Pros And Cons Of Silent Auction
There are two ways to run a silent auction: first is by keeping the bids private and the other is by showing publicly through a bidding sheet the previous offers made by other individuals.
It gives no clue on how much the bids of others are. If the bid history is not written and displayed on a bidding sheet, others bidders will have no clue on how much they have to write in order to get the highest price to win the item. This can result in surprisingly good price returns.
Usually, the auction is just a part of a charity event. Thus, a silent auction will not detract people from entertainment as items are not being called by an auctioneer; instead, items are displayed for people to view and later, bid.
The bidding sheet includes the previous bids made together with the name of the bidder. If this is the case, individuals will think about the price they'll write in order not to draw negative reaction from others.
Long bidding process may give bidders time to consider the amount they are going to write. This is unlike regular auction that capitalizes on the impulse of buyers to bid on items higher than they originally have in mind. This is perhaps the major drawback of silent auctions.
If the bids are kept privately, the selling price may be lower than what is expected. This is because people have no idea whether or not they have to write down a higher amount to outbid others.
Silent auctions are not a perfect fundraising system. Still, it is said to be the more preferred way to raise money for a cause. The reason is that these drawbacks are often worked out so that it won't have a negative effect on the result of the auction. One way to do it is by using a type of silent auction that will work for the crowd. Another is to combine silent auction with regular auction. Ultimately, the choice is still in the hands of the organizers.