Tips to Run Successful Online Auctions for Nonprofits

In a way, online auction software provides buyers and sellers with an extensive range of products on enormous platforms to trade.

While buyers get to have a virtual flea market with boundless merchandise from across the world, sellers get a storefront from where they market almost everything, right from a computer system to sports memorabilia.

Although offline charities have been working wonder since ages, however, there is a gamut of reasons for why online charity and nonprofit auctions are more successful than them.

To begin with, the internet has plenty of fishes in the sea. Thus, you get to promote a product to millions of customers from across the world. 

And then, if you have an online auction software and plugin, you can save a lot of time, efforts and money on the process. In this post, let’s evaluate some of the worthwhile and significant tips that will help you hold successful online auctions. 

Tips to Hold Successful Online Auctions for Nonprofits

  1. Have a Significant Plan in Hand:

Solid and significant planning is extremely crucial for the success of your online auction. Before jumping into anything, make sure you have everything sorted on paper. Understand what you’d like to achieve with the event – be it raising money or fulfilling certain goals. Also, figure out the amount of money you’d want to raise. 

Also, experts emphasize the importance of knowing where the raised money will go. Apart from this, your planning should also involve accumulating everybody, from board members to volunteers, and ensuring they all are on the same page. 

    2. Get the Targeted Community Involved:

The next step that you must consider while thinking to set up an online auction is to have a segregated community, more like the target audience, who you think can help. You can also use attractive tips and strategies to deal with local customers. 

If you want, you can also provide free advertising to your customers on your website. After all, you wouldn’t want to get published in a Featured section or have their company’s logo being flashed?

    3. Finalising on the Products:

You must never go off the track from the fact that your merchandise catalogue is the essential part of the entire process. Therefore, you must pay attention to such items that are most likely to generate higher interest. 

However, while doing so, you must not neglect to feature a wide range of items from the other price spectrum too. Participants and visitors, in online auctions, like to see a variety. And, that can only happen if you have a good number of categories. 

Moreover, for a non-profit organization, it is vital to offer unique local offerings in catalogues and be cautious of regional taste differences. 

    4. Set Starting Bids Adequately:

Generally, you should set up the starting bids at 35% of the proposed value of the item. With an online auction, your objective should be to get anywhere between 80% to 100% of the total market value. Also, have a goal of acquiring at least 12 to 16 bids for every item.

For instance, if an item has a price tag of $100, you may start the bidding from $35 and keep the minimum raise value of $5. With almost 16 bids, you can reach up to $115. However, keep in mind that this changes on the basis of the price point you think is appropriate for an item to sell at. So, use the appropriate WordPress auction plugin that wouldn’t pose pricing issues later. 

    5. Communicate the Rules on Auction Software:

When you conduct a physical auction, it is quite understood for buyers to visit the checkout table and pick their products. But what about an online auction? Your customers may have numerous questions regarding the possession, logistics, shipping and payment of the items. That is where you must communicate all of the rules precisely, leaving no room for confusion at all. 

For instance, you can let them know that you’ll be reaching out to buyers via phone call or email to discuss delivery options. Alternatively, you must also define the shipping cost that you may charge separately. Try to put as much information on your website as you can. And, make sure you aren’t hiding anything from customers as transparency plays a crucial role in success. 

    6. Promotion is the Key:

When it comes to promotion, there is nothing that could be enough. Even the most successful online auctions last a few weeks, and the organizer must do everything within that time. Once you’re ready to come up with your own auction, ensure you’re creating an adequate amount of buzz. 

To do so, you can use your own website. Apart from that, you can also try promoting on the sponsors’ websites or use extremely aggressive email campaign. 

    7. Use Attractive Media:

Bidders are likely to assess your items through phones, laptops, tablets or any other devices. Thus, make sure that you have a minimum of three images for every item. In case you don’t have an image, you can use relatable stock photos or add logos. 

Putting the business logo on a completely white background could be an effortless addition to make the item recognizable. Avoid the usage of collage pictures as they tend to lose impact on smaller screens. 

If you are clicking pictures yourself, make sure that setting and lighting are adequate. If there is a special feature of an item, ensure you are capturing it. 

    8. Keep an Eye on the Performance:

Once your auction is up and running, you must keep consistent vigilance on the progress, specifically over items that are capable of creating an extra buzz. Also, make sure you have statistics regarding which product/category is doing well and which one needs more attention. 

And, once the auction is over, don’t forget to get reviews. Closely analyse the results to find out how you can enhance the performance for the next virtual auction. 

Wrapping Up:

With significant digital infrastructure and auction plugins or software, you can generate valuable data and raise a satisfactory amount of money for a non-profit organization. Definitely, virtual auctions are a great way to engage customers from every community. Follow the tips outlined above and plan out your auction today.

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