March 31, 2009

SFU looks to eBay for fundraising and fun

For the right price, you too can become a member of the reigning World Pipe Band Champions Simon Fraser University – an honorary member, anyway.
The band is deploying an eBay Canada auction to offer an all-expenses-paid trip with the group when they travel to Scotland to defend their title. The highest bidder will have the benefit of hanging out with the band nearly every step of the way, including private practices, a band-only dinner and merchandise.
The reserve price set on the auction is $5,000 (CAD).
The package also allows the winning bidder to attend rehearsals and sound-checks for the band’s Affirmation concert on the Wednesday before the World Championship.
“We believe there are many people out there who would love to go to the World Championships with a serious contender, but for various reasons might never have the opportunity,” said SFU Pipe-Sergeant and band manager Jack Lee. “This is a chance to travel with the defending champions in a year they are doing the featured concert on the Wednesday before the World’s.”
The SFU auction ends on the afternoon of March 15th.
In late 2006 the Torphichen & Bathgate used eBay in an attempt to gain a sponsor, but failed to make a sale.


  1. lol – I would bid but what would be the point when I’m already in Scotland! What a great idea though and surely the bids will come in. SFU could extend the auction by auctioning the chance for people to, say, attend a rehearsal before the Worlds, or attend a dress rehearsal in the concert hall – that kind of thing. Or how about since the band is here anyway with spare time (!!), charge people to attend a workshop with them. I’m sure the band could raise £500 an hour that way if it wanted to, and had any extra energy to do such things in the middle of an already busy week. But it wouldn’t take the whole band, only one or two members.

  2. Just a wee heads up JanetteMontague, but from what I am reading on the ebay advert the person that gets the winning bid still needs to pay the $2000 canadian airfare. So if you do stay in Scotland/UK you can save $2000 canadian!!!

  3. A wee heads up to all – I misread the advert, the winning bid is inclusive of the airfare up to $2000 canadian – anything over $2000 paid by the winning bidder.

  4. $2K Canadian air fare? From Vancouver? What? Maybe first class, but really! FYI, Buffalo NY to L.A. CA is a mere $200.00 USD round trip. However, Toronto to LA is $800 Canadian! Also, last time a checked, air fare from TO to the UK and back was around $800-1000 Canadian.

  5. It isn’t one airline, but the website rhymes with Ex-Media. I checked again after posting the last comment. FYI, it is well known that air fares within Canada to destinations inside Canada are higher (sometimes absurdly so) than U.S. or EU air fares. It is definitely less money to fly from Seattle to Glasgow than from Vancouver to Glasgow. In addition, charter flights can be lower still. Eg Aug 9-17, from Buffalo to Glasgow return, $1,009 CDN. From Toronto etc, $1,015.00 + additional charges. Additionally, with the diving economy and oil prices, air fares should come down.

  6. The $2k is the maximum paid by SFUPB (acting as travel agent) for the airfare–reason being: one could potentially fly from anywhere in the world (not just Toronto or Vancouver) to travel to the Worlds with the band. With the volatility in oil prices (and airfares as a result) this maximum is quite reasonable. Obviously flying from the eastern United States will be less expensive than flying from say, Alaska, Hawaii, or even Australia, but we wouldn’t want to discourage people from further locales from considering just because it would be cheaper to travel from Toronto. After all, the appeal of this auction has much more to do with the unique (and priceless!) opportunities after one gets off the plane rather than merely a round trip flight to Glasgow and back.

  7. Just to be clear, I wasn’t trying to discourage anyone from bidding in this package. I personally think that is an excellent idea and would be quite exciting and informative to see the band behind the scenes and in action up to the big day. Also, a workshop or clinic as perviously suggested sounds like a good addition. All the best to the band in 2009.

  8. It raises the question – what could you sell in 2days 13 hours that would be enough to clinch it? Madly looking——-not coming up with much —- could I sell my soul?



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