Fundraising Auctioneer - Scott Robertson Auctioneers Blog

Fundraising Auctioneer

Scott Robertson Auctioneers Blog

electronic bids

In my previous blog I discussed the growing trend of utilizing an Electronic Bidding system during silent auctions.  I also talked about its current cost and discussed some of the pros and cons of using e-Bidding. Now, let’s delve into this subject a little further.

As I see it, the e-Bidding system does have some limitations. Here are a few.

1)   Your attendees have less “window shopping”. opportunities to see items that have a low number of bids.

2)   There is no bid sheet to see the items that are not getting much attention.

3)   With e-Bidding there is usually a list of items with no bids. But once the item receives a bid the attendee has to search for the item on the device to see the current price.

4)   The attendees have less interaction with other attendees and tend to stay clumped in groups with friends.

5)   The BANDWIDTH of the facility is CRITICAL. Depending upon the location there might not be enough bandwidth to support all of the mobile devices in a small area. If this is the case an auxiliary system is brought in by the e-Bidding provider to supplement the house system.

6)   Smart Phones and other electronic devices have limited battery life. This could create a problem if the bidding extends past 3 hours.

Here are some additional advantages to using the e-Bidding system.

1)   If the silent auction area cannot contain the number of attendees, this method allows them to make one pass through the silent auction area, determine the items on which they desire to bid, and then retire to a larger area to congregate and continue to bid.

2)   Attendees can chat with their friends and be notified immediately when they are outbid.

3)   Reconciling the silent auction is automatic as the bidding devices interface directly with most computerized auction software.

4)   Everyone automatically knows if they have “WON” a silent auction item.

pros and cons of electronic bidding

So now, let’s recap.  The main disadvantage of going to the e-Bidding system is the cost. Your silent auction should raise enough money to a good return on investment before considering making the change. Other disadvantages include: Older attendees tend to shy away from technology. It takes the human factor out of bidding.  And strolling past the item does not allow the bidders to see the popularity of the item.

The main advantage of going to the e-Bidding system is speed. This is especially true during “check out” since all the information is already interfaced with the computer. This is a big plus when your event has more than 400 attendees.

Now, I must give you fair warning. Electronic Bidding is fun and different.  And once you use e-Bidding you will likely have to bring it back year after year since your attendees will demand the service.

Feel free to contact me for additional clarification or for information regarding who provides this service. You could send me a letter – but doing it electronically will sure be a lot quicker.

 

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The Pros and Cons of Electronic Bidding

Posted by Scott On January 23rd

 

pros and cons of electronic bidding

Anyone involved in fundraising is probably familiar with how a silent auction is conducted.  For those unfamiliar, guests go up to tables – grab a pen – and write down on a bidding sheet how much they are willing to bid on a specific silent auction item.  If another guest writes down a higher offer, the other bidders are able to revise their old bid.  At the end of the silent auction, the item goes to the highest bidder.

For many years the pen-and-bid-sheet method has proven to be both fun for the guests and beneficial for the charity.  But alas, the silent auction’s “pen and paper” days may be numbered.

Why?  Well, e-Bidding is beginning to infiltrate the world of fundraising.  Down the road, a few years in our future, it will probably be commonplace. As for now, charities will need to decide if utilizing Electronic Bidding is right for their event – and especially – their guests.

There are advantages and disadvantages of using e-Bidding, which is typically done on Smart Phones or the Apple I-Touch. The purpose of this blog is to discuss the pros and cons in an effort to allow charities to determine if e-Bidding is a good fit.

pros and cons of electronic bidding-fundraising auctioneer

Let me start by saying that e-Bidding is not a fad.  It is the future of silent auctions. However, at this time, e-Bidding may not be a practical or effective fundraising avenue to travel down. That’s because the largest objection to Electronic Bidding is the cost.

I have no doubt that the pricing is destined to be reduced as technology increases and more vendors get in the game. So for now, here are a few factors I feel must be in place before a charity decides to invest in electronic bidding.

1)   A charity’s silent auction revenues must exceed an amount which justifies the additional cost.

2)   The charity’s age demographic embraces technology. E-Bidding is not difficult, but some attendees resist anything related to technology.

So, who loves e-Bidding?

1)    Attendees in the 20s and 30s love the use of technology in the silent auction.

2)    Tech-Savvy individuals who always buy cutting edge technology.

3)   Males who hate to shop, but are competitive in nature.

4)   Individuals who like to win on eBay.

Who dislikes Electronic Bidding?

1)    Older individuals who did not grow up with technology.

2)   Individuals who purposely do not have Smart Phones.

3)   Sniper bidders who are always seeking a bargain and love to swoop in at the end of the auction to make a last minute bid. (This occurs sometimes after the bidding is closed)

bidding

In my next blog I’ll discuss the limitations of e-Bidding and the additional advantages and disadvantages of utilizing such a “high-tech” system.

In the meantime, I’ll grab a pen and a piece of paper – or should I use my I-Phone – to jot down a few other factors that might help you in your “should I” or “shouldn’t I” decision. Until then…