Live Auction Item Lineup Guideline 

I have a few loose rules I use to order the live auction but these rules are meant to be broken if items are similar in value and when all donors are present at the auction. If items are identical in value & appeal and if every donor is in attending, I’m not convinced it matters too much what the order is. If items have been carefully procured based on the audience’s interest and bidding history, a bidding competition will likely be in play anyway. Remember it is that competition that drives the bid to the highest possible amount for that audience on that particular night. When deciding on the order of the live auction consider the following suggestions.

  • The first three items should be of lowest value and highest desire. It can be good to sell a bottle of champagne or fine liquor as a warm up item. That item does not need to be in the catalog but the clerks do need to know about it.
  • I recommend that all items with a donor present be sold before the Fund-a-need. If all items have a donor present then arrange by value.
  • Begin with the lowest valued items of highest appeal and put all those items before the FAN.
  • Items are usually arranged from lowest value to highest value and the arc ends on lower values.
  • I often sell “like” items back to back. Some people think similar items should be scattered. I like to sell to the losing bidders who are still interested and might buy a similar item.
  • Sell highest valued items right before the FAN.
  • Sell items where the donor is not present and of lowest value and desire after the FAN.
  • Trips can be sold back to back if they are of similar value and description with different locations. In fact, all trips can be sold back to back. The thought is that selling like items in a cluster keeps the loosing bidder engaged in the buying process. Airline tickets can be sold separately after all the trips have sold.
  • Find out in advance the donors who are willing to double their donation and at what amount. Multiples should not be printed in the catalog.
  • Consignment items should be put right before the FAN.

For a more complete understanding of the live auction read this article. If you would like to talk more about how to plan a successful live auction email me today.