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The Live Item Order is Important
Use a ‘bell curve’ with high value items in the top-third to top-half of the order list. Do not save your high dollar items for last! We can help you determine the order of your live auction items to insure we’re selling the highest value items when we have the crowd’s full attention.
Stick to your timeline
You have a limited amount of time to keep your audience engaged to obtain the maximum return for your organization. Dinner must be served on time, and the auction should be held immediately following dinner. The live auction should not be interrupted with other activities. A professional auctioneer can judge the timing of the crowd and live auction, so engage us early in the planning process to help you determine the timeline and schedule of events.
Quality not Quantity
Don’t get tricked in to the mindset that more live items means more money. The actual number of live auction items depends on your crowd and your event, but generally speaking 15 – 20 items is sufficient. Too many items typically ends up costing you money; as bidders get weary, and values are diluted.
Q. Why should we hire a professional auctioneer when we have someone that will do it for free?
A. Many times nonprofit organizations are offered the ‘free’ services of a volunteer auctioneer. That volunteer could be a local celebrity or MC who thinks they can shout out some numbers and get people to bid. Bear in mind that professional auctioneers have spent years learning their trade. We know how to help you organize and execute your event. A professional auctioneer will be well informed about your items, is professionally trained, a member of state and national auctioneer associations, and keeps up with continuing education. You’re paying other professionals at your event (e.g. caterer; band; DJ; etc.), but the auctioneer is the only one actually making you money. Do you want to leave your biggest fundraiser of the year in the hands of a volunteer?
Q. Can a professional auctioneer help us with planning and timelines?
A. Absolutely! We have the benefit of years of experience at hundreds of auctions. We know what works . . . and what doesn’t. We want your fundraiser to succeed as much as you do, and the earlier in the organizational process you get us involved, the better. The little details matter: room arrangement, the order of events, the timeline, the number of items, even the order and manner in which your auction items are displayed and presented. Take advantage of our experience during the planning process to maximize your earning potential. A good sound system and proper lighting in the room are essential and we can help you with that.
Q. What do ‘ring men’ or ‘bid spotters’ do?
A. They are the men and women that are engaging with the crowd and relaying bids to the auctioneer. They add excitement, energy, and enthusiasm to the live auction. A professional team of ring men is crucial to the success of the live auction, and we can provide them! Our team of ring men are trained (some are graduates of professional ring man schools!), and they are worth their weight in gold. They will be right there with your audience, letting them know where there bid stands, and accurately relaying that to the auctioneer. A group of professional ring men will make your event more exciting and profitable.
Q. Do you charge a percentage or a flat fee?
A. We typically work on an agreed upon fee. While percentages can work in consignment or livestock sales, it is a challenge to fit in a benefit auction. We have a lot of confidence in our ability to exceed your auction goals. We also find it makes your budgeting process easier when you know the cost ahead of time.
Q. How do we get a quote?
A. That’s simple! Use the ‘contact us’ link to send us an e-mail, or call the phone number listed on our webpage. You can also approach us next time you see us at an event . . . just not during the live auction!
Q. I see you’re located on the Central Coast of California, how far are you willing to travel to do an auction?
A. We travel wherever you need us!
Q. What type of items make the best live items? What about those pre-purchased auction packages?
A. The best live items are unique experiences or packages, rather than items your bidders can go buy on their own. Keep ‘experience’ in mind, and group items together to enhance the overall appeal. For example, pair a round of golf for four people with a nice breakfast or dinner near the course; if you’re offering tickets to an out of town sporting event, pair it with a rental car or hotel room. We generally don’t recommend purchasing auction packages. Think of it this way, if you spend $3,500 for an auction package, and sell it for $5,000, that is $5,000 you’ve taken out of the room, but only made $1,500. When you hire us, we will work with you to package your items and obtain the highest bid possible.
Q. What is ‘Fund-A-Need’?
A. A ‘Fund-a-Need’ is a call to support for a specific purpose. It is an opportunity for everyone in the room to get behind a special project or need your organization has. It is a serious time to tug on the heart strings of your audience, and allows everyone in the room to participate at a level they feel comfortable with. Conducting the Fund-A-Need after the live auction gives folks in the audience who didn’t get to purchase anything during the live auction a chance to make a contribution. It takes a skilled and experienced auctioneer to maximize the money pledged during this portion of the event. We have the skill and experience to walk you through the steps to insure your ‘Fund-a-Need’ is successful.
Photo taken at 'The Central Coast Wine Classic.’