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need help organizing silent auction

22 years 8 months ago #85456 by Delene
Replied by Delene on topic RE: need help organizing silent auction
Wow I had not Idea aucions could be this much fun or lucrative. I really like the idea of having tickets sold for a set price and basically raffling each item by ticket. I would definately like more information about this, and a information about items tied to it like the food, sock hops, and other items. In my mind I am playing with the idea of having both a ticket auction and a public auction. Can anyone help me tie this together?
22 years 8 months ago #85455 by Norman
Replied by Norman on topic RE: need help organizing silent auction
The best way I've seen for letting silent auction bidders know that they have or have not "won" a bid is to mark all the bidder's numbers on a large poster board(s)with the numbers 1-2" in height, and the bidders who have won bids, cross out or circle those bidder numbers.

Place this poster board near the cashiers, and the bidders can glance at the board to see if they need to pay and collect or not.

Norman O'Neal
President, Auctioneers Association of Maryland
22 years 8 months ago #85454 by DebbieCZ
Replied by DebbieCZ on topic RE: need help organizing silent auction
this message will be too late for your silent auction, but I have to crow a bit as our board made over $25,000 (after expenses) for our benefit this year. Our board was very green and it was the first time doing a silent auction for many of us. First off, for soliciting, urge members to go to people they know - everyone feels more comfortable. Also, the trips/hotels sold the best. For the actual auction night our school has a computer program that it has used in the past which turns out great spreadsheets but takes a lot of time the evening of. We (I) printed up carbonless bid sheets for each item. It had the estimate value, minimum bid (usually 35-50% of value) and a minimum bid rise (usually $5-$10). The bid sheets were placed in front of the item. At the end of the night we had a "circler" who at the stroke of 10:30 pm started circling the final bid amount and that would be the winner. The bid sheets were turned over and eventually collected. The top two copies were collected by a "runner" for that table and given to one person who filed the copies by numerical order (guests were pre-assigned a bidder number). The third copy was left on the table by the auction item (all items had a sticker identifying their item #). All gift certificates were in a sealed manilla envelopes filed by item number at a separate table. After all the sheets were collected we opened up the cashiers table to announce the winners. We did not post the winners and we should have - some people waited in line to be disappointed they hadn't won. The guest would tell the cashier (we had 3 for 200 people) and the cashier's helper would pull the copies from the bidder number file. The cashier would add up the total, do the sale, and give the guest the top (white) copies of their prizes with it marked paid. The 2nd copy (yellow) would go back to the bidder file in case questions rose. The guest would take their paid receipt (the white copy) to the "runner" table. A PTO member would collect the prizes and give them to the guest. It worked really well and we were done with cashing out in less than 1 90 minutes from when we closed down bidding to the end of the night. The only problem was some cashiers did not return the yellow copies to the bid file and we would have two separate runners looking for the same prizes at the same time. It was my first time running (or attending) a silent auction and the first guest arrived with her paid white sheets and we could not find her three gift certificates in the file. I panicked - visions of mix-ups crowded my head. Luckily it was a volunteer teacher at the school who graciously said, "Don't worry, they'll turn up. Just bring them to school when they do." What had happened was the cashier had given the guest the paid white copies of the bid sheet and instead of returning the yellow copies to the bidder file, she gave them to a runner who was busily collecting the prizes at the same time I was trying to collect the same prizes. Phew! It was fun and in the end it was a success, but it's a lot of work. I hope you enjoyed the night.
22 years 9 months ago #85453 by cindyf
Replied by cindyf on topic RE: need help organizing silent auction
Norman, Thanks for the idea of a "mini live auction". Just last night at my fair meeting a mom came up to me and said at a fair she attended in the fall, there was an item her son wanted VERY badly and she bid every 5 minutes throughout the fair. At the closing moment an auction worker wrote her name in on the sheet of 3 items then "closed" the auction. I couldn't imagine that but it sure got me thinking. I have chosen (before her story) to keep items that a child might really want as regular raffles to prevent major disappointment if a mom or dad just couldn't afford to bid any higher. Our fair is for fun first ,then fundraiser so I felt good about this approach, thanks cindyf
22 years 9 months ago #85452 by Norman
Replied by Norman on topic RE: need help organizing silent auction
JHB, here are a couple of examples on the "pre-filled in silent auction bids":

1) A $20 value item-start with the first (minimum) bid of $5 or $6, then use $1-2 increments, i.e., $5, $6, $7 or $6, $8, $10....

2) A $100 value item-start with the first bid of $20, then $25, $30....

3) A $300 value item-start with $50 then $60, $70, $80 ....

I would also suggest adding a "guaranteed purchase box with say 150% of the value of the item...say a $100 item..."guaranteed purchase" amount of $150...whoever enters a bid of that amount closes out the bidding of others on this item...they get it, and no one else can bid higher...

To summarize the rationale behind "pre-filled in bid amounts...1) no mistakes on minimum bids, 2) no mistakes on the bid increments, 3) less time spent in "front of the item" to protect the item and keep others from bidding on it", 4) avoiding minimal bid increases, 5) avoiding the previous mentioned problem of bidders changing their bids on a "higher line".

One more thing...when I work an auction of this type, I also work the Silent Auction...using the P.A. to announce the current high bids on a few items every few minutes...as well as to tell Bidder # X that they are no longer the High Bidder...and when the category is about to close, I manage the closing, and if any item is highly contested at the last second...I open that item up for a "mini-live auction" between the final bidders...thus getting higher bids and not letting the "clock" prevent additional bidding. Sometimes I get 50-100% higher bids in these mini-live auctions.

Norman O'Neal
President, Auctioneers Association of Maryland
22 years 9 months ago #85451 by cindyf
Replied by cindyf on topic RE: need help organizing silent auction
Again, thank you so much for taking the time to offer such great posts- I have gotten so many fantastic ideas from this "thread". JHB- as I said before this is the first time my husband and I have chaired this event and we too had nearly no documentation from previous years and this has been done for quite awhile. We have spent lots of time creating documentation for the future. I love the idea of a prize for the class with the best attendence.
thanks again, cindyf
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