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  • Writer's pictureAmFund

How many items should I have in our Silent Auction to create bidding wars?

(Hint: Use Our Formula To Collect The Correct # Of Items)

There’s one common question that many organizations ask when they are in the process of gathering items for their silent auction: how many of these items do we need?

Well, that’s a good question to ask. You don’t want to fall short on items and you certainly don’t want to have too many. Fortunately, we at AmFund have perfected this process with the help of a numeric formula that works like magic every time. Let’s take a closer look at how it works.

Question Mark Blank Chalkboard

Plugging your Numbers Into The Formula

Many organizations make the common mistake of thinking “the more the merrier” when it comes to the number of items in their silent auction. Unfortunately, too many items will turn your event into a discount store. When the competition amongst items is dead, many of the items (that you worked so hard to collect) will get completely ignored.

This is where that magic formula comes into play. Using this formula will give you the perfect number of items that will assure the right amount of competition, which leads to bidding wars at your event.

Here’s the formula:

Magic Formula for Calculating Silent Auction Items

In other words, plan on 1 item for every 4 couples attending your event.

Let’s use this example: you have 400 people planning to attend your next event. This means you have about 200 couples (or buying units). 200 divided by 4 = 50 items. There will be an average of four couples interested in each item, creating an even level of competition across the board. This kind of competition will lead to an increase in bidding.

Bundle Items Into Themed Packages

It’s always better to bundle items into themed packages. These packages will sell for much higher than several smaller items spread out across your silent auction tables. For example, maybe you have a coffee maker, some fancy dishes and various kitchen items. These can be bundled into a “gourmet kitchen basket,” which will sell at a much higher opening bid in comparison to spreading out each one of these items separately.

Silent Auction Gift Basket

Bundling items into themed packages is a great method to help keep you in line with the above mentioned formula. If you have too many items on hand, it’s all about minimizing down to that perfect number according to the formula.

For those organizations with enthusiastic board members who donate a lot of lower-end items, find a way to bundle them into packages or use them as door prizes. It’s best to never turn away donations from those who are willing to support your cause.

Fewer items at your event can lead to more profits

The bottom line is that fewer items at your silent auction can be more profitable than offering too many items. Not to mention, gathering fewer items also means less work and fewer headaches during the planning process.

For more tips on how to gain the highest profits from your silent auction, contact us today.


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