What’s wrong with online auctions this spring?

Once and done bidding, on a $2400 vacation package

Every year my spring season is filled with school auctions.  Many of them run online auctions in conjunction with their live events, and the majority this year have complained of lower revenue with the online auction.So what's up?If you're running an online auction and looking for ways to avoid a downfall, here are a few thoughts I've gathered from conversations with my clients. Four tips for online auctions1. Marketing your online auction is critical.One of my clients commented that she usually sees a last minute rush of bids before the online auction closes. "Not this year," she said, "Even the golf experiences that draw in « Continue Reading »

Alternatives to the sit-down dinner gala

Maybe it's time for a change. You might feel like it's time to revamp your traditional sit-down dinner gala.  Maybe you want a more informal, "social" vibe.  Maybe the auction needs a layout shake-up.  Maybe you've changed venues and -- Ugh, those tables! -- a sit-down dinner simply won't fit.Watch the video to see six options that will shake-up the layout, formality and overall vibe of your fundraising auction.Event Set-upsModified sit-down dinnerTheaterTheater-inspiredTheater-inspired for school gyms specificallyLoungeDance ClubHave you abandoned the traditional sit-down dinner gala? If so, I'd love to hear about what event « Continue Reading »

How to use sealed bid in your silent auction

Real estate services were offered via blind bid at this auction.

In February I was working with a new client who was sharing information about their live auction items from the prior year. The conversation went something like this:Me:  "So you sold a home irrigation system in the live auction last year?" They: "Yes.  It's worth nearly $4000, so we put it in the live auction to get better money for it.  We sold it for $1600.  I think we had 3 bids on it."Me: "We can find a better way to sell that item this year."And we did find a better way. This year, we sold that irrigation system donation via sealed bid.  The item received 8 bids and sold for $2309, an increase of $709. Sealed bid is also « Continue Reading »

[VIDEO] You can’t open auction checkout in 20 minutes

Let’s get real: You can’t close the silent auction and *instantly* be ready for auction checkout.

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[VIDEO] Free donations to sell at school auctions, like Spirit Rock

Spirit rock at school auction

School auctions love selling “free” items, like VIP graduation seats and ‘Name the Playground’ rights. Here are 11 “free” items to sell, like a Spirit Rock that sold for $2400.

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[Video] Model this sound system for a silent auction


Gyms are notorious for being difficult venues for audio. But if you’re counting on high revenue from your silent auction, you’ll need a good sound system to help you promote. Here’s how one group set it up.

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School auction idea: Reward teachers with their own raffle

Faculty Raffle in auction catalog

Though I’m not a fan of having teachers attend your school auction, I am a fan of rewarding them in other ways, like using teacher-only raffles.

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