Kathy’s Hot Tips to Procure High Profit Benefit Auction Items
After three decades as a benefit auctioneer and fundraising consultant, the #1 question I’m still asked is: “Kathy, what are THE BEST SELLING live auction items that will raise the most money?”
But you know, that’s actually the wrong question. Before you can forecast the most lucrative auction items, ask these two questions first.
- Who are your benefit auction guests?
- “WHO will actually BUY each live auction item over the value?”
I’ve noticed a bit of a troubling trend this past spring auction season. In numerous benefit auctions, I’ve observed one or two live auction items in that have not performed financially as well as the auction committee had hoped. Why? The answer might surprise you – it’s a commonly overlooked mistake.
The reason is failure to BYOB: Bring Your Own Buyers.
In order to procure high profit live auction items every time, it’s imperative to absolutely know who will actually buy each auction item before you include it in your live auction line up.
Here’s the key factor. Don’t be satisfied to accept items without forecasting who will actually be THE high bidder. Too often auction committees, boards and volunteers cross your fingers and hope someone bids on an auction item. To be truly profitable, you must hand select and curate the RIGHT BUYERS for each of your live auction items.
Match Your Guests to Each Live Auction Item.
Steal this lesson for item procurement. Know who attends your fundraiser and what they want, then match unique auction items with the wants of your audience. With this highly strategic approach to item solicitation, you won’t end up with low selling or unwanted auction items that will fail to bring full or over value.
Build More Donor Relationships.
From a strategic perspective, what drives a fundraising event is the opportunity to better know and build relationships with your guests, so they become more engaged, more passionate about your cause, and more willing to contribute.
Before you begin procuring items, it’s imperative to understand the buying behaviors of the guests and donors. The goal is to offer exciting auction items people actually want and will BUY OVER THE VALUE, so they can freely and eagerly support a cause they love – yours!
Benefit auction guest behaviors have changed.
Auction guests are bidding much more intentionally. Let’s face it: Not everyone really wants or needs another silent or live auction item. So it’s vital for you and your benefit auction team to be quite strategic, and to make sure you exclusively procure and offer items that will keep the auction exciting and lucrative.
Know your guests and curate your auction items.
This is the most lucrative way to boost bidding and make more money. What’s the very best way to know what your donors, past bidders, guests, and sponsors want? Ask them what they would love to bid on at your next auction. Then ask for their advice. Ask them what’s missing at the auction. Study past auction data, list the top items, and note who bought them. Then focus on procuring those high-performing auction items.
Plus, DOUBLE your money.
Always, always ask the donor if you can offer two packages on auction night. Be sure to let your auctioneer know when they can sell two!
What about YOU?
If you have more great ideas about high profit live auction items, drop me a note or call.
If I can ever help you or a colleague or friend, I’d love to hear from you. I always offer a complimentary consultation. Referrals are the greatest compliment.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 603-235-1196 Thank you!