Internet Marketing for Small Business – The Vital Truth

As a small business owner it’s our natural tendency to approach everything with a hint of skepticism. There are so many ‘next big things’ that it’s oftentimes difficult to distinguish between a passing trend and a legitimate evergreen marketing strategy for a small business.Skepticism or no, I’m willing to bet that by now you’ve started seriously eyeing Internet marketing for small business as a viable addition to your advertising repertoire; you’re starting to realize that this is something worth jumping on.Let’s face it – Your competitors are doing it, so you should do it too lest you unknowingly give up a foothold in your niche.Wait Just a Minute – What is Internet Marketing, Exactly?Before we go any further I think it’s worth taking some time to clarify exactly what we’re referring to when we say ‘Internet Marketing’. If you’ve done any research at all on the topic of small business online marketing, you’ve probably seen a wide array of terms thrown about. It can be very confusing to learn anything at all about Internet marketing with a seemingly endless amount of ideas out there… How are you supposed to know what’s what? Well, below I’d like to briefly go over a few of the most common terms and methods that you should concern yourself with:#1. Small Business Search Engine Optimization (SEO)Small business search engine optimization refers to getting your business’ virtual property listed on the first page of search engine results (most commonly in Google) for a select group of keyword phrases. Whether it’s a Google Places page, a YouTube video, a Facebook page or even your own website, the goal is to position yourself so that local searchers see YOU before your competition.It sounds complicated, but that’s why we’re here. The results of a successful SEO campaign can be enormous.#2. Small Business Email Marketing / List BuildingSmall business email marketing is without a doubt one of the most powerful forms of lead generation out there. Imagine having the power to reach your loyal customers any time day or night with your newest and greatest promotions? Imagine being able to send your customers coupons, newsletters and other interesting content so that you’re constantly in contact with them, remotely building your brand in their mind’s eye? I’m sure with a little imagination you can start to see the possibilities… Email marketing is one of the most viable long-term marketing strategies for small business owners to consider. Your customers aren’t going to stop using email anytime soon, and the ability to stay in frequent contact with a customer even if they’re not visiting your actual place of business is too good to pass up. If you take nothing else away from this article, at least learn more about small business email marketing.#3. Social Media Marketing for Local BusinessesThis is the newest and greatest trend in the world of Internet Marketing for small businesses. Facebook alone has over 800 Million users worldwide, and most users spend a minimum of 6 hours per month on this website. As Facebook grows it’s an increasing amount of time YOU could be using to further your business. Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are going to be some of the greatest marketing mediums of 2012 because they give you the ability to keep up with interested customers on a daily basis through websites that they’re spending lots of time on anyways. Why not take advantage of this opportunity?#4. Pay-Per-Click Advertising for Direct MarketingThe next time you’re searching for something in Google I want you to pay attention to the right side of the screen. You should notice a few small ads that are separate from the search results. These are actually paid advertisements from Google’s AdWords program, and they’re a crucial aspect of small business online marketing.The pay per click advertising (PPC) works is a simple 3 step process:
• Write a small ad for your business
• Pick keywords or locales to target
• Pay per click for traffic directly to your business’ websitePretty easy, right?This is a great way to start off your Internet marketing campaign because with Pay Per Click you get exactly the results you pay for. Want to give 100 new customers the chance to fall in love with your business? Pay for 100 clicks to your website… Done. I’m sure you can see the value in this kind of cost-per-lead advertising. Through proper lead generation and analytics you can have yourself quite a profitable campaign that runs virtually on autopilot.And hey, want to really explode your customer base? Why not use PPC advertising to drive targeted traffic to your email newsletter so you can stay in contact with your new potential customers?Why Internet Marketing for Small Businesses is a Good InvestmentWhat holds back most small business online marketing campaigns that the business owners fail at marketing automation.We’ve all learned this lesson: When you try to do everything yourself you inevitably fall behind in the areas you’re best at, and don’t get far enough in the areas you’re good at. The result is that your business slows down, and you don’t see as much revenue as you should / could. If time is money, then you can’t afford to spend an increasing amount of time on something that someone else could be doing faster.That’s why when approaching Internet marketing for small business I recommend enlisting the assistance of a trained professional.Time and time again we’ve seen a much greater ROI when the business owner focuses on running an outstanding business, while the Internet marketers do what they do best – Capture the interest of potential customers. Whether you decide to pursue small business search engine optimization to bolster the rankings of your website or social media marketing to get the word out through Facebook / Twitter, you can rest assured that you’ll see better results from someone who’s done it before.Internet marketing for small business doesn’t have to be time consuming, and it’s certainly doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, an Internet Marketing campaign can be relatively cheap when compared with other marketing strategies for small businesses! As a small business owner you’d be giving up a lot if you limited yourself to offline marketing only, so I urge you to consider the techniques and methods outlined in this article. I’m sure you can find an Internet Marketing company or service provider who would be more than willing to help you with these internet marketing services so you can start finding new potential customers on autopilot. What are you waiting for?

Inbound Marketing Vs Outbound Marketing

Marketing is the process of disseminating pertinent information about a product or service to introduce them to potential customers. It plays a vital part in the growth and success of any business. In the traditional practice, businessmen maintain a push-or-pull perspective when it comes to marketing their products. In this perspective, the relationship between the seller and the customer is created, developed, and managed.

A more modern take on marketing now involves two approaches-the inbound marketing and the outbound marketing strategies. Both terms are popularly used by the online media. Outbound marketing refers to strategies that were introduced even before the Internet, while inbound marketing largely pertains to marketing that is done virtually. Between these two forms of marketing, which is more effective? Read on and decide for yourself.

Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is traditional marketing. This strategy involves the process of reaching out to prospective customers through print media, television, radio, phone, billboards, post mail, and email, among other traditional mediums. The goal of this marketing approach is to directly sell services and products to an audience. While that can be a good strategy, this manner of advertising places the services and products in front of people, regardless of whether they like it or not. Typically, potential customers are repelled by this straightforward approach.

Repetition is vital in outbound marketing. Commercials and other advertisements need to be aired repeatedly, because this technique relies on brand retention. It aims to make the audience recall the product being sold, in the belief that they will eventually purchase the ones they remember. In the case of print ads and other related channels, repetition means making numerous copies of the material and plastering them wherever possible.

Due to its repetitive characteristics, outbound marketing costs more money. Another major problem with this method is that it is very difficult to track the success of the marketing strategies employed. There are also various ways to block outbound efforts today. Many potential customers simply choose to sign up in do-not-call lists, watch commercial-less television, and use email filters. These modern blockers render outbound marketing strategies useless. Despite these disadvantages, businesses still allot around 90 percent of their marketing budget on outbound marketing.

Inbound Marketing

Unlike the alternative, inbound marketing is an approach where sellers let the customers come to them instead of them reaching out. This is possible through various modern platforms. Mostly, though, inbound marketing taps into the power of the Internet for its many advertising techniques.

Advertising through inbound marketing is done through blogs, social media, e-books, SEO, and content marketing, among other methods. This approach makes use of four major steps, which are all done through online means. The scheme begins with “lead generation,” or the process of attracting potential customers naturally. It then proceeds to conversion, where the audience is turned into actual customers. After this, marketers make sure that the customers stay loyal by keeping them interested and pleased.

Even if businesses allot a lot of funds for traditional marketing, many sellers complement their outbound marketing efforts with inbound marketing strategies. Virtual marketing costs less and takes less effort to maintain.

An Insiders Guide to Crossing Over to Television Advertising

Congratulations!

By deciding to investigate the benefits of television advertising, you are taking the first step to more sales and faster profits. More businesses owners than ever are turning to television as a powerful tool to grow their profits. And it’s not the traditional “deep pockets” crowd either. Small and medium sized businesses are flocking to television advertising like never before. Some are coming away battered and bruised. But many are smiling ear to ear because they have unlocked the secrets to television advertising success – on a print or radio budget.

The Golden Rule?

Don’t let the tail wag the dog. You need to take control of your journey into television advertising so that it pays off.

Does that mean you have to be an expert?

No. But you do need to know how the industry and the medium work in order to end up with a cost-effective television advertising campaign.

Which is exactly why we prepared “An Insider Guide To Crossing Over To TV Advertising… On A Print Or Radio Budget..And Making Plenty Of Profit!”

It’s your GPS to an affordable and profitable TV Advertising experience.

Now is the best time in history for small business owners to use television advertising to explode their sales! Airtime and commercial and television production rates are the most affordable they’ve ever been! Specialty channels let you laser target your ideal sales prospect.

Television adds a level of credibility to you and your business like no other medium can do.

There’s a reason you’re seeing video pop up just about everywhere as more and more business owners come to the realization that the more senses you can appeal to, the more likely it is that you can gain a foothold in the most crowded place anywhere – your prospect’s mind.

Need any proof? Just look at the absolute astounding success of You Tube. People are attracted to watching video.

Isn’t it time you jumped on board and gave it a try?

The 5 secrets revealed below will help you leverage the power of television advertising in your business.

Secret #1 Have A Clear Unique Selling Message

This applies to all your marketing but is especially true when it comes to TV advertising.

You need to provide your prospects with a compelling reason to want to learn more about your product or service.

And, if you’re using a 30 or 60 second commercial to achieve this objective, you need to make sure your message is equipped to get your prospect to take the next step in your sales process.

That’s why you must have a very clear message.

What is the main benefit, promise or solution you want your prospect to walk away with?

Or, put another way, what is your unique selling proposition (USP)?

It’s important to have one otherwise you will have trouble differentiating your offer from those of your competitors.

Not sure how to boil it down to a simple clear message?

You can start by asking and answering the following questions:

Why do people buy from you? Why do people NOT buy from you? Really give this some thought and make a list.

What benefits do clients gain from doing business with you? People buy to gain benefits. What does your product or services DO for them

What emotional appeal does your product or service have? Does it provide a sense of relief? Make your clients feel a sense of pride? Television provides the perfect forum for hitting your prospect’s emotional hot buttons.

What problem do you solve or what need do you fulfill?
Another way to gather ideas for your USP is to survey your current clients.

Ask them WHY they bought from you. Find out what problem you solved for them why did they pick you over the competition? You may be surprised by the answers. People buy for different reasons.

In developing your USP, what you want to do is figure out the most common reason people decided to buy your product or service and then use that insight to create a powerful selling message that makes you stand out.

Don’t forget to check out your competitors. Many times what is obvious to you and your competitors, isn’t obvious to your potential clients. And you can use that differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack. Here’s an example… Years ago, Folgers coffee decided they needed to increase sales. Competition was everywhere. So what did they do? They started promoting the fact that Folger’s was mountain grown and stamped “Mountain Grown” on their coffee cans. Sales exploded. After all, coffee grown on a mountain simply had to be special. Right? What the average coffee drinker was unaware of is that fact that MOST coffee is mountain grown. Folger’s simply used this little known fact to make itself stand out. The more finely tuned your USP is, the more effective your television campaign will be – and all of your marketing for that matter.

Secret #2 Know Your Ideal Client

Your ability to generate sales leads from your television ad campaign will be greatly enhanced if you have a clear understanding of who your best prospects are and why they buy from you.

Otherwise it’s virtually impossible to create an effective television commercial.

This vital knowledge allows you to create a script that speaks to the specific needs of the people most likely to buy your offering and present your unique selling proposition in a compelling way.

Your message resonates and creates a natural attraction. But let’s say you’re not exactly sure who your ideal client is? Or why they buy? How do you go about finding out?

Well, a quick effective way to do it is to take a look at your current clients. Especially those you really enjoy working with. What do they have in common? Do they share a number of similar characteristics? You may already have a target market and just don’t realize it.

Here are just a few “target market” criteria you can use to define your niche.

Age – try to narrow the age group range of your best prospects
Gender – who makes the decision to purchase your products or services? Who might influence it? This is important to know so you can make the right appeal.
Marital status (single, married, divorced)
Household Income. Do your best to estimate the income of your target customer.
Occupation – are your best prospects white collar construction, sales people, entrepreneurs, retired • Geographical region. (ex: Toronto, warm climate, people who live near water)
Lifestyle (professional, conservative, risk-takers)
Company size (self-employed professionals, Fortune 500, companies with $10 Million + in sales)
Industry specific (a marketing consultant who focuses on solo-professionals)
Leisure Time Activities – what do your customers do to relax and have fun? Hobbies? Pastimes? Once you complete your research – combining the information you have about your existing clients along with additional characteristics – you will be able to build your ideal target customer profile. This will give you will have a clearer understanding of the language and tone you should use in your script and what type of information your target market will be looking for.
And it will help pinpoint the type of audience your television commercial should be presented to in order to produce maximum sales results.

Secret #3 Be Involved In the Process

Many small and medium sized companies that shy away from television advertising quickly latch on to the “perceived” high cost (more about this in Secret #5) as a reason they have been reluctant to give it a try.

But there’s often another factor lurking in the background that keeps many businesses from enjoying the success a professionally created television commercial can create.

Simply put: for some, making the leap to the world of television advertising can be intimidating.

In print, you write your ad and the publication runs it. In radio, you record your commercial and the station plays it.

With television, there are a lot pieces that need to be pulled together to produce a successful advertising campaign and for those who haven’t been through the process before, it can be a real leap of faith.

You need to be a kind of project manager for your television advertising experience. Do you need to be an expert? No. But you do need a sense of what the process involves so you can add to the experience where applicable.

To help you understand the elements that provide the foundation for a successful TV advertising campaign, here is a checklist:

Budget – Many small and medium sized businesses don’t realize that the money they are currently investing in radio or print ad campaigns could be used to create an effective television advertising campaign – provided you know the secret (we reveal it in Secret#5) to avoiding one of the major hidden costs TV advertising. Production costs and airtime will be the two main components of your budget.

Script – The script is your ad in words. This is your core selling message. The script dictates who says what, the tone and expressions used, what is seen on screen, who moves when and where. A script will be necessary for your commercial.

Talent – This includes on-camera talent and voiceover talent. The more well-known and in-demand the talent, the more you pay. For many advertisers, local and regional talent will produce a professional result.

Production Elements – You need to decide what kind of graphics, audio, or music you want – along with any other special effects..

Length – Typically, TV commercial spots run 30 seconds. You can also run in 15-second and 60-second increments. An “infomercial” often runs 30 – 60 minutes and costs more to produce and to run.
At the end of the process, your TV commercial should answer one very important question for the viewer:

‘What’s in it for me?’

The way to answer that question so that both you and your prospect end up with a positive outcome is to make sure your commercial is focused on how the viewer can benefit from your product or service.

No one can sell your offering better than you.

You must use every bit of selling information you can to gain favorable attention immediately with the viewer! Otherwise the viewer will click away and your investment will be wasted.

And last, but definitely not least…

Tell the viewer what you want him/her to do next!

It’s incredible how many new TV advertisers (and some longtime veterans) fail to ask the viewer to take the next step in their selling process make this mistake. Do you want them to visit your web site? Pick up a phone and call? Come into your store? You need to lead them to where you want them to go next. Now, let’s move on to one of the costliest mistakes television advertisers make along with tips on how you can avoid it.

Secret #4 Be “Marketing Ready” For Your Prospect

Most businesses today use advertising and marketing as a way of initiating a relationship with a prospect. The same is true of television advertising.

After all, a 30 second spot on TV isn’t going to answer every question.

If your commercial has done its job, the next step is to invite your prospect to learn more about you can benefit him/her.

This could involve an invitation to visit your web site, pick up a phone and call you or drop by your location.

It’s critical to make sure that whatever you ask your prospect to do that you’re equipped to keep your prospect moving toward a sale.

This is where many TV advertisers drop the ball and end up wasting their valuable marketing dollars..

Let’s use a visit to your web site as an example. We’ll assume your prospect has watched your commercial and is shown your web site URL on the screen as it finishes.

Your commercial piqued his curiosity and made him want to know more about you and your offering.

Congratulations. You’re past the first hurdle – getting the prospect to take the next step in your selling process.

But that’s all you’ve accomplished at this point.

Now you’re moving on to the all-important “conversion” part of the sales process. Tons of visitors to your site won’t feed your family, pay your mortgage or let you lie around on the beach in Cabo San Lucas.

For that, you need to convert your prospects initial interest into a sale.

And a web site that doesn’t clearly pick up where your television commercial left off by immediately reminding your visitor ‘what’s in it for him’ and presenting your sales story in a compelling way is going to bring a selling opportunity to a grinding halt.

What’s the point of tempting a bunch of hungry prospects only to have them arrive and you’ve nothing to feed them?

Same thing holds true if you want them to call you. Every member of your team who has public contact must be ready to keep the momentum going.

The job of your TV commercial is to attract the fish. The rest of the job – hooking the prospect (in an ethical way, of course) and getting him into the boat and converting him into a lifelong profitable client is the job of your marketing.

You need to make sure your marketing message is consistent throughout ALL your marketing. Otherwise you won’t get the ROI you should.

Secret #5 Don’t Let Tail Wag The Dog

Television advertising can be rewarding, but you need an experienced hand guiding you past the pitfalls so you can produce a profitable result. So far, we’ve armed you with the knowledge you need to make sure your television advertising efforts position you for a successful outcome. Now it’s time to introduce the key thread that ties it all together. Making sure you partner with an industry professional who knows the ropes. The first place many small and medium size businesses turn for assistance is an advertising agency. A very expensive mistake.

Here’s why: Many ad agencies focus on “institutional” type or branding type messaging. They are image builders. While having a professional image is important, most of the businesses flocking to TV advertising these days need sales. You’re probably the same. You want viewers to watch your commercial and take the next step in your selling process. Maybe a visit to your web site or a phone call. For that, you need direct response television advertising. And many advertising agencies simply aren’t equipped for that. Nor do they know how to “convert” an interested prospect into a profitable lifetime client.

But here’s the dirty little secret they hope you won’t find out about: Many don’t have in-house resources to write your script. Or television production facilities so they can shoot your commercial. Or an editing booth where they can edit your footage. Here’s what that means to you… If the ad agencies don’t have the resources themselves, they have to go outside, cobble together a team of industry professionals who can and pay them. Guess who gets stuck with all the middleman mark-ups? But this ‘don’t worry, the client will pay for it’ old school mentality doesn’t stop there. Once your commercial is ready to air, you need a TV program to run it on. For looking in a book and phoning up to schedule your spots, the ad agency will charge you 15% of your media budget. Is that how you want to spend your valuable media dollars? Having someone round up a bunch of people who can and charge you for doing it? Thought so. Here’s an alternative… Creative Bube Tube is a full-service, one source expert at producing direct response television advertising and corporate videos. We work with small and medium size business to help them generate profitable sales. Many of our clients are newbies. But we’ve opened the eyes of more than a few savvy veterans along the way.

Here are four pillars we’ve built our business model on:

One Source – Every aspect of your television advertising is handled in-house by our team. This means you avoid the unnecessary added cost mark ups, delays and finger-pointing caused by too many fingers in the pie.

Expertise – We are television advertising experts. Period. It’s all we do. And we know how to sell. To you, that means campaigns that not only look professional, they send you a steady stream of qualified prospects.

Cost Efficient – Because we know our craft, we understand how and where to use your budget efficiently – without having to grease the palm of a number of disconnected middlemen. That way, every dollar you invest is working to increase your sales. The media relationships we have built through the years provide you with red carpet access to your target market – for a fraction of the cost you would pay otherwise – with no hidden fees.

Process – The key to effective affordable television advertising is sales driven creative, efficient production, proper planning and organization. That requires precise communication. Everything we do is in-house. We don’t outsource your creative to a production company that has no marketing background. Then send the footage after filming to a post-production house. Then hire a media buyer who has likely never even seen any of the creative. Then sit back and watch the confusion, as your budget gets chewed up in a sea of disorganization and chaos. Everyone on our team intimately is involved in your project – from beginning to end.

The Finer Points of Internet Auctions

WHAT IS A PENNY AUCTION?

Penny auctions have exploded in popularity with the massive growth of the internet. However, few people know the true origins of penny auctions.Beginnings actually stretch back to the Great Depression. Those were hard times for everyone, but even harder for farmers. Farmers struggled to bring in steady income because of droughts and crops not selling as well as they had previously. As a result, the banks would foreclose on the farmers who couldn’t keep up with their mortgage payments.

The banks weren’t satisfied with just repossessing the house, they wanted to raise as much capital as possible, so they resorted to selling off the possessions of the owners of the repossessed houses. There was not much the farmers could do about it so they began bidding ridiculously low prices, pennies, on the items while threatening others who dared to bid higher than a few pennies.

The auctions of today hardly resemble their tremulous beginnings. Being part of a penny auction today is exhilarating, fun, and addictive. It combines the selling format of auctioning with a little bit of chance factored in.Auctions are a game of strategy but also a game of luck.

The premise behind penny auctions is giving people the chance to win an item at a drastically reduced price.Auctions make that possible by spreading out the cost of the product among multiple bidders. In order for a person to take part in an auction, they must pay a set price for each bid. For example, if a person wanted to bid on a fifty dollar Amazon gift card then he would spend a dollar for each time a bid placed. If he ended up winning the gift card, then he would only have spent a few dollars for a fifty dollar gift card. Usually penny auctions sell bids in packages.

HOW PENNY AUCTIONS WORK!

The main foundation of penny auctions is the pay-per-bid format. It is the key that allows bidders to win items at the fraction of their retail value and allows the auction owners to keep their site profitable. Most y auction sites run on the same premise: people pay a set amount for each bid, whenever a person places a bid within the closing seconds of the auction time will be added, the last person left with a unique bid after the clocks runs out will win the item. There are a large variety of items that can be won, but they tend to be popular electronics or gift cards to popular stores.

There are two types of auctions: lowest unique bid auction and highest unique bid auction. Lowest unique auction sounds confusing but it is actually quite simple. A unique bid is when only one person has a bid at a certain price. Bids usually start at one penny, a bidder can then place a bid at two pennies. Until another bidder places a higher bid, the most recent bidder will be the lowest unique bid because that was the only bid at two cents and nobody bid higher. However, penny auctions generally don’t stop at one penny. It is not uncommon to find auctions that end up at a couple hundred dollars based on the popularity of the item being auctioned. However, the same principles apply for those auctions. Highest unique bid auctions follow the more traditional auction format such as eBay. The person with the highest bid at the end of the auction wins the item.

Auction site owners turn a profit by selling bids. Say twenty people are bidding on a ten dollar gift card at one dollar per bid, at the end of the auction if there were twenty bids placed in total then the site owner would have made twenty dollars with a ten dollar profit.Auctions do seem like a win-win situation:The site owner makes money while the bidder gets an item for dirt cheap. However, not everyone wins in penny auctions. The people who paid one dollar each bid but left with nothing to show for their investments will not be so happy.

HOW TO WIN!

Penny auction has a lot of chance mixed into it, but one can incorporate strategy that will help raise the chances of winning. Playing smart can make all the difference between gambling and auctioning.

The first crucial tip to winning penny auctions is to know how to manage your bids. Your goal should be to win as much as possible without spending a ton of money buying bids. Managing your bids means that you should already know how much you are willing to risk in order to win an item. The amount of capital you are willing to risk will determine how many bids you can use. Once you know how many bids you have to spend on an item, then you will be better able to manage how and when you place a bid. That will keep you from blowing away all of your bids in the first few seconds of the auction.

The next tip is to practice time management. When fighting in the trenches of penny auctions, you have two enemies: other bidders and time. Knowing when to bid is a must if you want to have success. Placing a bid when there is a lot of time left on the clock is never a good idea. You have to remember that the key to winning a penny auction is being the last one standing when the clock runs out and that each bid increases the amount of time left. It would be a good practice to wait until the last few minutes of the auction before you begin to bid.

The final tip for successful auctioning is to keep your emotions under control.Auctions have a lot of similarities to gambling, and just like gambling, your spending can get out of control. If you keep your emotions level, it will keep you from making rash decisions and blowing loads of cash. Keep your mind clear so that you can gage the behavior of the other bidders and outsmart them.

HOW TO AVOID SCAM SITES!

Penny auctions are a great addition to the web whether you want to win an item that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to afford or if you simply enjoy the thrill that comes with bidding in auctions. Unfortunately, scam sites have tarnished the reputation of the legitimate penny auction sites. However, there are ways that you can protect yourself from scamers and enjoy your auctioning without having to worry about losing your money due to dishonesty.

Checking the reputation of the auction site before you start spending your hard earned money is always a good idea. Chances are other people have tried the site before you and some of them have left reviews. The reviews are your way to gage whether a auction site is trustworthy or not. If a site is getting overwhelmingly negative reviews, then that is a clear indication that you should steer your business elsewhere.

Another tool you can use to protect yourself is checking the Alexia ranks of the auction sites. Alexia rank will give a solid view of how much traffic the auction is getting. If you see a huge difference in the amount of traffic Alexia is projecting and the amount of active bidders on the site, then warning signals should be ringing in your head. Some auction sites have been known to set up robots that automatically bid on projects in order to keep the auction going and inflate the price. That is known as shill bidding. You can sniff out those sites by comparing the traffic the site should be getting to the amount of users using this site.

CONCLUSION!

New legislation may come out later down the road that will officially make penny auctions gambling, but until then, it is a fun, exciting auction that allows one to win the item they’ve always wanted but couldn’t afford.Auctions are also quite lucrative for the site owners because of the pay-per-bid strategy they’ve incorporated. Penny auctions had humble beginnings with farmers who just wanted to get back at the banks who kicked them out of their house. More recently, auctions have enjoyed an explosion in popularity with the rise of the internet.

There are two main formats fora auctions, lowest and highest unique auction, however they both run on the same premise where the last unique bid wins the item. Winning a penny auction will require a certain amount of mental tactic and a bit of luck. However, you can increase your odds of winning by practicing certain techniques such as managing your bids wisely, learning how to work with the time, and keeping a level head and your emotions under control. When you combine those three strategies to your bidding plan, you will find that you win a lot more often.

It is important that you do your due diligence to protect yourself when participating in auctions. Not every auction is run by honest and trustworthy people. There are people out there who just want to take your money. You can protect yourself by ensuring that you only bid on sites that already have a very positive reputation from real users.

How to Find Great Live Auctions for Resale Items

Hi, my name is Walt. I’m an auctioneer with 25 years of experience in the auction business and licensed in the state of MA. I own Quick Auction Service, a company that specializes in building and running custom auctions, I’m also the webmaster of my own site and have been on eBay for 8 years. Besides eBay, the types of auctions I run most frequently are antiques and on-site estate auctions, although I’ve run everything from business overstock auctions to charity & special event auctions.

I enjoy sharing my knowledge and stories of the auction business. My goal for article is to help folks get the absolute most out of their auction experience.

Whether your fresh out of the package or a seasoned dealer I think I can offer something in this article to help you with your auciton adventures.

There may be as many reasons to attend auctions as there are types of auctions to attend. Maybe you want to attend an auction to buy items for re-sale on eBay, or some other market. Maybe you want to furnish your home with wonderful antiques, or you want to furnish your home as inexpensively without sacrificing quality.Some folks are just looking for a fun night out. With a little perseverance all these things are possible.

There are antiques and estate auctions, auto auctions, overstock auctions, absolute and no reserve auctions, real estate auctions, specialty auctions where only one genre of items are sold, tailgate auctions, live auctions, online auctions, sealed bid auctions, silent auctions, charity and fund raising auctions and many more.

Can you really buy for pennies on the dollar at an auction? You bet! Many times I’ve seen folks buy and re-sell at the same auction on the same night for a good profit, although be advised, this should only be done after the auction is over.

There are a lot of ways to find an auction, but here are some tips on how to find and attend the best ones.

Visit the genre of shops in the area that apply to the type of auction you want to attend. IE: If your looking for a good antique auction to attend, stop in the local antiques shops and ask for what there are for good auctions in the area. Sounds obvious right? But listen to what they don’t say as well as what they do say. Oftentimes when a dealer speaks poorly about an auction he or she attends, it may be likely that they are trying to keep a good thing secret. Think for a moment, why would a dealer keep attending a lousy auction?

Newspaper ads: I personally like to find ads in the classified ad section rather than flashy display ads. Flashy ads are usually indicative of an auction that will be high priced, may have reserves, (a set price on an item), and usually an enormous crowd. While any auction can be profitable to attend, it is usually best to steer clear of the glitzy ones, at least for the beginner.

Here’s the minimum you want to find out before you go. If there is a phone number in the ad, call and ask for the terms of the sale. What forms of payment do they accept? Is it an absolute auction? An absolute auction is one that has no minimum or reserve bids on items. These are the best auctions to attend! Is there a buyers premium? A buyers premium is like a tax that everyone who makes purchases at that auction must pay above the winning bid price. Most auctions these days do charge a buyers premium, 10% is not unreasonable but I feel much more than that is greedy, and the auctioneer that charges over 10% is counting on most bidders not doing the extra math as the bids quicken in pace.

A fair auction will have ample time to inspect the merchandise, usually at least 2 or 3 hours. Find out when inspection starts and make sure to attend! Never attend an auction if you can’t make the inspection, not unless your prepared to gamble. Most auctioneers sell at a rate of about 100 items per hour, which is why they sell “as is”. They simply don’t have the time to give a detailed description of all the items. Since almost all items at auction are sold AS IS, there are sure to be some damaged, refinished, fake and incomplete items at any given auction. Beware of any auctions that offer very little or no inspection time.

Good auctions will usually have 150 to 400 lots. A lot may be one item or a group of items. The exception to this are specialty auctions, auto auctions, real estate auctions etc.

When you attend your first sale, take note of the 1/2 dozen or so dealers that buy the most often. See if you can find out about other area auctions they attend.

When you do find an excellent auction, attend it as often as possible. By frequenting good sales, you help increase the bottom line of that business. It’s difficult for many auctioneers to keep the quality of merchandise consistent, so good attendance certainly helps. And when an auctioneer gets to know you as a buyer, he/she will go out of the way to accommodate you, to keep you coming back.

Hiring An Auction Company

Estimating your assets value:

Typically, one of the first questions a business owner will ask me is, “how much will the assets bring at an auction”. After taking the time to review the assets, the auctioneer should give the client a conservative estimate of the sale based upon his experience and the current market trends. It is important that the company give realistic expectations so the seller can make informed decisions based on their best interest.

Compensation and Expenses:

Is the company you are considering working for you or against you? The agreement you decide may determine this.

A business owner should carefully consider how the auction company is compensated. The most common commission structures include: straight commission, outright purchase of assets, guaranteed base with a split above to both auctioneer and seller, guaranteed base with anything above going to auctioneer or a flat fee structure.

In a straight commission structure, the company is paid an agreed upon percentage of the total sale.

In an outright purchase agreement, the auctioneer simply becomes your end buyer. The company purchases your assets and relocates them. While this can be an option in some unique situations, keep in mind that they will want to purchase your assets at a very reduced price to make a profit at a later date.

In a minimum base guarantee, the auction company guarantees the seller that the auction will generate a minimum amount of sales. Anything above that amount either goes to the auction company or split with the seller. While a seller might feel more comfortable doing an auction knowing that he is guaranteed a minimum amount for his sale, keep in mind that it is the best interest of the auction company to secure a minimum base price as low as possible in order reduce their financial liability to the seller and secure higher compensation for the sale.

In a flat fee structure, the auctioneer agrees to show up for the sale and call the auction. There is no incentive for the auctioneer to get the best prices for your assets. The auction company is compensated regardless of the outcome of your sale.

What is the best option for business owners? In my experience, an agreed upon straight commission structure. This puts the responsibility on the auction company to offer the best outcome for everyone involved. There is an incentive for the auction company to work hard for both parties, set up and run a professional sale, get the highest bid and sell every item on the inventory. Successful auctions translate to a higher bottom line for both the seller and the auction company.

Auction Expenses:

In most auction agreements the expenses to conduct an auction are passed to the seller. If the auction company pays for the expenses, it is simply absorbed in higher commission rates.

All expenses should be agreed upon in advance in a written contract. Typical expenses will include the costs of advertising, labor, legal fees, travel, equipment rentals, security, postage and printing. A reputable auction company will be able to estimate all expenses based upon their experience in previous auctions. An agreement should be actual costs charged as expenses, not an estimated amount.

Advertising is typically the highest cost in conducting an auction. The auction company needs to set up an advertising campaign that will promote the sale to its best advantage and not overspend to simply advertise the auction company.

Once the auction is complete, the auction company should provide a complete breakdown of all expenses to the seller, including copies of receipts within the auction summary report.

Buyer’s Premium:

What is a buyer’s premium? If you attend auctions regularly, you are very familiar with this term. The auction company charges a fee to the buyer when they buy an item at auction.

The buyer’s premium has been around since the 1980′s and is standard auction practice. It was first used by auction houses to help offset costs of running brick and mortar permanent auction facilities. Since then, it has spread to all aspects of the auction industry. It is prominent in online auctions and allows auction companies to cover added expenses incurred from online sales.

It is the responsibility of the auction company to provide clear disclosure of the buyer’s premium to both the buyers and the sellers. Those not familiar with auctions are often taken back by the buyer’s premium. They looked upon it as an under handed way for the auction company to make more money. Reputable auction companies will provide full disclosure within the auction contract, advertisement and bidder registration.

Typically, an auction company will charge online buyers a higher buyer’s premium percentage than those attending an auction in person. Extra fees are incurred with online bidding and are charged accordingly to online buyers. This provides the seller a level playing field for both online buyers and those attending the auction in person. Without the buyer’s premium, there is no way to do this.

Pre-Sales:

We’ve all been there. We’re looking forward to attending an auction only to find that some items were sold prior to the auction date.

As an auctioneer with over thirty-six years of experience, I can honestly state that pre-sales will hurt an auction. When a company decides to liquidate their assets, it is easy to sell off high-end pieces of equipment through online sources, equipment vendors or to other businesses. The seller receives instant cash and avoids paying a commission to an auction company.

Auctioneer’s find themselves appearing to acting in a self-serving capacity when potential clients say they are planning to sell off parts of their inventory prior to an auction. It’s hard not to consider the auctioneer’s commission when they warn you not to pre-sell anything. Yes, the auctioneer wants to earn a commission on those sales but it is more important that the auctioneer protect the sale from potential negative backlash that comes from pre-selling. The buying public knows when an auction has been “cherry picked” prior to the sale and it reflects in their bidding. It becomes a sale of “leftovers” and that impacts prices.

A buyer who purchases prior to the auction usually does not attend the sale. They already bought equipment at a good price with no competition. If they do attend the auction, they tend to let others know of their great pre-sale purchases which again, impacts prices and the overall excitement of the sale.

It is important to understand that auctions work best with a complete inventory. You want competition on your higher end equipment. The easy to sell items make it possible to gain respectable prices for hard to sell items.

When a business owner decides to liquidate their equipment assets, there is only one opportunity to do it right. Hiring a reputable auction company will assist you with a professional, orderly and timely liquidation.

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.

Real Estate Auctions – The New Land Rush

On a sunny afternoon in Florida, an energetic crowd gathers on the lawn of a high end luxury estate. A loud and eager banter between an auctioneer, a group of bidders and bidder assistants fills the air. For several minutes the auctioneer asks for the next highest bid and the bidders respond. Suddenly the bidders grow silent. The high bidder holds his breath in anticipation of winning the auction. The auctioneer calls for one more bid. In a loud clear voice which rolls over the audience he says, “Fair warning, last chance” the auctioneer pauses, “SOLD!” And in less than 10 minutes another multimillion dollar estate has changed owners.

Successful real estate auctions like the one above are happening all over North America and the Caribbean. Recently real estate auctions have been on the rise, the increase in popularity is partly driven by growing inventories and fading buyer confidence. Properties that were selling in weeks using traditional methods are now languishing on the market unable to attract buyers even as seller’s lower prices. Many say the real estate boom is over but savvy buyers and sellers are profiting from real estate auctions.

Real Estate Auctions Work in Up or Down Markets.

Regardless of trends or market cycles, real estate auctions provide an open and transparent process for buyers and sellers. Properly conducted real estate auctions attract ready and willing buyers and motivate them to act now.

The auction method removes the “wait and see” attitude which serves to further depress real estate values. Buyers are always concerned about overpaying. Buyers gain confidence with their purchases at real estate auctions because they can see what others are willing to pay.

When market demand is high and inventories low, real estate auctions can deliver selling prices well above what a willing seller would have accepted in a negotiated private treaty sale. In good selling climates many property owners using traditional real estate methods; negotiating with one buyer at a time, leave thousands of dollars of equity on the table. During up markets real estate auctions are the best way to establish top market price.

Evaluating Your Real Estate for Auction

Not every property or seller for that matter makes a good candidate for auction. First of all sellers must be ready to sell now and for the current market value. Also a real estate auction will not fix problems caused by a downturn in market value of your property, if you owe more than a willing buyer will pay, be prepared to come to closing with your check book.

Properties that do well in real estate auctions have a high uniqueness factor. Ask your self, “What makes my property different from most others?” Maybe you own a resort property or high end luxury home, commercial properties and land do very well at auction. Real estate auctions thrive on uniqueness. If your property is like everyone else’s, the best thing you can do is offer the most competitive price.

Most importantly sellers must be reasonable about setting a minimum bid. A seller must look at the lowest, most current comps and price below that to generate the interest and urgency necessary for a successful real estate auction. Once the auction begins and qualified bidders start competing against one another you can watch the selling price increase.

Locate a Qualified Real Estate Auctioneer

Start by checking with the National Auctioneers Association, the best real estate auctioneers belong to this organization. These real estate auctioneers are well trained and adhere to a standard of practice and a code of ethics. Many attend the annual International Auctioneers Conference where the latest techniques and innovations in the real estate auction industry are presented.

Find out if the company you are interviewing is a full time real estate auction firm. Many real estate agents are getting auction licenses yet have no experience with the auction method of marketing. Conducting a successful real estate auction is nothing like (private treaty) traditional real estate sales. Go with a real estate auction pro.

You’re probably better of with an auction house that specializes in real estate auctions. There are many qualified auctioneers who have generations of experience selling personal property; furniture, dishes, lawn equipment and the occasional rare painting. Selling real estate at auction is a complex matter that should only be attempted by full time experienced real estate auction professionals.

Commissions and fees may vary, sellers must pay all marketing expenses up front and buyers typically pay 10% of the sales price to the auctioneer of which a share goes to participating real estate agents.

Types of Real Estate Auctions

Auctions are effective because they create a seller’s market. Professionally conducted real estate auctions create urgency, a reason to buy today and competition for the property. Terms and conditions of sale are established ahead of the auction. Real estate auctions will follow one of these three approaches:

Absolute Auction

The property is sold to the highest bidder regardless of price- using this process often returns the highest sale price.

Minimum Bid Auction

Seller agrees to sell at or above a published minimum bid price – this method is useful for internet auctions.

Seller Confirmation or Reserve Auction

With a reserve auction, the seller “reserves” the right to accept or decline any bids usually within 48 hours of the auction. Reserve auctions are used when there is a lien on the property from a lender or a court ordered sale with a minimum selling price.

Differences in the Types of Auctions That Take Place Around the World

Auctions are those events where properties or goods are sold to the highest bidder. Auctions are mostly public events, where bidders make a series of bids and purchase a particular item for a high price. During auctions, bidders decide the price of an item rather than the seller. It depends on bidders to decide the amount they would want to pay for a specific item. During an auction, a bid is a proof of a legal binding. Bidders agree to pay the amount that they have bid. In a high profile auction, bidders may have to pay a deposit in escrow accounts or give a proof that they can pay for those items.

Types of Auctions:

Different types of auctions take place around the world. Below mentioned are some types of auctions:

1. English auction:
This is a basic type of auction. In this type, people can see the item and then start bidding. Bidders slowly raise the value of their bid until everyone gives up. The highest bidder is the winner. An auctioneer manages an auction, keeps records of the on going bid and decides the winner. Sometimes, the seller will quote a minimum amount for an item to the auctioneer, below which the auctioneer cannot sell that item.

2. Dutch auction:
In this type, the auctioneer sets a particular price and then gradually lowers the price. People in public will start bidding and later decide which prices are suitable for the item. A seller may use this type of auction to sell large quantities of same products to the public. For instance, a seller may want to sell a large amount of hay and will thus, decide to sell this hay to people for the same amount, once a reasonable price is decided.

3. Silent auction:
In this type, the bidders in public will present their bids in a sealed format. These sealed bids open at the same time and bidder with the highest bid wins. There could be a modification in this type of auction. The bidders are allotted a specific period to bid. They can roam in a room displaying the items, and write their bids on an associated sheet of paper. The bidders are allowed to see bids of other bidders and can choose a higher price for an item. At the end of the allotted time, bidder with the highest bid is the winner.

Examples of Auctions:

Auctions can be of two types either public or private. Sellers may trade any kind of items in both types of auctions. Some areas where auctions take place are:

1. Antique auction: An antique auction consists of a trade opportunity as well as provides entertainment.

2. Collectable auction: In a collectable auction, the seller may put up collectables like coins, vintage cars, luxury, stamps, real estate, and luxury for sale.

3. Wine auction: In wine auction, bidders can bid for rare wine, which may not be available in retail wine shops.

4. Horse auction: Bidders can bid for young horses of the best breed.

5. Livestock auction: In livestock auction, bidders can buy pigs, sheep, cattle, and other livestock.

The other examples of auctions may not be public. These auctions are for bidders from corporate levels. Some examples of private auctions are:

1. Timber auction
2. Spectrum auction
3. Electricity auction
4. Debit auction
5. Environmental auction
6. Auto auction
7. Electronic market auction
8. Sales of business auction

Bidders in an auction need to examine the items displayed and decide an appropriate price for an item. Thus, auctions help buyers in getting the best deals and in gaining better profits for sellers.

Auction Listings Are Vital to the Success of Fundraising Auctions

Fundraising Auction Tip: You should always provide potential bidders with a printed Auction Listing of both your Live and Silent Auction items at any Fundraising Auction. A printed Auction Listing is vital for several reasons:

An Auction Listing informs bidders of the order of sale, and what is coming up next. If you keep your bidders guessing, they will simply not bid.

If bidders are not 100% certain of what they are bidding on, they will not bid. A printed Auction Listing should answer any and all questions about what is being sold in order to encourage bidders to bid as much as possible.

Bidders often need time to plan their bidding strategies, especially on multiple and/or larger value items. A printed Auction Listing helps them to do that.

Couples often need time to consult with each other about what they are willing to spend on something. A printed Auction Listing helps them to do that.

Potential bidders need to know the specifics, the benefits, and the restrictions on any item they are going to bid on, especially on travel and/or other higher value items. A printed Auction Listing should answer all of their questions, in writing.

After bidders see that they have lost an item to another bidder, a printed Auction Listing makes it easier for them to re-strategize on what else they can bid on.
Printed Auction Listings generally come in 3 forms:

Printed in the Event Program or Auction Catalog.

Printed on loose sheets of paper and hand-inserted into the Event Program or Auction Catalog.

Printed on loose sheets of paper and hand-delivered to all attendees, or left on each dinner table in the room.
Auction Listings cost practically nothing to produce and they can make the difference between the success and failure of a Live and Silent Auction. You should never conduct a Fundraising Auction without one.

A Case Study

Let me share a real-life experience with you. Once I was hired to conduct a Fundraising Auction for a nationally renowned organization. The event was held in a major hotel, in one of the country’s largest cities, with several hundred “black tie” participants attending. It was an extremely professional event, with the music, singing, lighting, speeches, and awards all perfectly timed and choreographed. Everything was done to perfection… exception the Fundraising Auction.

Although I had signed an agreement to serve as their Auctioneer nearly one year in advance of the event, no one bothered to contact me for any advice or help. Approximately one week prior to the Auction date, I contacted the group to see if they had replaced me with another Auctioneer. But they said that I was still their man.

Upon arriving at the event I asked for a copy of the Auction Listing. I was told that there were none. I’m not sure whether they felt that the Auction Listing wasn’t necessary, or whether someone forgot to have them printed. This was never made clear. When I asked what I was to use at the podium, I was told to copy the list of Live Auction items from a committee member’s computer. It took me about 30 minutes to copy three pages of hand-written notes in order to prepare for my role as their Auctioneer.

I knew that they had created a PowerPoint program showing the various Live Auction items. When I asked whether the PowerPoint slide order corresponded to the order of sale I had copied from the committee member’s computer, I was met with a blank stare. The committee member left to check the slide order, and returned to let me know that the slide order did not correspond my notes, and he provided me with the correct slide order… hand-written on a paper napkin. This forced me to re-arrange my three pages of hand-written notes before taking the podium.

There was a Live Auction Table with descriptions of the Live Auction items that were to be sold, but the table was not clearly marked, and it received significantly less attention than the Silent Auction Tables, which were clearly identified. Since the Live Auction Table was located adjacent to the “Raffle Table”, it appeared that most people thought it was part of the raffle and therefore paid very little attention to it.

According to the event program (which did not include an Auction Listing), I knew approximately when I was to begin the Live Auction. At the designated time the Master of Ceremonies announced the start of the Live Auction to the several hundred people in attendance, and introduced me as Auctioneer. As I approached the podium I realized that photographs of award winners were still being taken… directly in front of the podium where I was to stand… which required me to stand aside for several minutes until the photographers were done. Can we say “awkward moment”?

As the photographers cleared, I approached the podium and began my Live Auction introduction. Approximately one minute into my introduction, the “Raffle Committee” approached the podium and stopped my Live Auction Introduction in order to pull the 8 or 9 Raffle Winners. These drawings lasted about 5 minutes. Upon it’s conclusion I was allowed to resume the start of the Live Auction.

When standing at the podium two intense and extremely bright spotlights were pointed directly at the podium. The lights were so bright that I literally could not see the center 1/3 of the room. I could see the tables on the right, and on the left, but was totally blinded when looking straight ahead. It took perhaps five minutes before the spotlights were turned off.

While at the podium and describing Lot #1, I had to ask someone to start the Lot #1 PowerPoint Slide… because apparently no one was assigned that job.

So with only the Auctioneer’s verbal description, and a PowerPoint slide, it appeared that few people in the room had any idea about what we were selling… or when we were selling it… until it was announced by the Auctioneer. As a result, bidding was extremely light and the final results fell several thousands of dollars short of where they should have been
The learning experience is this:

The Live Auction is where you place your better items, and where the real money should be made at any Fundraising Auction. Let bidders know as far in advance as possible what you will be selling, and the order of sale, so they can get excited about the Auction, and plan their bidding strategy accordingly.

Auction Listings are absolutely vital to the success of both Live & Silent Auctions. In my opinion, revenues at this Auction fell thousands of dollars short of where they should have been, because no Auction Listing was provided to the guests.

If bidders are not perfectly clear on what is being sold, including both the item’s specifics, benefits, and restrictions, they will not bid.

When you have a committee of volunteers, especially volunteers having full time jobs and/or very busy schedules, the services of a professional Fundraising Auctioneer can help to keep the committee on track.

And once you retain the services of a professional Fundraising Auctioneer… use the services that you are paying for.