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The Insider Strategy that Triples Revenue from One Auction Item

Posted by Summy Lau

consignment auction items

Consignment travel packages can be extremely lucrative for your nonprofit, and one of the biggest reasons is the ability to sell incredible trips multiple times, at no risk to you.

Doing so benefits your event in three ways:

  1. Increase revenue: Double, triple or quadruple your profit on a single package.
  2. It's a win, win, win: More happy bidders, but the biggest winner is your nonprofit.
  3. Capture secondary bidders: For every successful bidder there are typically one or two people who may have been bidding on the same item, but were unsuccessful. What happens to the money they were prepared to spend moments earlier? Doubling up enables your auctioneer to capture additional revenue from more people.

Best of all, it's easier to pull off than you might think! There are virtually unlimited ways to sell multiple no-risk consignment travel packages at any point of your event timeline—before, during and after—that don't take any extra procurement on your part and cost nothing if they don't sell.

Is your nonprofit reaching out for this low-hanging fruit?

Read on for the strategies our nonprofit clients have used to double, triple, even quadruple their revenue on a single package to raise a lot more for their cause.

Before: Online Auction and Presale

Online-auction.pngBefore the auction, some nonprofits take advantage of consignment travel by including trips in an online auction. The great thing about online auctions is that you can connect with donors from around the world that may not be able to attend your event otherwise.

To do: Select a group of items you can remove from the live or silent auction and put them in an “online only” bidding section. Then, get people interested in the online auction by including a few big-ticket items like incredible travel Experiences with a “buy-it-now” price.

Not only will many in your audience appreciate an indirect bidding option, you can get them to start visualizing and discussing your featured items weeks before the big event. Then, once the auction rolls around, they'll be eager to bid, and you'll be able to sell to multiple bidders!

Note: Since online auctions lack the bid-generating excitement of an in-person event, they should serve as a supplement to live and silent auctions.

During: An Engaging Auctioneer

Live auctions are where consignment's multiple-sale feature really shines. The key here is having an experienced auctioneer present and explain the concept to your audience. Your auctioneer should also be able to effectively capture the interest of your attendees, build momentum and gauge the room.

At the auction, your auctioneer will drive up bidding on consignment travel packages, then declare a winner or winning bid price. At that point, they can offer to reduce the price to the amount the second highest bidder was prepared to spend—on the condition that the second highest bidder agrees to purchase the item.

In many cases, you can also reach out to the third highest bidder and bring that bid price up to match the second highest bid, which is now the actual sale price of the item.

Make sure your auctioneer emphasizes this is a "special bargain price" for a good cause. A reminder of your mission can ease hesitation about purchasing the item and even encourage new participants to jump into the fray.

This strategy results in two or more sales, plus a very happy first bidder who just received an instant discount on their purchase.

Consider the following 'Triple Up' example:

A Winspire auction item with a no-risk package price of $2,200...

consignement travel packages

In the first scenario, the top three bidders submit bids at $3,300, $3,400 and $3,500. If you only sell the package to the top bidder, you net $1,300! But if you reduce the price to $3,400 (the mid-price of the top three bids) and offer it to all three bidders then you will net a whopping $3,600—almost triple the amount raised on a single package.

At Winspire, we have multiple quantities of every Experience we offer. So if you have two bidders trying to out bid each other, wait for one of them to jump out, then stop the bidding and sell the Experience to both bidders.

During: "Buy it Now" Bid Sheets

Most silent auction items can only be given to one winner, meaning you only have as many items that were donated. Fortunately, this is not the case with Winspire’s no-risk travel packages. Each of our packages has been developed so that they can be sold multiple times in a single eventand you only purchase the trip if it sells.

One of the best ways to utilize the multiple-sale feature in a silent auction is adding a “Buy It Now” feature on your bid sheets, leaving several spaces for multiple people to purchase the trip immediately.

Let's say you auction off an amazing $2,600 New Orleans Jazz and Dining trip for $4,000. Your organization takes home $1,400. But if you can sell that same item to three bidders using "Buy It Now" for $4,000 each, you have now tripled your profits and netted $4,200!

Your Winspire Fundraising Specialist can work with you to suggest an appropriate “Buy It Now” price that guarantees a good return to your organization.

Expert resource: For more help on making a great bid sheet, including an easy-to-use template and instructions, check out our "Bid Sheet 101".

Download Free Bid Sheet Templates

Setting Priceless Item ValueFor more information on selling multiples after your auction

Check out "How to Unlock Fundraising Opportunities After an Auction Using No-Risk Travel"

After: Approach bidders who missed out

In either a live or silent auction, take note of everyone who expresses interest in the featured trips and encourage your auction monitors to do the same. Then, as soon as possible after the event, reach out to these guests and offer the trip at the winning bid. Even if some bidders dropped out early in the bidding war, they may change their mind or jump on a second chance to get the trip if it's offered again.

Finally, if there was a particular item that generated a lot of interest at your auction, consider opening it up to the entire guest list. You don't buy the trip unless it sells, so you never know which of your guests may have had an eye on certain trips but ended up hesitating or unable to bid.

Send out a special newsletter summarizing the night that includes an offer to snag the night's most talked-about vacation at the "special bargain price" of the winning bid, all while making a big contribution to a great cause.

Fundraising, Silent Auction Ideas, Live Auction, Selling Multiples
Summy Lau
Summy Lau
As Fundraising Editor, Summy brings hands-on experience in nonprofit development, event fundraising, publishing, copywriting and design to Winspire News. She creates blog content, infographics, templates, eBooks and other resources to help fundraising professionals and volunteers exceed their fundraising goals. Her two favorite perks of working at Winspire: hearing nonprofit success stories and dreaming of new bucket list destinations.

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