The success of electronic bidding during your event depends on several factors. Below we've provided some tips for you to consider:
- Register Bidders For eBidding Prior To Your Event
One of the
biggest factors that will determine the success of mobile bidding is the number of active and engaged eBidders. For this reason, it is important that you make bidder registration a priority. Having bidders registered prior to your event
will translate to speedier check-in with bidders starting to bid sooner. Here are are few ways to entice bidders to register before the event:
• Sell tickets online. In order to purchase tickets or sponsorships online prior to the event, the buyer must set up his/her account. This same account is what he/she uses for bidding.
• Offer an incentive. For example, those bidders who register before the event get a complimentary glass of wine at check-in.
• Open bidding a few days before the event, or perhaps even auction off a couple of desirable items a few days before the event. Only bidders who have registered can bid on and win those items.
- Display Auction Items
though bidders will be bidding electronically (eBidding) at your auction, it is
still crucial that you display your items at the event. Simply put, people like
to see, touch, walk-around etc. the items that they are buying or bidding on.
- Plan For A Good Bidder-to-Package Ratio
It’s also important that you create a sense of
competition among the eBidders. In our experience, the more successful
eAuctions have an activated-bidder-to-eBiddable-package ratio of between 1:1
and 1:2.5. This means you should strive to have no more than two and a half
eBiddable packages per activated bidder account. Take special note of the
adjectives “activated” and “eBiddable.” A couple that shares a bidder account
is considered one ‘activated’ bidder, and in our experience will place fewer
bids than when each spouse has their own bidder account.
- Set Realistic Starting Bids and Bid Increments
The success of your eAuction will also depend on the
starting bid values and raise increments that you set for your packages. In our
experience, it’s best to start the bidding at between 35%-50% of a package’s
fair market value. And it should take no more than 12 bid increments to reach the package’s full value, so take this into account when
setting the raise increment.
- Use Win-It-Now Option Intelligently
On a per package basis you have the option to offer a
Win-It-Now price. A Win-It-Now price usually falls between 100% and 200% of the
package’s fair market value, depending on the contents of the package and how
generous you expect your crowd to be. For example, for a 12-year-old bottle of
scotch whose fair market value is $100, we would suggest a Win-It-Now price of
between $150 and $200; but for a $100 restaurant gift certificate, we would
suggest a Win-It-Now price of between $100 and $125. Never put a Win-It-Now
price on a package that creates an emotional pull. And note that if eBidding
reaches 80% of a package’s Win-It-Now price, the system will automatically pull
the Win-It-Now option from that package. This is to encourage further eBidding
if a ‘bidding war’ has begun.
- Be Smart About How You Combine Donations Into Packages/Baskets
Bundling related items into a ‘basket’ to be
auctioned-off as one unit is an effective way to raise money, but keep in mind
that you must still keep starting bids reasonable. Don’t take bidders out of
the competition by ‘over bundling.’ Combining like donations – e.g. a baseball,
bat and game tickets --, finding a ‘home’ for a less desirable donation, and
paring down the number of eBiddable packages are all good reasons for creating
- Also Sell Fixed-Price Items From Your Catalog
In addition to your eBiddable packages, be sure to
include mutli-sale fixed-price packages – like hosted parties – in your
- Hire An Auctioneer For Your Live Auction Items
Continue to hold a live auction at your event, just like
you have at past events. The auctioneer remains an invaluable piece of your
fundraising success. Items that you would normally auction off in a silent
auction (i.e. via bid sheets) translate well to electronic bidding. Higher-valued
and emotionally charged items, on the other hand, will raise more money when
auctioned off by an experienced auctioneer and therefore should only be
displayed in your eCatalog. (To do this, choose “Traditional” as the package’s
Bidding Style.) Once the winner is determined by the auctioneer, your auction
staff can record the winning bid via the Control Center software.
- Conduct A Fund-A-Need Drive During Your Live Auction
The Fund-A-Need Drive (a.k.a. Special Appeal, Flurry,
Paddle Call) remains a highly effective tool for you to raise money during your
live auction. During a Fund-A-Need drive, the auctioneer asks for guests to
raise their paddles to make a monetary donation towards a special project, a
scholarship fund, a large piece of equipment or a special item that is needed
by your organization. Your auction staff will quickly write down these pledges and
then record them via the Control Center software.
- Offer A Range of Packages For Broad Appeal
Strive to offer a variety of packages that will appeal
to a variety of pocketbooks.
- Selectively Enable Overtime Bidding.
Overtime Bidding prevents 'auction sniping' whereby
someone tries to place a bid at the last possible moment. When "Overtime
Bidding" is enabled for a package, if the package receives a bid within
the last five minutes of scheduled close time, its close time will be extended
another five minutes. This will occur up to 12 times, so the package could
close up to an hour after its original close time. Overtime Bidding must be
enabled before a bid has been placed
on the package. To enable Overtime Bidding, click the Package Title in the Items > Packages
> Manage Packages list, check 'Enable overtime bidding," and save