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September 28, 2018 Why Do Selling Prices Fluctuate with Your Charity Live Auction Items Each Year?

Live charity auction items

Have you ever offered a live auction item at your charity auction that tanked one year and sold for big money the next year? It does happen. Here are some reasons why.

A repeat live auction item may be more well-known the second year it is offered. You can help get the word out that first year by making sure the item is getting the proper marketing and buzz prior to the event. And at the event, have all of your live auction items properly displayed so guests can read more about them prior to bidding. Be sure to print information in the program, or at a minimum put together an insert that can be added to the program. Many charities send email blasts to their guests in advance of the event, allowing potential bidders to learn about the items prior to arriving.

Word of mouth can make a difference from year to year, too. Most trip purchasers will come back with photos of their experience. With their permission you can use these pictures to your charity’s advantage in the marketing of the trip. If the previous winning bidders are game, ask them to share a bit about their experience before the item is sold. A personal endorsement can go a long way (You’ll want to keep control of the microphone; you might even use video for presenting their message).

If a live auction item is more successfully sold at subsequent charity auction events than it was at its first offering, it may simply be that the right people were in attendance the night it generated more revenue. I think most items that sell higher the following year can attribute the reason to this scenario – the right guests, donors with a passion for your nonprofit and the financial wherewithal to support your mission, attended the event.

Once you’ve sold a live auction item for multiple years, if it doesn’t continue to maintain a high sales price, you might consider putting the item in the silent auction.

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