Fundraising Auctioneer - Scott Robertson Auctioneers Blog

Fundraising Auctioneer

Scott Robertson Auctioneers Blog

What’s Up With the Crazy Vests, Scott?

Posted by Scott On June 15th

You know, I’m often asked “Scott, what is up with those crazy vests?” Well, they’re sort of my trademark…is to wear a colorful vest at fundraising auctions. It started back in the 90s when vests replaced cumberbunds and a friend of mine Debbie, from Black Tie Tuxedo in Fort Myers, Florida said “You know Scott, what you should do is you should get a vest that makes you stand out” and she pointed to this exact vest.

And I said “Oh Debbie, I’m way to conservative for that.” And she says “No, you want it! It’ll make you stand out!” And I thought “You know, that’s exactly what I’m looking for.”

So I purchased this vest and since now, I’ve probably purchased 40 vests. So I try to match my vest to the color scheme of the event, the motif of the event…whatever they want. So if you retain my services for a fundraising auction, tell me what colors you want me to match. Chances are I’ve got a vest that’ll do the trick. Crazy vests? I LOVE ’em!

Clothing the Deal

Posted by Scott On February 28th

to helm and back-Scott Robertson Auctioneers

It’s no secret that one of the things I’m known for is my colorful vests. Not only do they energize me when I put them on, it energizes the attendees – and in a subtle way – sets the stage for a fun event.

Over the course of my career I’ve had to literally “give the shirt” or should I say vest “off my back.” I’ll sacrifice it for a good cause, but only if the situation and timing is appropriate.

My experience has been – that if a vest is going to sell – it needs to be spontaneous with the guest making the request. In 2013, such a request was made 6 different times with one vest selling for $15,000. If you’re curious – opening bids start at a minimum of $1,000.

 

Vest

The timing of the selling of the vest is crucial. If an auction is humming along the last thing I want to do is interrupt the flow. I also don’t want to siphon proceeds that may have gone to a major cause such as Fund-A-Need.

With that said, if an auction needs a shot of excitement, selling the vest off my back can be a great addition.

Now, here’s something else I’ve learned through 20 years of experience.

CCA Orlando 001

When the auction is in full swing my job is to be totally focused. Any side deals like this are handled by my auction assistants or the event planner in charge of the event.

If someone, particularly a well-meaning volunteer who has heard about me selling a vest at auction brings up the idea, my auction assistants quickly dismiss it if the volunteer is not planning on backing up the idea by bidding on it. And for it to be successful addition to an auction, I prefer at least 2 people being committed to purchasing the vest so we have an actual auction experience.

In short – I’m happy to give the vest off my back.  But it only works if 2 or more people want to bid on it and only if the request occurs in a spontaneous “fashion.”