13 Tips for Your Live Auction Fundraiser

1.  Always have your professional auctioneer help you with putting the live auction items in the best order.

2.  Live auction should be no longer than 45 minutes, but preferably 30 minutes.  It takes approximately 2-3 minutes to sell each item.

3.  It is very important to schedule the live auction early in your program. You want the bidders awake and energetic

4.  We recommend having the live auction during dinner.

5.  At events where there is little to no seating for the bidders it is very difficult to get the best results from your live auction.
6.  Make sure you have recorders in place to write down the winning bidder numbers and amounts (We recommend having 3 recorders, pre-designing the recorder sheets, and allowing us to meet with the recorders prior to the beginning of the event).

7.  Find out if any of the items can be sold twice and let us know.
8.  Inform us if any of the items have reserve/consignment amounts.
9.  We recommend utilizing professional bid spotters (ringmen) during your live auction (1 ringman per 100-150 guests is optimal).

10.  Allow your professional auctioneer to set starting bids and control the increments of the auction.

11.  Make sure that the house lights are brought up and spot lights down so that your auctioneer can see the bidders.

12.  Be careful with consignment items in your live auction.   

13.  Consult with us before choosing consignment items as they can many times take a lot of revenue out of your auction.  We can recommend good consignment companies that we trust.

Written by Mike Grigg, AARE, BAS of Elite Auctions & Fundraising Services