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Increase Your Silent Auction Bids By Creating A Sense Of Urgency

Often times, organizations find themselves with this mindset: “The longer the silent auction is open to guests, the higher the bidding will be.” In fact, the opposite is true. Limiting the length of time of your silent auction will give you much higher bidding results. There’s a bit of psychology involved with this approach, so let’s take a closer look at how this works.


It’s All About the Impulse Decision

We’ve all been guilty of overthinking a decision at some point in our lives. The more time we have to think about things, the more analytical we get. This is all part of the psychology behind our decision-making processes. The same works for your guests at your silent auction. The more they think about an item, the less likely they will be to place a bid. In the end, impulse buying is the key to success at every auction.


Offering a smaller window of time for bidding creates a sense of urgency. Urgency creates the highest bids. This is why you see that flurry of activity when it is announced that only ten minutes remain for bidding. Those are your golden ten minutes! People will bid and then it’s time to move on to the next fundraising activity.


At AmFund, we recommend to the nonprofit partners that the silent auction portion be no longer than 1hr-1.5hrs in length.


We Call It ‘The eBay Syndrome’

At AmFund, we have a term we use when referring to the buildup of urgency at a silent auction event: The eBay Syndrome. If you have ever used eBay, you know that nobody bids until the last minute. It’s essentially the same idea at a silent auction when the right sense of urgency is put into place.


AmFund has done thousands of silent auctions. With that said, we have developed an announcement timeline and a script that works. Reach out to us today and we would be glad to share this information with your organization.




Create a Sense of Urgency with the ‘Super Seven Silent Auction’

We’ve talked about the importance of urgency; now, let’s talk about a strategy to help you create that sense of urgency.


If you are not doing a cash call, the Super Seven Silent Auction can add some quick money to your event. For the sake of timing, it’s best to do this after the live auction. When the live auction wraps up, the auctioneer reveals a table of seven items. The key here is that the audience only has seven minutes to bid on these items.

Trip packages, high end items and other treasured items should make up your “super seven” display. These should all be items that create instant appeal. This will create a fast and entertaining bidding frenzy among your guests. Not only does this approach work as a great surprise to get your guests excited and out of their seats, but it’s also a great opportunity to quickly add thousands of dollars to your bottom line.

For more tips and ideas to help increase your silent auction bids, contact us at AmFund.

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©2020 by American Fundraising Foundation, Inc.