So you’re having a fundraising auction event and you need an auctioneer… one of the board members says: “My uncle is a world champion cattle auctioneer and he is willing to donate his bid calling services.” The rest of the board says that’s spectacular and your event proceeds with a great cattle auctioneer at the helm. After the event your guests say things like: “I couldn’t understand the auctioneer, he was speaking so fast” or “I wanted to bid but I couldn’t understand the auctioneer.” These are very common problems that occurs at fundraising events all the time and are easily preventable.
Cattle auctioneers and many auto auctioneers have quick chants with minimal filler because their job requires them to sell a ton of items as quickly as possible to “professional” bidders that understand a super fast chant. The vast majority of fundraising auction attendees have never been to an auction before and will have no idea what a “fast-chanting” auctioneer is saying.
What happens when a bidder doesn’t understand the auctioneer? THEY DON’T BID!! What happens when they don’t bid? YOUR CHARITY RAISES FAR LESS MONEY!! You have to ask yourself if it is worth a “free” auctioneer when he or she is raising you significantly less proceeds for your non profit or school.
Here is an example of a ten item auction that could potentially happen without a professional fundraising auctioneer in control of your live auction:
Item 1: His and Her Bicycles worth $350 sold for $150 because audience couldn’t understand auctioneer.
Item 2: Flat screen television worth $1,000 sold for $600 because audience couldn’t understand auctioneer.
Item 3: Box of wine worth $500 sold for $300 because audience couldn’t understand auctioneer.
Item 4: Trip to Napa Valley worth $1,500 sold for $900 because audience couldn’t understand auctioneer.
Item 5: African Safari worth $4,500 sold for $3,000 because audience couldn’t understand auctioneer.
Item 6: Latin dinner and dance party for 10 worth $2,000 sold for $1,200 because audience couldn’t understand auctioneer.
Item 7: Nice Men’s watch worth $1,000 sold for $550 because audience couldn’t understand auctioneer.
Item 8: Puppy worth $900 sold for $600 because audience couldn’t understand auctioneer.
Item 9: Dinner for two with wine at nice restaurant worth $300 sold for $200 because audience couldn’t understand auctioneer.
Item 10: Firehouse dinner worth $200 sold for $150 because audience couldn’t understand auctioneer.
In this example the loss was $4,600!!!! This doesn’t include improperly running the fund a need at all and it has already cost you nearly $5,000. We have consistently seen results like this and far worse with volunteer auctioneers and auctioneers that don’t specialize in fundraising.
ARE YOU REALLY GETTING HIS OR HER SERVICES FREE OR ARE YOU SACRIFICING FUNDS RAISED THAT WILL FAR EXCEED WHAT YOU WOULD PAY A PROFESSIONAL FUNDRAISING AUCTIONEER.
- Experienced fundraising auctioneers know how to interact with the audience and drive the prices of your items to their full potential. It is a proven fact that experienced auctioneers can easily attain 15%-50% higher for your items.
- Experienced fundraising auctioneers have a passion for their profession and understand that their performance reflects the quality of their public perception. Having a volunteer call your auction is like having an accountant work on your car.
- Experienced fundraising auctioneers understand that the main goal of any event is to raise money, whether it be for a charity, business, or organization. Auctioneers make giving money fun, emotional and competitive!
- Experienced fundraising auctioneers understand that keeping the audience entertained and having fun is the key element to a successful auction event. According to a National Auctioneers Association survey, FUN is the number one reason why people attend auctions.
- Experienced fundraising auctioneers have all of the necessary tools to make your event unforgettable. Good auctioneers are always training and educating themselves about the latest trends in the business.
Written by Mike Grigg, BAS, AARE of Elite Auctions & Fundraising Services (https://elitefundraisingauctions.com)