Anyone want to share ideas for bargains/inexpensive silent auction items?
Donations - of course - are ideal. But we all end up buying and donating stuff ourselves. So I was thinking we could exchange creative solutions such as homemade items, non-product ideas (Principal for a Day), and strategies for purchasing items at huge discounts.
Waffle Basket - JC Penney's has a Belgin Flip Waffle Maker on sale for $24.99 (reg. $59.99). Current store coupon for $10 off $25 purchase. That item has $10 rebate (purchase between 10/12 and 10/16, mail by 10/31).
Filler - You'll need something as a filler to get to $25. If I'm in the store, I go back to the customer service area and they have some spools of ribbons and some wrapping tissue for $1.89 each. That's about the cheapest thing I've found. Online, I search for socks. Can normally find something for $2 that someone in the family can wear or can be donated.
I ordered mine on line. Free shipping to store. Total prices $18.39 (includes 5-pack of socks). After rebate that's $8.39. I plan to add some syrup and waffle mix and make a basket valued at $60 plus the cost of whatever extras I add.
You can also put "rebate" in the search window and see other items this strategy might work for.
Re:Creating/Inexpensive Silent Auction Baskets
4 years 8 months ago #158828
We don't purchase items for our baskets. We have the teachers pick a theme for their class and then have all the kids bring in items. So say your basket is arts and crafts, each child brings in something to do with that theme..crayons glitter stickers etc.
We give tickets to be used at the event as a "prize" Something I considered was instead of giving tickets, giving a prize such as a pizza party or ice cream party to the class that donates the most items.
We've had great luck with local TV and radio stations. We have had a "day with the weatherman" package, another that featured working at the studio with the news crew and watching the noon news (and then eating lunch with one of the anchors), and another "DJs for the morning" at one of the local Christian radio stations, which also included bringing the regular DJs back to school for lunch with the class. Most allowed at least 2 kids to go, with as many as an entire class welcome at some of the venues. All included the ability for the kids to see behind the scenes and have a bit of air time.
JHB, you mentioned Principal for a Day. That has always been a huge hit at our school, and that's why, when we were desperate for other auction items that might bring a lot, we talked to the TV and radio stations to see whether they were up for experience-type offerings. It doesn't cost them much and for them it's good PR. Each package comes with station promotional gear, so basically we supply a basket (if they don't handle that as well).
Love the pancake/waffle basket idea. I'm trying to begin asking for items for our 3rd auction in about a year. A natural disaster caused an unplanned additional one recently and many of our local business donors were destroyed in the tragedy, so I appreciate all suggestions.
Re:Creating/Inexpensive Silent Auction Baskets
4 years 8 months ago #158860
Two huge hits at our school are the lunch line pass and "custodian for the day"- hang the flag, take the recycling to the bin, tidy up the teacher's lounge, etc.
Another idea, is class room art projects. All the children create one master piece; ideas could be 4 canvas'- each depicting a season, and an easel, or a set of dessert plates, etc. The initial investment will be minimal in comparison to the return.
I have 3 different silent auctions coming up where I personally need to donate something. (Professional organization, a charity fundraiser at work, a fundraiser elsewhere.) I'm doing the waffle iron basket for two of them. I made one this weekend for the work event. The waffle iron, after sale/coupon/rebate will probably cost me about $9. I added waffle mix, maple syrup, and blueberry syrup. I put it all on a rectangular plexiglass tray and wrapped it up. Looks pretty good and the retail value of is about $60. The person in charge of the auction was thrilled.
Our (small) department is also donating one as a group, so we decided on a Lottery Ticketbasket. That's easy and always popular. If everyone just chips in $2, $3, $5 (whatever) and then you find a creative way to display the tickets and market it as "priceless". We usually have anywhere from $20-$40 in scratch off tickets. I also use this idea for a Christmas gift exchange. We have a $25 limit so I buy $20 worth of lottery tickets then some token thing like a big box of cookies (on sale). Arrange the tickets all over the top and wrap. It's always the gift that gets stolen until it's frozen. And if nothing else, they get cookies!