Everything you should know about setting up an online auction

Putting together a silent auction requires lots of hard work and planning. If you or your organization or community have been thinking about hosting a silent auction, then you will need more than just will and hope. Running an auction is a great way to generate awareness about a cause, and raise funds to support it. Auctions are a powerful medium to engage with bidders and buyers and build lasting bonds with them.

When it comes to running silent auctions, your first task is to organize one properly. Well, thought auction events are more successful than the ones which are rushed and poorly planned. Simply put, the more organized your auction is, the more are your chances of making it successful.

online auction

The success of any auction depends on whether you can make it stand out from the rest. Remember that donors have countless choices to support and back, and if you want to gain their attention, make sure to make your auction a can’t miss event.

To help you get started and make your preparation better for your first or next silent auction, we have put together this guide with useful tips, tricks, and actionable ideas. Let’s start with the basics first.

What is a Silent Auction?

An auction that is held by a community, individual, or organization without involving an auctioneer can be labeled as a silent auction. In a silent auction, the items are displayed to the participants and attendees, who can then place their bids on their favorite item(s) using a mobile app or bid sheet.

Just like a traditional auction, silent auctions have a minimum increase of bidding amount mentioned in a bid sheet or in a mobile bidding software or app. Typically, in a silent auction, bidders are anonymous and are not aware of the bids placed by other attendees and participants.

How to run a Silent Auction

To meet your goal of raising funds through an auction, you should start your first step with planning. To truly host a successful silent auction, you need to wow your guests, which by no means, is an easy task.

Here are some actionable tips to keep the progress needle moving in the right direction.

  1. Review past auctions:

If you have hosted an auction before, then you have a lot to learn and apply before hosting your next silent auction.

It is important to look back and understand which auction items had the most bids, which auction items did not get recognized as much as they should have, where were your maximum bidding demographics from, and so on.

By looking at the past event’s performance, you will gain a deeper understanding of what should work and how to plan an auction that excited and engaged donors and bidders.

  1. Choosing auction items:

There are multiple ways to acquire items for your silent auction, from local businesses and communities to members and supporters of your auction committee. The key is to attract unique items such as autographed memorabilia or signed items and get creative with your auction items.

The key is to identify your donor’s interests and match your auction’s items as per their interests. Try taking advantage of popular trends that are well-known and sought-after, which can help you drive more bids at an auction.

Consider your target audience’s price range in mind so they can have the capacity to bid easily. You can also choose to add different auction items across many price ranges, which will help you appeal to different types of donors and guests.

  1. Pricing auction items:

Choosing auction items is one thing, but carefully determining their pricing can be a confusing task, especially for first-time auction hosts. The first step is to determine the Fair Market Value price of your auction item and keep that as a reference point towards calculating the final auction price.

Finding market value price for tangible items such as goods, or products is easier because you can already have a base level idea of the value. However, if you are planning to auction a non-tangible item, then you should do thorough research to understand and estimate the paying capacity for such items by your auction attendees.

Next up, you need to establish a starting bid price for your auction items. Remember to not keep the starting price too low, or else it would not result in significant earnings for your auction. Similarly, if your starting bid price is too high, then that could also discourage attendees to bid more competitively.

Typically, the best practice is to set up minimum bids at around 40 to 50 percent of the fair market value price.

Ready to host a Silent Auction

Hosting an auction is no easy task, and with so much to do and so little time, things can get overwhelming pretty quickly.

This is where you can contact CharityAuctionsToday and get the help of experts to host silent auctions with confidence so you can meet your goals easily and raise funds for your cause.

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