundraiser. The fundraiser items will be clearly labelled as such so you know that you are buying an item whose proceeds go into our donations pot. (Learn more about checking out on Etsy as a guest user HERE.) In some territories, you may be charged sales taxes. This is automatically added by Etsy and beyond my control. However, postage costs are included in all Etsy listings, so there are no additional costs for that (unless you want tracking).
Donations Instead of Buying/Bidding
As in previous years, I will offer the possibility of adding a monetary donation to the proceeds – for those who would rather not bid or buy anything but want to contribute to the fundraiser in this way. Money can be donated via Paypal, and a link will be provided in the official kick-off post next Monday (and possibly the milestone posts).
I’d like to emphasise again that the point of the fundraiser is to have fun and to generate a robust donation for a good cause. There is no obligation on anyone to take part in this fundraiser, especially if the past 18 months have had an impact on your finances. You are a valuable and welcome participant of this fan initiative also when you tweet, raise awareness, blog or simply follow along. If you prefer to donate separately and in your own name, that is cool, too. The point is to raise money for LOROS – whether as part of this fan-driven fundraiser, or on your own. LOROS (and Richard) will be pleased either way 😉. Or any other charity of your choosing. Please bid highly – but responsibly. Or shop our Etsy offerings enthusiastically – but not beyond your budget. (We don’t want to have to organise the next fundraiser for the benefit of bankrupt fellow fans 😉.) Your budget doesn’t matter, we’d just love to have you along! Watching the bidding on eBay is exciting, and the updates on Twitter or blogs are another opportunity to meet, celebrate and have fun. I will try and write updates on the progress of the auctions as we go along – with daily posts here on-blog, as well as more frequent tweets over on my Twitter. You are welcome to chime in, whatever the platform!
- Sonja: In the coming days I will release more information on the Guy of Gisborne leather jacket, as well as teasers about the fan items in the auctions and the fixed-price sale, and spotlights on the generous donors of auction items and talented crafters who are supporting this fundraiser. I will notify you of the start of the fundraiser on Sunday, 15 August 2021 with a blog post on the Gisborne jacket, and later that evening (GMT) with a list of all items/links once all auctions are up and running.
- You: To receive updates as soon as they come available, make sure to subscribe to this blog or to my Twitter. You can also bookmark my eBay and Pattern/Etsy sites for easy access. If you would like to know more, please feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me, or read through the previous year’s auction posts. But most of all: Count your pennies, or get ready for some fundraiser fun.
- Edit: corrected false weekday! Thank you, Nell!