Sunday, February 08, 2009

Understanding How Silent Auction Work

A silent auction is a fundraising method that is commonly used at charity events. It is different from the usual auction wherein an auctioneer calls the price from people who raise their hands or numbers to bid for a particular lot. Silent auction is often the preferred way of raising money as it does not detract people from the event.

At a silent auction, a table or a display that shows the items or services on sale is set up for the people to see. Some items or services may have a minimum bid as they may be of high value. A paper is usually located near the item where the bidders can write their names and the amount they are willing to buy the goods. Some silent auctions have one receptacle to hold the bids for all the goods on sale; others have individual container for each item. The choice however, is really up to the host.

The display gives the chance for the bidders to view all the items during the event and select which among the items they would like to bid.

At a silent auction, previous bids can be shown publicly through a bidding sheet. This allows other bidders to know that they need to bid higher in order to bring home the item. This also gives the bidder a chance to review the current bidding sheet and place their final offer prior to the closing of the auction.

Similarly, the bids at the silent auction can be kept privately throughout the event. All the bids will be calculated at the end of the auction and the highest bidder wins the item for whatever amount he or she has written.

One similar auction website that runs on the same principle as silent auction is eBay where people can see the item and place a bid higher than the previous one made by others.

A silent auction has an advantage over the regular form of auction. Since it is mostly used at charity events, silent auction eliminates the need to hire a professional charity auctioneer.

However, it has drawbacks. A regular auction capitalizes on impulse of the buyers to bid for the items in a very short amount of time. Silent auctions on the other hand allows bidders to consider the amount of their bids longer.

More often than not, charitable events use both silent auctions and regular auctions to take full advantage of both systems.


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