We had a few Chimera65 Special Edition keyboards tucked away in our warehouse, and we thought this was a great opportunity to try our first Vickrey auction.

We're floored at the overwhelmingly positive response and experience. A sincere thanks to all for your participation and support, bidders and non-bidders alike!

Vickrey Auction - How It Works

The highest bidder is still the winner of the auction, with a twist: the highest/winning bidder doesn't pay the price of their bid, but instead pays the price of the second highest bid. More on Vickrey auctions, history, and strategy here.

  • Auction time and duration: July 2nd, 5pm EDT to July 3rd, 5pm EDT
  • Bidding structure: Vickrey is based on a sealed-bid auction, and bids were submitted blindly and simultaneously via Google Forms.
  • Vickrey structure: The highest bidder wins the auction, but again, pays the price of the second highest bid. The second highest bid is the final sell price.
  • Auction conclusion: First wave of winners were contacted 24 hours after bidding closed. Last winners were contact 72 hours after bidding closed.

Our goal here was to create a more equitable playing field. To further fairness and transparency, we added rigor and a guiding hand to our selection methodology: 

  • We filtered fake, troll, non-serious, and other straw bids.
  • We removed bids from non-responsive winners.
  • As winners paid their winning bids, their lower priority bids on other units were passed over (in grey below). 
  • “Low Priority Bid” indicates a valid first or second place bid, where the winner purchased a different unit based on their unit rankings and bids.
  • The original winner of Unit 04 originally paid $3,500 for their unit early, while higher priced units were still being rerolled. After the winner of Unit 04 had paid, the second highest bid the $3,500 price was based on became a low priority bid. The winner was then refunded $500 to reflect the movement down the bid list.
  • Due to the high number of rerolls, we offered a more preferred unit (Unit 02) to the original winner of Unit 03 due to their bid becoming the new highest. This was done at no additional cost, as to reflect the change in bid structure.

This process took a couple more days than we expected, but at the end of the day we’re pleased that these special edition keyboards landed in the hands of eager customers!

Final Bidding Results

Congratulations to the winners! We appreciate your support, and we're excited for all of you to receive and unpack your keyboard.

auction results

First Auction, Lessons Were Learned

The significant majority of bids were real, and we enjoyed reviewing the many thoughtful and crafty bids!

Frankly, we had a rocky start when we started contacting winning bidders. After investigating and filtering fake bids, we removed bids from bidders who publicly shared they had zero intention to follow through and pay for their winning bid.

We understand these auction prices are not realistic for everyone who wanted a unit, and some frustrated folks lashed out with straw bids. We'll continue to listen, and we hope in the future that we can dialogue constructively. We’ve asked for, and will continue to ask for, your honest feedback so we can figure out how to better serve you. While a Vickrey auction has drawbacks, we wanted to explore a new way to get limited-run products in the hands of our customers, instead of seeing flippers buy them and list it for sale on the grey market.

Moving forward, we have one initial plan, and one idea, that may help future auctions run smoother:

  1. We will take action against fake/troll bidders. We hoped through transparency we could minimize bad actors throwing a wrench in our auction. Unfortunately, many folks still felt compelled to submit bids they had no intention paying.

    Winning bidders who did not respond to our email will be barred from future limited group buys, and future limited sales events.

  2. We’d like a faster and clearer auction conclusion, and we're exploring solutions for future auctions. We understand that extenuating circumstances happen, and sometimes a winning bid made with the best of intentions can’t be paid. 

    Payment preauthorization with bid submissions could both accelerate the contacting of winners, and secure of the payment required to end the auction. We'll continue investigating here, and will continue to push to create a smoother experience for all participants.

Why We Donated $5,500 to The Trevor Project

CannonKeys’ mission is to deliver the best custom keyboard experience to our customers and our community. We’re also a growing company finding its voice. We believe we have a responsibility to use our platform to shine a light on injustice and uplift our community. This auction provided an opportunity to share our belief and support of the mission of The Trevor Project.

The Trevor Project is a non profit organization that provides crucial counseling services for LGBTQ youth. Their clinical research and LGBTQ youth advocacy has helped shift societal conversation, shape more inclusive policies, and save lives. 

Prior to the start of the auction, we decided to donate the full proceeds of the highest sale.

Internal communications:

internal comms to donate

Our highest bidder of $8,888 did not pay their invoice of $5,500. While their bid turned out to be fake, our donation is not.


While we don’t know exactly how we’ll use our voice in the future, or what causes we'll support, your support made this donation and our journey possible. Thank you for inspiring us, and challenging us to be better. We’re excited to show what’s next.


The CannonKeys Team


July 09, 2021 — Jack Vachon