after discussing it with lineaalba and various other members (including pacificpikachu who's running the giant group auction below), its come to light we need some more specific rules when it comes to group auctions. so... here they are!
the entire rules post can be found here.
to see the group auction rules only, ive pasted them under the cut.
THE OFFICIAL RULES AND GUIDELINES FOR GROUP AUCTIONS!
-WHAT IS A GROUP AUCTION?
A group auction or a group purchase is what occurs when there is a set of things for a high price up for sale somewhere, and someone organizes for members to pitch in for the items they want so it can be bought together. GROUP AUCTIONS ARE NOT DESIGNED FOR THE ONE WHO ORGANIZES IT TO MAKE A PROFIT, although occasionally a small profit is made - unless there is something fishy going on, let it go - organizing a group auction is hard work, and thusly the one who organizes it probably deserves any small profit.
-WHAT KINDS OF GROUP AUCTION ARE THERE?
There's first come first served, and group auction auctions. You can create a set price for the items in the lot, the total of which will pay for the lot itself, and offer the items to the first person who offers to pay the amount specified. You can also auction the items off - let the highest bidder make the payment for what they want in the lot - this is most useful for an auction that is very expensive (in the hundreds of dollars).
-HOW CAN I RUN A GROUP AUCTION?
Be trustworthy - share the URL of the auction with anybody who is participating in private, if you don't feel comfortable posting it to the community flat out. Don't forget that you should also be pitching in to the auction - the point is for you all to afford it, not for the others to pay for your item! Don't forget to include the amount you are paying for your claimed items - merely claiming your items without listing what you are contributing will make it look like you want a free ride. And - good luck!
-WHAT ABOUT "CLAIMS"? WHAT'S THAT ALL ABOUT? NO FAIR!
In group auctions usually the person or people who run it or participate in running it (AKA: the people who do all of the hard work) are able to claim the items they want before everyone else begins bidding/claiming. You may NOT give special claims to your bestest friends or boyfriend or even your mom. If you are running or participating in the running of a group auction, claiming the items you want for the price you can afford is your right. Just keep in mind that claiming the most sought-after item and not contributing its worth will make it more difficult to reach your goal (and might annoy people too) - just don't be ridiculous! :)
NOTE: If you found the auction first (or think you did), unfortunately this is not reason to give you a claim on a certain item. The claims belong ONLY to the people who will be doing hard work. Besides - someone else probably woulda found it anyway! ;)
HEY!!! WHAT ABOUT FEES AND SHIPPING COSTS?
This will now be standard for all group auctions.
FEES: All deputy service fees/any applicable fees will be totaled and divided by the number of group auction participants. That will then be added to each participant's total cost.
SHIPPING: All participants will pay the shipping cost of the item being sent to their house + all deputy service shipping fees/any applicable shipping fees will be totaled and divided by the number of group auction participants. That will then be added to each participant's total cost.
NOTE!!! It's best to keep the URL to a group auction PRIVATE between those participating. If you join a group auction only to get the URL and then snipe it out from all participants, you will be BANNED from the community. If you want it so badly, go find the auction yourself. Sneaking into a group auction to nab the lot is just more sneakyness than we want in our members.
ANOTHER NOTE!!! Running a group auction is HARD WORK. It's not cotton candy and pixie sticks. Be nice to the person running your group auction. Hopefully they will run a trustworthy and easy to understand auction, and hopefully you will praise them for being wonderful and working hard for you guys!!