7 Tips On How To Select A Good Fundraising Auctioneer

Although it may sound cliche, it’s true. A good Fundraising Auctioneer does not cost you money. A good Fund Raising Auctioneer will make you money. As a matter of fact, a good Auctioneer can be worth his/her weight in gold because they can raise your entire year’s budget and more…in one single night.

When your group or organization is searching for a Fund Raising Auctioneer, here are seven important tips to help you select the best Auctioneer for you.

1) Auction Industry Experience: Auctioneers are not all the same. Just as Doctors and Lawyers have different levels of experience and different areas of specialty, so do Auctioneers. Some Auctioneers have considerable experience while others are fresh out of Auction School. Most Auctioneers are generalists; others are specialists. Some have excellent reputations, others do not. Some specialize in Fund Raising Auctions, others could care less about them. And if you select the wrong Auctioneer to handle your event, your decision could cost you dearly. Your objective should be to locate an Auctioneer with considerable experience, an impeccable reputation, and someone who understands the intricacies of running a highly successful Auction, from start to finish,

2) Fund Raising Auction Experience: Not all Auctioneers make good Fundraising Auctioneers. Automobile Auctioneers are often considered to be the best in the business because they talk fast, and sell fast, selling perhaps 150 cars per hour. That rapid fire approach works well with cars, and on television (can we say “Barrett-Jackson Auctions”). It does not necessarily work well with Fund Raising Auctions because most attendees at your event are not Auction-oriented. Some are uncomfortable with the Auction process because it’s new to them. Many have never attended an Auction before, and your Auctioneer needs to move somewhat slower to cater to their needs. An experienced Fundraising Auctioneer will understanding how to deal with your audience, how to read your crowd, and how to generate more money for your cause.

3) Reputation and Name Recognition: Your objective is to hire the best Fundraising Auctioneer available. Which one do you hire? Often the best approach is to find out who the other non-profit groups in your area are using. If the same name keeps popping up, it’s appearing for a reason. And that reason is because those groups are happy with that Auctioneer’s performance and the amount of money that Auctioneer is raising for their group. Some Auctioneers have wonderful reputations and are highly regarded in the community; others are not so highly respected. Be sure you find one who will represent you well.

4) Pre-Event Ideas and Innovation: An experienced Fund Raising Auctioneer will usually have a better understanding of how to run these events than your entire committee combined. Most non-profit Fund Raising Committees have one or two paid staff members and the rest are volunteers, often having little or no Auction experience. Committee turnover usually means that experienced volunteers will be replaced with inexperienced volunteers, which further compounds the problem. A good Fund Raising Auctioneer will get you through this. They will meet with your committee prior to the event. They will help you understand what sells best, what doesn’t sell well, how and where to acquire sellable merchandise, and how to run a smooth and successful event. We are aware of instances where the auction revenue more than doubled in just one year as a result of the recommendations made by the Auctioneer. This service alone is worth any fee that you pay to your Auctioneer.

5) Enthusiasm For Your Cause & Event: You can find the best Auctioneer in the world, but if they are not enthusiastic about your event, find another Auctioneer. Enthusiasm is contagious and your crowd will clearly sense if your Auctioneer believes in what you are doing, or is simply going through the motions and doesn’t really want to be there. Your Auctioneer represents your organization at the podium, so be certain to hire someone who projects the best possible image for your group.

6) Salesmanship. The Ability to Work a Room: This is what separates the professional Auctioneer from the inexperienced volunteer. All too many groups have the mistaken belief that if they secure the services of an unpaid volunteer to call the Auction, they will be saving themselves money. But the truth is that this decision costs them money. A “Volunteer Auctioneer” is usually someone known to the group, e.g. a board member, a parent, a local politician or a local celebrity. That individual may feel comfortable in front of a group, but they don’t know how to squeeze money out of the room. A good Auctioneer can work the room, they can sense when the bidding is done, they will move the Auction along quickly, and will always solicit more bids from the room than any volunteer Auctioneer.

7) Special Pledge Appeals: A Special Pledge Appeal can often double or triple the amount of money raised at a Fund Raising Auction…in only a matter of minutes. But far too few groups take advantage of this Fund Raising tool. If you find an Auctioneer who satisfies Tips #1 – #6, and who is also effective at implementing a Special Pledge Appeal…look no further. That Auctioneer is an experienced Fund Raising Auctioneer, they understand the true power of Fund Raising Auctions, and will be able to raise considerable amounts of money for your group…year after year.

In summary, don’t judge the Auctioneer by the fee that they charge. Rather, consider all of the pre-event support, innovative fund raising ideas, auction-day bid calling, the increased revenue stream they bring, and the overall success of your event. When all is considered, if you selected the right Auctioneer, at the end of the night your crowd will be saying “Thank You for letting us spend our money with you. We will be back next year…with our friends”. That is the ultimate sign of a successful Fund Raising Auction.

Five Tips for Selling at Live Auctions

Ah, the old-fashioned country auction! The idea of a country auction conjures up certain images for people. The image of a fast-talking auctioneer offering up an antique table or chair is a popular example.

People who are buying household goods or collectibles are looking to get their items at the lowest price possible. However, the people who are selling their items at auction are hoping for the highest price!

Unless a person is in the business of buying and selling antiques or other items, not a lot of thought goes into how goods are prepared for sale via the auction process. However, if you are one of the growing number of people using auction venues to sell your collectibles or other inventory, there are a few things to learn first about how to sell at auction before you bring a truckload of stuff over to the next event.

Tip 1: Make sure the things you want to sell are a good “fit” for the auction house you’ll be using.

Never bring a load to an auction house without actually having been to one of the previous auctions. It’s important to get a feel for the type of goods that the house sells. For example, at one very rural country auction it was common for the owners to sell live chickens, pots and pans, car parts, and farm equipment.

After close investigation, this would not be the right venue for selling your daughter’s “Hello Kitty” collection. On the other hand, the spare John Deere parts that you bought at last week’s yard sale might be just the right thing for the buying crowd at this auction.

Tip 2: Be sure you clearly understand the terms and policies of the auction house.

Visit with the auctioneer ahead of time. Call to find out what the best days and times are to visit. One of the worst possible times to drop in for an informational visit with an auctioneer is the day of the auction. Call ahead and ask. While you’re at it, find out what are the best days and times to drop your stuff off.

Once you have a little time with the auctioneer, you’ll be able to find out what type of commission he or she takes from consigners (which is you), and what type of paperwork might be needed. Some auction houses send out Form 1099 tax forms at the end of the year. An auctioneer may need to see your identification and have you fill out a W-9. Be prepared.

Find out what happens to your items if they don’t sell. For example, some auctioneers may have a minimum starting bid. If, for some reason, one of your items does not sell, it may be grouped with another one of your pieces. Know the auctioneer’s strategy beforehand so that you aren’t surprised on pay day.

Tip 3: Make sure the auctioneer knows what you’re selling.

It might be perfectly obvious to you that the signed print you are consigning is a rare and valuable piece of art. However, the auctioneer may not know this particular artist. Make a note of anything particularly special about your items, and leave the note with the piece. Be sure to tell the auctioneer about it as well. He or she might determine that this is something to highlight on the company website or in the newspaper listing.

Tip 4: Present your items neatly.

No one likes to have to dig through a box full of grimy and greasy car parts to see what treasures might be in there. Separate the parts and lay them out on a flat, or use more than one box to de-clutter the lot.

There is no need to buy fancy display boxes. It’s easy enough to go to the local convenience store or supermarket and ask if you can have the emptied boxes or flats that they are discarding.

While it’s good to present clean items, take care not to ruin the value of anything by over cleaning. For example, if you find some old cast iron cookware, clean the obvious dirt and grime, but don’t scrub it to its original finish. For many people, this ruins the value of the item. So, clean and tidy and organized is the key here.

Tip 5: Don’t complain to the auctioneer if your stuff doesn’t sell for as much as you’d like.

The phrase to remember here is, “You win some; you lose some.” That’s just the way it is. There are some days where an auction house is loaded with people who all seem to want what you’re selling. There will be other days where the crowd is sparse, and the bidding is simply not competitive.

Remember that it’s in the auctioneer’s best interest to sell your things for the highest possible hammer price. But sometimes, it’s just not going to be a stellar sale. The auctioneer is only human, and is also disappointed if a sale doesn’t go as well as planned.

If you notice that every time you bring a bunch of goods to sell that you’re not realizing as much as you think you honestly should, try another auction venue and compare apples to apples. That is, bring the same types of items to the new auctioneer and compare the results.

Unless the auctioneer is particularly disagreeable or inconsiderate to you or buyers, there is no reason to confront him or her about a sale. If you find you just don’t care for an auctioneer’s style or methods, find another one. Believe me, there are plenty of them out there!

The primary thing to remember as you learn how to sell at auction is that the business is unpredictable at best. You will have good days, some not-so-good days, some great days. The more you sell, the more experience you will gain, and the more enjoyable the business will be.

Successful Affiliate Marketing With Online Forums

Posting to relevant online forums is a tried and tested way of successfully marketing a product or service you are promoting as an affiliate and remains a popular technique with people who are serious about their Internet business and establishing their online reputation.

Forum posting should be an integral part of your overall marketing plan.

Online forums are a type of social networking site, but unlike many such sites, online forums are places where people regularly participate.

Often this is two to three times a week and may even be on a daily basis. They ask real questions because they want a solution to their problem or they want to make a helpful contribution to the discussion taking place.

Why you should participate in online forums

As a marketer promoting a product or service as an affiliate, there are two main reasons for forum marketing:

The first reason for posting on forums serving the niche or market segment you are targeting is that your readers are already interested in your topic. They are a warm market, so there is no need to “qualify” them as you would have to with writing free reprint articles. Prospects from a warm market are much more likely to make a purchase than unqualified leads.

The second reason is that your signature can contain a link back to your website. This is the equivalent of your resource box in article marketing. Your goal is to get the prospect to go to your website. It is there that the selling is done, not on the forum.
Forum commenting to promote a product or service as an affiliate is free, but it does take time and some effort on your part as it must be done in a subtle way.

Each forum has its own rules and has an etiquette to follow. Most online forums are moderated. That means your post will

have to be approved before it is published. Overtly promotional posts are unlikely to be published.

Take a little time to view some potentially suitable forums to get a feel for them and check out their rules.

How to promote your affiliate product or service

Forum marketing takes time, not only to do, but also before you will start to see the fruits of your labours. The following five steps will set you on the path to forum marketing success:

The first step is to select one or more suitable forums in your niche.

It would be a good idea to only join one forum if you are just starting out in this type of marketing. You can join other forums when you have become established in the first forum. You will, however, need to follow the remaining four steps, but they will be second nature to you by then.

To find suitable forums, make an Internet search for your niche + “forums”. For example, “Type 2 diabetes forums”.

The second step is to sign-up and complete your profile.

Make sure your forum signature includes a link to your website. If the forum allows it, include a good photograph of yourself. Properly and fully completing your profile is important because many forum members will view your profile. Putting a face to your name will help you stand out from the crowd.

The third step is to introduce yourself to the forum.

Most forums will have an “Introductions” section, which is designed for this very purpose. Don’t just say “Hi!” or “Hello forum”, give it a bit of thought. Explain who you are and why you joined the forum (for example, to give and receive advice and offer assistance to other forum members).

The fourth step is to add value to the discussions in the forum.

You need people to notice you. You will need to post regularly for that to happen. If they notice your posts, it builds trust and they will also see your links. After you have created a great, informative topic or insightful reply, you will see your profile count grow and your signature URL clicks follow.

Establish yourself as someone that is there to improve the community.

Do not post unless you can add value to a conversation. This is where most people fail with forum marketing; they only post to get their links published. Spamming the forum will very quickly get you banned and all your posts removed.

The fifth step is to build up positive feed back.

Most forums have a feedback system. Give positive feedback to other posters. It will be reciprocated if your contributions benefit the forum.

Positive feedback helps to establish you as a reputable member

of the forum. Better still, if someone is looking for the product or services that you offer, they will come to you, over a new member with no reputation. So, don’t let this golden opportunity pass you by.

Don’t log onto a forum, make a post, and then stop posting just because you haven’t been successful in attracting visitors to your website. The key to successful forum marketing is to be regularly involved. Aim to post at least two to three times a week. This should start to build up your overall credibility.

Online forums are a good place to establish your expertise in your subject and to build a relationship of trust and confidence, not only with other members of the forum, but also with forum visitors. Adding value to the forum and receiving positive feedback help establish your good reputation.

People prefer to do business with people they know and trust and will follow the link in your forum signature. This, after all, is why you are doing forum marketing.

When the visitor reaches your website:

give them even more helpful information;
provide a cogent reason for them to join your mailing list; and
make sure you tell the visitor what you want them to do.
They may not buy the product or service you are promoting on this visit, but you can keep in contact with them by email to continue building your relationship with them.

Use your forum marketing to establish a relationship of trust and confidence,which your website and regular email communications further develops into a long-term relationship that benefits both you and your prospective customer.