Successfully Run Your Next Auction with These 7 Steps

Event and auction season is right around the corner! Is your organization ready? Check out these tips below so your next auction is set up for success.

Long gone are the days of bidding with paper and pen. Start keeping track of each item you collect and compile different baskets and packages on your digital auction page. Make sure you thoroughly describe and take photos of the items you are auctioning off so your bidders are more drawn to bid!

Pro Tip: Make bidding even easier for event attendees by putting your auction page QR code on the bid sheets and event flyers. This allows people to easily scan and set up an account and bid on their phones at the event.

Over the past few years, hybrid events have grown in popularity. Luckily, silent auctions can easily be turned into a hybrid event. This style of event allows for people to join in-person or participate from home, which ultimately opens up more opportunities for bidding and donations! Allow people to bid from home if they can’t make it in person either on your auction site page or via text.

It’s important to outline how your auction process will work. People will have questions on how to bid, when they receive their items, etc. List these guidelines in your initial emails about the auction so everything is clear from the start of your event. If you’re making your auction hybrid, you’ll have some people bidding online, so make sure you identify the start and end dates/times for bidding so everyone is prepared to get their bids in. You’ll also need to verify how online bidders will receive their auction items and if they’ll need to pay for shipping.

Make sure you’re researching your auction item’s fair market value before setting your starting bids. This is the estimated value based on similar products within the market. Many say to set the bid at 35% of the fair market value. However, this can fluctuate and it’s best to go with the price point you are comfortable selling the item for and what you think your donors will be willing to pay.

  • Max Bids- Allow your bidders to set their own max bid on items. This means the system will automatically bid for them until their maximum bid has been hit.
  • Buy Now- Set Buy Now prices that give your bidders the opportunity to purchase items right away and not have to bid at all. If you set a Buy Now price, you’ll want to make sure this price is higher than the fair market value.
  • Text2Bid- Utilize DonorView’s texting feature and allow your bidders to make bids right from their phone! This feature allows your event attendees to vote right from their seats or on the go, so they don't have to keep watch of the auction tables all night.

There are many different ways to promote the items that will be listed at your auction before the big day.

  • Promote items on social media with pictures of baskets
  • Go live on Facebook/Instagram and tease some of your items and promote the event
  • Give email subscribers/event attendees a sneak peek by providing them a link to the virtual auction page and items before bidding opens

Some people might not be able to participate in your event, have no interest in the items, or will lose bids and still want to donate. It’s important you tie a donation page to your auction so people can still easily donate if they’d like to! This opens up the door for more donations and gaining new supporters.



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