Four suggestions on item selections that make your silent auction more fun and increase bidding.

For an auction to be successful, you have to have items that individuals will bid on – that’s a given. However, offering one-of-a-kind or specialty items can yield more revenue as well as more fun for your bidders. Here are a few unique item suggestions and ways to generate even more bids and more excitement at your benefit auction:

#1 – Bundle! Bundle! Bundle!

People love a good bundle at an auction. When building your auction item catalogue, look to see if you can bundle smaller donations from multiple businesses into one larger and more attractive package. Fore example, tickets donated from the local theater company, a limousine service, and a restaurant gift card could be packaged into a great date night basket bundle that’s more likely to get noticed. If you are unable to bundle items, invite a sponsor to cover the costs of purchasing specific items to create a bundle. Bundling items into unique packages raises the value of the items and can increase the bids significantly. As an aside, our auction database software, Bidstation, makes it easy to create baskets right inside the app.

#2 – Unique Experiences

Work to gather specialty items that would be otherwise difficult to obtain. How about a private cooking class with a local chef, a backstage tour at the local event center when a famous musician is coming to town, or a private tour of a regional attraction such as a zoo or museum? These experiences that are not normally available create a ‘priceless’ auction item and are a great way to get individuals even more engaged in the auction.

#3 – Add Some Mystery

People love a good mystery. Having mystery items at an auction can really help peak curiosities and, in turn, revenues. Hiding an item under a box with a unique description can keep people guessing and it might convince them to bid on it just to find out the identity of the item. Providing the estimated dollar amount of the item or an interesting description can help raise the bids for these mystery items.

#4 – Road Trip!

Weekend getaways are always a hit! While it may be challenging to solicit donations from other communities, it can be well worth the extra effort and your auction may be a valuable promotional consideration for the prospective donors. If your organization is not successful finding out of town donations, you can always transition your road trip concept into a “staycation”. Gathering a free weekend stay at a local bed and breakfast or hotel along with some other fun items or experiences can be a fun way for your donors to get out of the house and be a tourist in their own community.