How To Win A Silent Auction
A silent auction is an event where items of interest are placed for bidding by potential buyers. If there is no one to bid on an item, the seller may choose to set the minimum price; this will be the lowest amount that can be offered in exchange for the item.
The highest bidder wins and pays the amount that they bid. This format is often used for charity events where there are multiple items up for sale to avoid having one organization make a big offer on an item and then having other groups feel obligated to beat the price (thereby minimising the total raised for the event)
In a nutshell, a silent auction, in its essence, is very similar to a standard auction.
You place an item up for bid. People bid on the items. The highest bidder wins the item and pays the bid at the end of the activity.
But there are some key differences that you need to be aware of before planning a silent auction.
Tips To Win A Silent Auction
Start The Bidding With Low Price
Like in any auction, it is important to start the bidding low enough that you are not forced to sell below your minimum goal. For example, if I had planned on selling an old pair of shoes for $10 at my silent auction but only sold them for $5 because nobody bid higher than that, I would not have met my minimum goal.
Bid On The Right Product
A silent auction can be a lengthy event. People attend these events to socialize and eat good food, not necessarily to bid on items that they don’t care about. If you limit the time of your activity then people will tend to only bid on items they really want, and you will be able to meet your minimum goal.
Calculate The Pricing
If you intend on getting a lot of high-value bids, it is important to have a decent chunk of starter cash saved up before the auction. In most cases, I would recommend having at least 20% of your funds raised ahead of time so that if somebody does win an item for $100, you could cover the cost without delaying the auction or receiving money later.
Focus On The Weather
If you are hosting an outdoor event, it is important to plan accordingly for weather contingencies. For example, if it starts to rain and nobody shows up because of bad weather, you won’t be able to meet your minimum goal and will be forced to cancel the auction and return all of the money.
Let The Audience Know The Item
It is important to ensure your guests know what they are bidding on before the activity begins. If somebody wins an item but has no clue what it does or how to use it, they may not actually want to keep it. In this case, you would have to hold the item hostage until somebody else buys it from them, or you will have to give the item back if nobody bids higher.
The above are just a few of the unique aspects of hosting a silent auction. Keep in mind that these bidding strategies are not universal but can be used as an example for your specific event or activity.
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