SEQUENCING THE LIVE AUCTION ITEMS

"Do we save the best to last? NO!!"

The sequence of the items in your Live Auction always has a major impact on how much revenue they generate. This is one area where the experience of your auctioneer is vital.

There are some general "rules" for sequencing items, but rigid adherence is not always best allow yourself to be guided by your auctioneer.

  • You should always start with an item which will generate a lot of interest. Your auctioneer has to make a strong initial impression and usually has to compete with a lot of audience chatter early on. He needs an item which will grab everyone's attention and can be used for some fast interaction with the audience.
  • Never have similar items placed "back-to-back". Always try to continually flow between categories. For instance, you might go from jewelry, to a trip, to memorabilia.
  • Also remember that only items which will generate several bidders should be in the Live Auction. You will quickly lose the interest of your audience if only a couple of people are interested in bidding on each item.
  • Also, avoid the trap of only having very expensive items in the Live Auction. You should always include a few lower priced items early on, so that everyone has the feeling that something was in their price range. Sell them fast, but you will have avoided the very unhealthy tag of having an over-priced auction. Remember that all of your supporters must feel included, so that they all want to come back for your next auction event.
  • There should be a general upward trend in values of items from the start to about 70% of the way through the auction. This is easy for the audience to stay with they should not be jumping between high and low value items.
  • Your most financially valuable item should not be left until last. Remember that if people are keeping their money back, in order to win the last item, they will not be bidding on the earlier expensive items. After your most expensive item has sold, the under-bidders will bid on other expensive items, in the final 30% of the auction proceedings.
  • You should usually keep back an exclusive item until last, in order to ensure that no-one is tempted to leave early! For example, a pair of President's Box seats at a national sporting event would be best placed last. They may not be the most expensive items in the auction, but they may well be the most popular.