The competition. The thrill of the moment. The coveted items. There is so much about an auction that makes it the perfect way to make a fundraiser exciting and engaging! Live auctions are exhilarating events that allow participants to make bids in the moment with the pressure from an auctioneer, their peers, and their own drive to win an item. More subdued, but possibly just as competitive, are silent auctions, where participants write bids on paper beside the item on a table, bidding at their own leisure throughout the event.


While live and silent auctions are classic and can help you meet the goals of your fundraiser, online auctions are another alterative that has many benefits for schools and other organizations.


So, why would you choose online auction software over holding a traditional auction? Here are 7 reasons why:


  1. Online auctions have a wider (unlimited!) reach of participants. If an auction is online, anyone inside or outside of the target community can make bids. This includes international bidders who otherwise would be geographically unable to participate. With this in mind, online bidding is an especially good option for big organizations, home- or online-schooling communities, and schools with multiple campuses.


  1. Online auctions save money. Though auction software does come at a cost, online auctions can save on all the expenses that go into planning a physical event, helping organizations on tight budgets save money.


  1. Online auctions save time. If planning an auction on a tight timeline or during a busy season, an online auction allows bidders to participate on their own time over a longer period of time, maximizing participation.


  1. Online auctions save man-power. With online auctions, you don’t have to find an auctioneer and will be in need of less volunteers. Though you’ll still need volunteer help to procure auction items, advertise, and ship the items to the winning bidders, you won’t need the help it takes to set up or run the event.


  1. Online auctions provide a stress-free, accessible environment. Live and silent auctions can be off-putting to some participants, especially adults who may feel they don’t have the time or don’t like the in-the-moment pressure. Online auction software eliminates the highly-charged bidding environment and allows anyone to participate.


  1. Online auctions can be used to sell an excess of items. Another benefit of online auctions is that, in the case of an excess of items, an online auction can be held before a live or silent auction to reduce the number of items that will be on display or auctioned off. Additionally, in the case of left-over items after a live or silent auction, an online auction can be used to deal with items that you didn’t have room for or that didn’t sell.


  1. Online auctions can be used to designate starting bids at a live auction. An online auction can be combined with a live or silent auction, allowing participants to bid online before the live auction, with the highest online bid designated as the live auction starting bid. This creates a heightened sense of competition and increases the value of the items.


Has your organization used online auction software? What was your experience?