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 more money for it. We sold it for $1600. I think we had 3 bids.
- Me: We can find a better way to sell it.
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 called …
A sealed bid auction is also called a blind bid auction or even a super silent auction.
What is a sealed bid auction?
A sealed bid auction is a form of an auction where bidders submit bids in a concealed fashion.
The submitted bids are compared and the person with the highest bid wins the package, paying the amount of his bid to the charity.
Which items should be sold via sealed bid / blind bid?
If you have an item that is of great value to one person or a select few, consider selling it via sealed bid. Examples might be artwork, legal services, or orthodontics.
Talk to your professional auctioneer about whether an item is a fit for this technique, or watch this video training, How to Sell Hard to Sell Items in your Auction.
I’ll be upfront: There’s more to this concept than it sounds.
This blog post is an introduction to the concept; there are a few pitfalls when done incorrectly, so do it right or don’t do it.