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Silent Auction Ideas

Silent auction ideas are a great way to organize and bring fun and profit to special events. Simple ideas can make your silent auction extremely successful.
Auctions are gradually turning out to be big money spinners for various fundraisers and auctions can be considered as a medium through which commodities are purchased and sold. Any item in an auction is sold to the highest bidder and strict trading policies are followed at all times.
Auctions have been in practice for many years and nowadays, silent auctions are extremely popular in fundraising events. A silent auction is a type of English auction where the bidder places the bid by writing it on a piece of paper and at the end of the auction the highest bidder wins the item. Silent auctions are usually held in charity events.
It is called a silent auction as there is no auctioneer, the respective bidders place their bids on a piece of paper or on the bidding sheet often placed to the left of the item. People participating in a silent auction are provided with a registration number, and they write this number with the amount that they have bidden.
Hosting a silent auction is not an easy job and such events require a lot of planning. To make it a success, the auction needs to have a large supply of items or a large number of participants for a limited number of ultra-luxurious items.
Either way, organizing a silent auction is a time-consuming job and requires team effort. Organizers need to double-check the items that have to be auctioned and ensure none of them are low-quality.

Fundraising Ideas for Silent Auction

To ensure that the auction is a success and people in large numbers turn up for it, here is a list of ideas for hosting a successful silent auction.

✦ Donate Items

Spark up the interest of local businesses to participate in the auction. Explain to them that putting up their services for auction is a smart way of promoting their services. When businesses donate items or services which are in demand, the cost incurred is minimal and even the organizing committee saves money.

✦ Find a Venue and Promote the Silent Auction

If a large number of people are attending the auction, it is extremely essential that the venue should be able to accumulate that crowd. If you are representing a non-profit organization, try getting a discount on the rent charges but make sure the venue is tastefully decorated.
Advertise the auction so that people know about it in advance and print the list of items that are going to be auctioned and leave fliers at doorstep. Registration fee may or may not be charged.

✦ Have Food and Drinks at the Venue

A silent auction requires a lot of walking around the venue for items. Consider providing some refreshments for prospective bidders. If registration fee has been charged, keep the food free. However, if registration is free, charge for the food. Cheese, small finger appetizers and drinks are popular picks for silent auctions.

✦ Different Bidding Time

Make sure that every item has a different bidding time, this keeps the excitement going. When every item is auctioned at different timings, the atmosphere automatically becomes lively and the auction proceeds in order. Ensure to save the most expensive items for the end.

✦ Bidding by Technology

To ensure that the auction gets the maximum participation, build a website and have telephone and fax numbers on the leaflets. People who won't be able to attend this auction can bid through the Internet, phone and fax. This will ensure that more and more people bid in the silent auction.

✦ Bid the Expensive Item Last

Keep the most expensive item for the last. It will generate an atmosphere of anticipation and thrill around the venue. An item that is wanted by everybody and is auctioned last will make the last call fun and exciting.

Silent Auction Rules

✦ All the items that are placed for an auction should have bidding sheets placed next to them or on a table nearby. People who want to bid on a particular item can do so by writing the bid number and the bidding amount on the bid sheet. Most bidders are provided a silent auction card that should be carried while coming to a silent auction.
✦ Never bid the same amount as the previous bidder. The current bidder should always bid an amount higher than the previous amount.
✦ If the bidder really wants an item, he/she can just write the bidding number on the "Guaranteed Purchase" label and they get the first chance to bid for the item. Don't forget to draw a diagonal line through the previous bid spaces.

✦ In the occurrence of a dispute the chairperson of an auction has the final authority.
Hosting silent auctions is a great way to maximize money for a fundraiser, and making this an annual thing ensures more participation every time. Yes, there is immense hard work and planning but the end result is extremely satisfying.