We work with a lot of non-profits at H2H Consulting and one of the biggest trends we had in 2020 was online auctions.
We reviewed a ton of auction sites and there are so many that have a lot of great features.
For most of our clients, it is a balance of price and features, so in 2020 we used ClickBid for most of our online auctions.
Why did we choose ClickBid as an online auction tool?
It was a $795 annual license fee for up to 4 auctions a year that we could scale up and down based on what our needs were.
Overall, ClickBid was an easy-to-use system that allowed us to manage images, upload descriptions from one large excel file, preview the event and host a second chance auction.
Their team is on call for your event and available to answer your questions. You also get an onboarding call where they walk you through your setup and call your attention to some things you may not have done correctly.
They are a Michigan based company and I love to support local.
If you are interested in checking out ClickBid as your next online auction tool, visit their website here and schedule a demo: https://clickbidonline.com/
Be sure to tell them Kendra of H2H Consulting sent you.
Tips For Your Next Online Auction
- Get a committee together about 6 months in advance to start targeting donations.
- Pro tip: Make sure your volunteers have the tools they need to solicit auction items including your 501(c)(3) letter, a cover letter they can customize and a form the donor or solicitor can complete.
- Pro tip: Make sure your committee understands the value of the audience you are providing. Businesses want access to your supporters and this is a great way for them to get exposure and feel good. However, even from a business standpoint, it is great advertising for many companies, so be sure to think about your audience’s size and demographics to share with potential donors.
- Plan carefully. Do you know what your attendees or donors or volunteers like to bid on? What goes above value? What doesn’t sell? Create a target list of items you would like to have and get people helping you create the items.
- Create a variety of items for people to bid on at different prices. Inside ClickBid, you can do “quantity” items and sell things for a set price.
- Inventory your items and see what will combine well.
- Be careful to not price your supporters out of their comfort level.
- Set your minimum bids and bid increase amounts. I like to start around 50% of the value of the item and then depending on that amount, I set the bid increments to $5, $10 or $25.
- Photos, photos, and more photos. At the auction, your attendees are looking at the basket and can clearly see what’s inside. If your baskets are wrapped, that may not be as easy online. Take photos of the entire basket but also some of the key items. It’s really important to make the photos enticing as that will increase your bids.
- Encourage people to Buy Now too. I usually set my Buy Now numbers above the market value.
- Pro tip: DON’T set a Buy Now price for things that go high for your organization like lottery baskets.
- Give people a way to donate inside your auction if they don’t see something they want to bid on.
- Run your auction for at least 7 days. This will give your supporters enough time to review the items and figure out what they want to purchase.
Good luck with your auction and if you are looking for tips for your next virtual event, be sure to check out our 8 Tips for Virtual Events here.