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need help organizing silent auction

22 years 9 months ago #85438 by Norman
Replied by Norman on topic RE: need help organizing silent auction
If you decide to make a catalog, it should be for ONE PURPOSE only…to make money! The way you make money with a catalog, is to sell advertising to businesses, sponsors and even parents. Then if you can get some company or business to pay for the catalog printing…that’s even better.

Regarding sending the catalog home to the parents ahead of time, most schools I’ve worked with have not gotten the catalog printed until about a week before the auction, and they just hand out the catalogs at the auction registration table. I would think that sending a one page flyer to the parents would work just as well. However, some schools do use "absentee" bids by people who could not attend, so I reckon those bidders would have to have the catalog in advance.

Norman O’Neal, President, Auctioneers Association of Maryland
22 years 9 months ago #85437 by cindyf
Replied by cindyf on topic RE: need help organizing silent auction
THANKS so much to both of you for the great responses, I have a much better idea of how to go forward now. One question for Normand, you mentioned a catolog. Does it help to send that home to parents ahead of the fair date- is it worth the effort?
thanks, Cindyf
22 years 9 months ago #85436 by MightyJo
Replied by MightyJo on topic RE: need help organizing silent auction
Most silent auctions I've seen have open bid sheets where you can see other people's bids. That way, you can keep coming back to increase your bid if you like.Norman's idea of having the bid increments pre-written sounds very sensible.

Instead of traditional silent auctions, we do what we call a "Chinese Auction". We have a large selection of prizes (I would think over 50 would work best). Prizes range from gift certificate (for restaurants, stores, amusement parks, sports events, etc..) to toys to plants, etc...
We display the prizes with a sign showing who donated the item & place a coffee can next to it. (We keep the gift certificates in a safe place - not on display.) Partici-pants purchase raffle tickets. We use 2-part raffle tickets & sell them for $.50 a ticket.
We put tickets in any cans for prizes we'd like to win. We've had individual people spend $70. & upwards. It may not make as much money as a Silent Auction, but we love the idea that someone can get a prize without spending a large amount of money. One year we had about 200 prizes and made about $1300. on the auction. We don't hold it for fundraising purposes though. I can tell you that we have lots of people who absolutely love the event!

Send me an e-mail if you'd like more info.
22 years 9 months ago #85435 by Norman
Replied by Norman on topic RE: need help organizing silent auction
If you are going to use a raffle, weigh how much the items in the raffle are worth vs. how many tickets you would have to sell (or how much income you want). I would recommend that you don’t put very many items in the raffle to maximize the income off this.

For the silent auction, once you have accumulated over 50 auction items or so, you will probably want to create separate categories for the listing of auction items in your auction catalog. Here are a few typical categories: Class Items such as class baskets, craft items made by the kids, photo albums of class activities. Teacher Items - trips with a teacher, items made or donated by a teacher. Dining Out - gift certificates for use at restaurants, pizza parlors. Home Cooking - home made food, home dinner/party, dessert-a-month for a year. Entertainment - theater tickets, video rentals, guided museum & zoo tours. Getaways - vacation getaways, hotel or bed and breakfast . Sports - tickets to professional sports events, golf green fees, autographed sports, collectibles such as footballs, baseballs, photographs, hats. Services - gift certificates for automobile services, lube & oil changes, hair salon, nail painting, tax & investment services, fitness centers. Home & Garden - tools, home repair services, computer services. Books & CDs - books, music CDs, computer software. Merchandise - new merchandise items such as figurines, jewelry, prints & paintings, clothing, cooking utensils, dolls & toys. Antiques & Collectibles - glass, china, arts & crafts. Miscellaneous - other items that don’t fit in other categories. You may have to consolidate some of the categories based on how many items you have in each category.

For the silent auction bid sheets, at the top section you will want to list the Item Description, who donated the item, and an estimated value. Below that, make 2 columns: Bid Amount, Bidder Name or Bidder Number. I would suggest that you pre-fill in the bid amounts, so that there is no question on the bid increments, as well as starting with a minimum bid of about 20-25% of the estimated value Pre-filled in bid amounts also cuts down on the time a bidder is in front of the bid sheet, allowing more other bidders to look at and bid.

As a last note, think about a live auction of 15-20 items. If you have a professional auctioneer do this for you, it will only take about 30 minutes…and you will get much higher bids.

Norman O’Neal, President, Auctioneers Association of Maryland
22 years 9 months ago #85434 by cindyf
need help organizing silent auction was created by cindyf
Hi, I am a first time spring fair chairperson. Our fair is June 2. We are having traditional raffles but for a few of the larger donated prizes I would like to do a silent auction. I am wondering how some of you do it and which ways bring in the most money. Do you do sealed bids,have open lists that people can see what the person befor them bid or other ideas? thanks cindy
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