California Charity Fundraising Auctioneer and Auction Guidelines
Whether or not you choose California Coast Auctions for your charity fundraising auction, please make sure you follow these guidelines from Zack Krone, an experienced California charity fundraising auctioneer, to help make it a success.
Conduct the Auction on a day/night far enough in advance and preferably on a Friday or Saturday night.
Start auction with the best small / low ticket items to loosen the monetary mind set of the bidders and create excitement and desire amongst the bidders. It can aide in setting the tone and pace for the auction. Pick out items that with have broad appeal to everyone.
Never announce the value of an item or reserve price prior to the conducting of the auction. If so you will inadvertently set a psychological spending cap in the bidders mind. Do not set reserve prices too high or too low. It should be based on the actual value of the item. Research the actual retail value of the item as the reatil value of the item provided by donor’s are often inflated
Set a time when big ticket items will be sold, preferably at the height of the energy level of the crowd. End the auction with a couple grand finale items.
To maximize audience participation, conduct the auction after the crowd has settled in; eaten, and consumed several of their libations of choice.
Hold the auction before any spoken entertainment (stand up comedy) and after any musical entertainment. If there is a big name entertainer or entertainment ticket, conduct the auction prior to the entertainer/performer. So the audience will stay for the auction and not leave prior to the auction.
Keep all auction material in close proximity. i.e auction items and clerks desk close to the stage.
Display the auction items so every member of the audience can see them on stage. If necessary take pictures of the items and display them on a projection screen.
Never use the house sound system. The sound is thin, tin like and not pleasant to the ear. Use your own P.A system.
If Auction has more than 40 people in attendance use ring persons to spot bids
Conduct all clerking duties/information during the auction. The Clerks with keep track of the amount the lot/item has sold for and to which bidder. They should not be approached during the auction by bidders who did not win.
Have audience members’ register/sign in for the auction upon their entrance. With name, contact info, and signature to the agreement of auction terms and conditions as well as a monetary bind. i.e credit card number
Use wireless microphone. Auctioneer will interact and engage with the audience during the auction.
Like the theater…timing is everything: The order items are sold in. How long a sale of an item will take, keep the pace fast, light and energetic. If an item does not sell…move on so you do not stifle the energy of the auction. Put the item up for sale again (re run the item) later in the show.
The winning bidders can collect the items immediately after the auction is completed. This will ensure that the audience member does not leave before the auction is over or without paying.
Do not give the winning bidder the item until it is paid for.
Inspect the space prior to the auction for stage placement, sound and lighting system, available power outlets, phone jacks, internet access, bathroom proximity, back stage area.
Do not publicly announce the winners of silent auction items over the microphone. This takes time and is not an entertaining portion of any event. The best method to notifying guests that they are the winner of a silent auction item is to approach them 1 on 1. Have they sign for or pay for their item in a discreet and congratulatory fashion. If you do not have enough volunteers to fulfill this task then the 2nd best method is to create bulletin board of the winning bidders and the corresponding item. Place the bulletin next to the check out tables.
Place the silent auction tables in an area that is convenient and located in an area of heavy foot traffic. You want your guests to walk by the silent auction tables more than once. Never place the tables in an area where the guest can ignore them i.e. in a corner or in the back of the room. Ideally you want the silent auction tables to be in the vicinity of where guests will converse and congregate. Such as near the bar or buffet tables.