Not all auctions are big, loud to-dos with people shouting the next highest bid in their determination to win an object. Some auctions are actually quiet and are known as “silent” auctions. Silent auctions have the same objective as a traditional auction: sell the item to the highest bidder.


What is a Silent Auction?


In a regular auction, there are people placing bids on all kinds of items, from jewelry to art, to cars, hotel stays, spa days, collectibles, and more.

During a silent auction (which can also be a personal property auction), items are usually put on display around the house, or on tables at the event center. Each item has its own written description. Instead of an auctioneer yelling loudly and waiting on vocal biding, a silent auction requires the bidding to be done privately (or silently) by using a clipboard or on sheets of paper that are sitting near the auction items.

Some of the fun of a silent auction is that it’s kind of like a game. Other bidders have no idea what everyone else is bidding. They won’t know if they have the highest bid until the end of the auction. There is a lot of strategy involved, especially if you find something you fall in love with and must have.

Silent auctions are an excellent way to get rid of a houseful of disused items. They are also perfect for fundraising for nonprofit organizations. Auctioned items are usually donated by individuals or companies, and the money raised by the winning offers goes directly to the nonprofit group. Silent auctions are an excellent way for nonprofit and growing organizations to gain awareness and customers or customers.


How Does a Silent Auction Work?


During a silent auction, each offer is marked down on an auction sheet dedicated to a specific category or auctioned item. In some cases, each guest has their own clipboard with all the auction items listed and their highest offer for any object of interest.

Silent auction participants are unaware of what other bidders are bidding when everyone is using their own clipboard.

If bidders are asked to write on a bidding sheet shared at an auction table, they can be assigned numbers first so that bidders only see the number assigned to competing bidders instead of the names of bidders. This sometimes results in higher offers because friends cannot bid against friends if they see their names on the sheet.

You can bid on several items at once during a silent auction. Once the sale is closed, written offers are examined, and the person making the highest bid for each object pays for the item and takes it home.

Types of Items at a Silent Auction

The opportunities are limitless for the kinds of items in a silent auction. You can choose only one particular type of item, such as jewelry, or have several different categories from which people can choose.

While physical items are always pleasant for people to leave with, sometimes the most successful elements are experiences.

Items such as all-inclusive trips, spa days, museum tickets, music classes, and golf trips can make silent auction fundraisers very exciting and memorable.

Other experiential items that you can auction include:

  • Cooking lessons
  • Concert tickets
  • Yoga classes
  • Boat cruises
  • Hot air balloon rides
  • Dog training sessions
  • Sailing classes

If you want to conduct a silent auction for your organization, or for an estate sale, a lot of planning is required. You must determine how many items you will have, what types of things you want to auction, and then get those items organized.

Do you need help organizing an auction? Lawson and Co. professionals can take care of everything, including marketing your estate sale or real estate. Call us today at 317-745-6404, and we can chat about all the ways an auction is one of the best ways to sell your things and make money.