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Consignment auctions like Bluetree, etc

4 years 11 months ago #166501 by Dee Bott
Replied by Dee Bott on topic Consignment auctions like Bluetree, etc
We used Bluetree for auction items in the past and were pleased. This past year we agreed to a trip to the CMA. We sold 3 packages at $4000 each and paid $3100 to the vendor. What a scam. We had the very worst possible tickets. we were met at the airport - we purchased our own airline tickets, we stayed 2 nights at a lovely hotel and attended a no name party afterwards where the host who was a "c" entertainer stayed 30 minutes and left. :angry:

The packages we purchased were a huge disappointment to our major donors. Dangit!!! I communicated our displeasure to our rep who responded we will do better next year. Not on our dime he won't.
3 years 11 months ago #169132 by cindyb
I would definitely NOT recommend Winspire. I bought a trip that was way overpriced. I learned the hard way that vouchers are not accepted like gift certificates are. The plane vouchers were useless. I tried to book 4 months ahead, looking at 4 airports in 3 different states. I could only find one one-way ticket. Even the representative at American Airlines admitted they were highly restricted. So I had to deal with Winspire. Good luck having them answer a phone and get back to you. No matter what time I called no one answered the phone and no one returned calls. I finally got the charity to help me work with Winspire. Winspire would not book the seats until 3 weeks before and despite my emphatically stating I did NOT want an early morning flight, they booked a 6 a.m. flight, with a long layover. When I checked online, there were seats available on the same day on better flights. Everything was done on the cheap. To activate hotel voucher you called hotel line and could not speak to an actual person. Even though the hotel had openings for the general public, there were only a few openings per weekend available using this voucher. When I called the hotel, most weekends were booked 6 months ahead. I made a reservation for restaurant (as required to activate voucher), but because I didn't specifically say that I was using this voucher the restaurant came close to not letting me use the voucher. Everything was done on the cheap! I don't usually travel first-class, but I have never experienced such a bad trip. Don't make any mistake about it. Winspire is out to make money at the expense of the charity. They are not a concierge service by any means. This event happened five years ago and it still makes me angry about how badly I was treated after laying out almost $5,000.
3 years 8 months ago #169936 by MillieD
For those that have used consignment, about how large are your auction and your schools?
3 years 8 months ago #169937 by Sherry Truhlar
I'm not a consignor, but I know a lot about them.

One point to keep in mind, even if you're a tiny auction, you can use trip consignors ... but you have to use the right consignor. I work with many clients that only have a top-selling live item that might be $3k ... and they still sell wonderful trips. The key is that they use consignors that offer 50/50 splits instead of flat rates, or we select a consignor that offers very low cost trips.

I sell a number of trips to Ireland, Costa Rica, Cuba, etc. but it's a 50/50 split -- whatever the auction sale price is, we split it 50% with the consignor. So a $3000 sale, for instance, raises $1500 for the nonprofit. A $1000 sale would raise $500 for the nonprofit. (That said, I've never solda trip for only $1k ... but it could happen.)

You've got to hunt around to find the right consignor for your auction, or ask your auctioneer.
3 years 8 months ago #169942 by Anne
Replied by Anne on topic Consignment auctions like Bluetree, etc
Would you be able to share a link to someone who has used Blue Tree? I represent a very small SPCA in an isolated community in British Columbia. Their premise sounds like a wonderful way to help us raise funds for a badly needed extension on our current building, which is just not large enough. Any help would be appreciated. If you would prefer to send the info privately my email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Thank you,
Anne
3 years 8 months ago #169945 by MillieD
Thanks for the info. We don't have an auctioneer since it's a silent auction and I'm only finding consignment places that have flat fees. I guess I'll keep looking.
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