Planning an auction for the first time? Here are 6 easy steps

 

planning an auction

This handy checklist can help make your first auction a success.

By: Ashley Zlatopolsky, for CharityAuctionsToday

If you’re new to auction planning, you may be wondering how to get your first auction off of the ground. While planning an auction for the first time may seem like a daunting task, planning ahead of time through the right outlet can help you make your first auction a successful event.

One of the easiest ways to plan an auction and reach bidders specific to your audience is to host an online, silent or in-person auction through a digital platform like CharityAuctionsToday, which makes managing your auction a breeze. Plus, you can keep track of attendees, bids, donations, tickets and more right from your smartphone, tablet or computer.

To get started on planning your first auction today, here’s a handy checklist that you can follow.

Planning an auction starts with building a timeline 

The rule of thumb for most auctions is to begin planning a year in advance, but if life or pressing business needs don’t allow for that much time, building a timeline can still help you keep track of everything you need to do. Setting attainable goals and deadlines allows you to plan an auction in steps, which can guarantee that tasks get done in a timely manner without overwhelming you.

While a custom timeline will ultimately depend on your needs, consider including deadlines for finalizing items, procuring items, setting prices, registration and other event specifics.

Research online auction platforms

If you settle on a digital auction, do your homework by researching online auction platforms to find one that best fits your needs and audience. Consider aspects like usability, data security, performance and reliability. You’ll want to select an online auction platform that not only delivers results, but offers a simple user experience that’s easy to navigate. An online auction platform that also offers a help desk or technical support can help guide you through the digital process.

Design the look and feel

 Your auction should stand out. First impressions matter, especially when it comes to attracting bidders and donors, so designing a sleek and impressive auction can go a long way in driving revenue. Online auction platforms can help you prioritize features like functionality and ease-of-use, plus you’ll have the option of creating custom mobile and desktop experiences.

Add thoughtful items with fair prices 

It’s important to consider your audience when selecting items. First and foremost, including thoughtful items with fair prices is a great way to encourage guests to place bids or make donations. Items like gift baskets or bundles, which can be customized to fit any interest group such as sports or food, are always an excellent addition. Filling a gift basket or bundle with a diverse array of goods or services can help make them enticing options for people to bid on.

Set up payment options and invoices 

With so many payment options on the market, having several payment methods for attendees to choose from can make their lives (and your life) easier. An online auction platform with third-party integrations like CharityAuctionsToday allows people to use PayPal, Stripe and WePay to send payments your way. Online auction platforms also allow you to design custom invoices, meaning keeping track of payments and bidders has never been easier.

Promote your auction

Getting the word out about your auction ahead of time (think: anywhere from six months to a few weeks or days beforehand) can help encourage people to participate or even share your auction with their networks. Social media is one of the best ways to promote an auction, especially through platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.

From timelines to pricing, to payment options and promotion, following this handy checklist can make planning your first auction a success. To create an online auction in as little as five minutes, visit CharityAuctionsToday to get started.