What Are the Differences Between a Silent Auction, a Live Auction and a Raffle?

Which type of auction do you think works better for you? Live? Silent? Or raffle?

While these options have their own set of advantages, you need to consider your  auction items and audience to know which one suits best for your event.

Silent auction is ideal for more than 50 people, with many items to bid on.

Live auction, on the other hand, is also suitable for more than 50 people but with just a few high-ticket items to bid.

Raffle option is preferred for a group of people with less than a hundred members and with a few items to bid on.  

Read on to discover how any of these auctions can be your best choice for your event.

What Is a Silent Auction?

When selling items in a silent auction, you should consider a wide price range from $200-$3,000.  This involves low to mid-priced items but with a wide variety of items to sell and a large number of people to attend.

Silent auctions are great if your event is being conducted as part of another event, like crowdfunding. In scenarios like these, you can conduct a silent auction in a corner of the event area or in a side room. 

We, at Helping Hand Group, are experts both in live and silent auctions. Our electronic silent auction uses smartphones, tablets and screens during the event. We provide a link to an online version of the auction, and this can be shared via email or social media. 

An electronic silent auction is flexible, and you will be able to obtain bids from anyone in the world. This auction format also offers a number of silent auction items to the guests.  

How to Run a Silent Auction

Today, numerous online applications for bidding are available for guests to use through their             smartphones. This type of bidding system posts significant advantages, such as: 

  • The bidding process can start before the event. 
  • Organisers can open the bidding a week before the event. This allows guests to check and bid in advance. 
  • People who can’t be physically present at the event can still bid electronically via their phones.
  • Even without guests getting up to go check the bid sheets, the bidding process can still continue. 
  • Organisers won’t have to seek out the winners after the event ends to collect payment. 

To register for online bidding, you need to provide an app that will request credit card information so that donations will be collected when the auction is closed. However, this process is rather expensive.

Prices can be a couple thousands of dollars for technology use, plus the processing fees for credit cards will be deducted from the donations. Therefore, your organisation should weigh in carefully if the benefits can truly add together to increase the overall sales revenue and cover extra costs.

What Is a Live Auction?

Live auctions are engaging and fun as they get everyone to participate. Live auctions capture every guest’s attention even for a short period of time.

If you intend to organise a large group and high-ticket items, such expensive artworks or fancy cars, a live auction is appropriate.

How to Run a Live Auction

When doing a live auction, run the event for not more than 40 minutes. Otherwise, guests tend to get impatient, which could cause your bidding to slow down.

It often takes roughly 3 minutes for an auctioneer to sell an item. So, in order to adhere to the 40-minute timeframe, you should have 10 to 12 items maximum. 

Live auction items usher in more money compared with silent auction items. Items in live auction ideas often sell close to or above their market value, and this is something worth considering.

Here are some steps to start your live auction. 

  1. Pre-register your bidders.
  2. Commence the program with the starting bid amount.
  3. Use bid paddles when accepting bids.
  4. Let your auctioneer guide the bidding. 
  5. End the bidding. 
  6. Tell guests and winners what to expect. 
  7. Allow the auctioneer to lead over the proceedings. 

What Is a Raffle?

When it comes to higher value and large number of prizes, the raffle event is the best choice. Also, raffle is most fitting if there are less than 100 attendees, or people are not expected to participate. Plus, it takes fewer volunteers to manage a raffle than an auction. 

Raffles can be a great one-man or one-woman team with no additional hands needed. 

To maximise your ticket sales, place your price to a spot that serves as an eye catcher for guests. Make sure to ready the raffle tickets for them to purchase conveniently during the entire course of the event.

Some organisations have volunteers that circle around the entire event while offering raffle tickets. Also, organisations need to withhold a certain amount for income taxes if they offer larger prizes. 

What’s the Best Bet Amongst the Three Options?

Many events often are a blend of both live and silent auctions with the option to purchase some raffle tickets for certain items.

Having a good marketing strategy is key to successfully inviting attendees to buy your raffle tickets before the auction event starts. Also, a ticket can be included as part of the entrance fee. 

The event commences with a silent auction letting attendees enjoy some drinks and bid on small items, hence engaging them up for your live auction ideas. Doing this format invites participation as some guests may be attending as spectators but would be happy to participate by buying some raffle tickets.

Others may prefer silent auctions as they are less likely to engage in competitive biddings in a live auction. Some are present for the level of excitement a live auction offers. 

The bottomline is, whatever you choose, your auction will be highly successful if you allocate time in the preliminary stages of your planning process. You consider the format of the event, fundraising goal and the items you will be selling away. 

Helping Hand Group Auction Services: Lending You a Helping Hand

If you’re planning to hold an auction event in Australia, Helping Hand Group will help you get the job done.

Our team has helped our clients raise over $110 million for leading charities, community groups, schools and sporting clubs since 1997. 

We help fundraising events with a long list of auction items and full event assistance with our great services: electronic silent auction system, Ballot Bidding® programme and expert fundraising event staff.

Helping Hand Group is here to help you raise more money for your special cause. That’s how we lend a helping hand.

Call us now at (+61) 2 8338 8755 for assistance.