An identical item was sold in two different D.C. charity auctions in different years. Of the two item description examples, which do you prefer?
(I changed the donor’s name.)
Don’t Fake It, Make It
Private cooking class for 10 at the acclaimed ABC Cooking School
You and 9 guests will be guided by your chef instructor in creating a fabulous three-course meal. From ‘Classic French Cuisine’ to “Sushi’ and ‘Summertime Smoking and Barbecue,’ the reward is yours when you sit down to enjoy the meal you’ve prepared. Your instructor will work closely with you to create a menu perfect for the occasion and guests will enjoy house wines and take-home recipe packets so you can all make this delectable meal again at home. Lunch events are from 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM and dinner is from 6:30 – 9:30 PM. Available at the Bethesda or Gaithersburg facilities. Gratuity not included but appreciated. Date to be mutually agreeable; not available on holidays. Value $1700.
Donor: ABC Cooking School
Private epicurean delight for 10
Do you cook like you have your own TV show? If you do – or wish you could – this is the package for you! Celebrate your next occasion with a private cooking class party for 10 at ABC Cooking School in Bethesda. Chefs from the gourmet cooking school will guide you and your guests through an evening of cooking that you won’t soon forget. Possible party themes include a seasonal farm to table meal, foods from Emilia-Romagna, summertime BBQ, classic French cuisine, sushi or a theme of your own creation. Your Chef instruction will work closely with you to create a menu perfect for the occasion – and further your dreams of being a celebrity chef. Value: $1200
In this case, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ to either one of these; both are well-written.
But if you found that you preferred one over the other, you might ask yourself why.
Here’s what I noticed.
- The first description is written to attract the buyer who likes to cook. The second is angled towards someone who watches cooking shows and might fancy themselves a television personality. Either description is fine. Depending on what other items are in the line-up, you might opt for one over the other simply to differentiate the package from similar items.
- The first description did a better job of providing restrictions. Though it varies by auctioneer, I make a point of not mentioning a auction package’s restrictions when I sell it on the stage. Therefore, it’s nice to have complete restrictions available for guests to refer to on their own accord.
- The length, titles, providing values … overall they both look good and cover the points, though the second description doesn’t specifically call out the donor.
Want more auction catalog ideas?
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Charity auction catalog season is open! Reviewing catalogs gives you great examples of auction item descriptions, catalog formats, photos, timelines, games, raffles, and more.
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Grab ’em before they sell out!
(Sorry Virginians, but I can’t ship to Virginia.)