What is a silent auction bid sheet?

A silent auction still holds the competitive nature of conventional auctions, since bidders still grapple for an item through checks and cash. An auctioneer, however, is not present in silent auction bids, since the item at hand will just be put on display for attendees to observe, bid for, and ultimately purchase. Since there is no auctioneer, people obviously cannot publicly announce their desire for ownership through saying so during the program of price ascension. Bidders then place their bids anonymously on the silent auction bid sheet, and use a bidding number, hence the name. The silent auction bid sheet takes the spotlight in this nature of auctioning, since it holds the codes and promised value of the participants. Technically, this paper is where the actual auction takes place.

What makes up a silent auction?

An auction is an event that needs to be organized considering that there will be a lot of attendees. A silent auction is relatively more orderly than a conventional one because its program consists of people looking around and writing their bids and numbers on papers, and the highest bidder at the end of everything then gets the item. They are a less hassle form of fundraising since everyone gets to participate in their own pace and discretion, and the silent aspect of this specific form of auction allows people to be more comfortable in placing their bids as well. Auctions are also a very good way to raise money for charities and non-profit organizations, as the collected amount from the sold items directly go to them. So what exactly makes up a silent auction?

Advertising : In order for a lot of people to hear word on your event, advertisement or promotion needs to be the first priority after setting the date and venue. This may be done through flyers put up in bulletin boards for instance, or via email and social media ads. An important thing to consider as well is the list of people expected to participate in auctions. Perhaps they could be a certain company’s shareholder, or business owners of your knowing, and the like. The advertisement has to look as appealing as possible in order to attract bidders. You may also tease a few items for people to look forward to.Crew and Facilitators : Of course, there has been no successful event that did not have a group of people holding its pillars in support. Putting up a crew to decorate and arrange the items in the venue is an important step in the process, as well as gathering the people who could be at the different stations within the place to check attendees’ names on the registration, and perhaps in the checkout area as well. Facilitators should also be present in case any of the attendees have a question.Selection of Items : The items that you pick for the auction also determine the likelihood of success of your event. Perhaps you can start by thinking about your target audience in order to gauge their interests. You may also think about a category of items for you to focus on, may it be jewelry, vintage designer outfits, and the like. These items should be displayed creatively in the venue to gain more appeal from the audience.Item Description : It is not only the item itself that makes it valuable, but its background. The item description has to tell the story of why the bidder has to have this item, hence, details such as the specific materials used for the item, its previous owner (if there is one), the year it was created, and the like should be stated in the description. These tiny aspects of the item may lull people to giving it more value to their lives.Registration : The registration is an integral part of the auction since this is where you determine the number of attendees you will be having. This allows you to know your attendees and be able to contact them for further reminders before the event, and even after if your auction items come in a delivery basis per se. Aside from that, this is also where you can be able to assign the bidder numbers they will be using during the event in order to stay anonymous. The registration portion of your auction gives you more avenue to organize the whole program in and of itself.Silent Auction Bid Sheet : Since this is where the auction happens, it is important for you to have an organized and neat bid sheet that contains the necessary details your participants need to fill up to bid for the item.Checkout : Having a checkout area is important where the attendees could officially state their departure, and where winners could pay for their items if they won the auction. This is also for formality’s sake. In lieu of a checkout, your program could also have a closing program, where you thank your sponsors and your attendees, and this could be the part where you announce the winners and let them pay for and claim their prize.

How to Participate in a Silent Auction

Because of how overshadowed silent auctions are by the open ascending price auction, a lot of people may be unfamiliar as to how it works, more so how to use silent auction bid sheets. In order to have a smooth and orderly program, facilitators must first instruct attendees how the process works, a few rules and regulations, and the like. Here are the important steps to consider in participating in a silent auction

Step 1: Choosing Items

As a strategic bidder, you must look around and scout for the best items on sale. This is good in order for you to have different points of comparison, hence, knowing what item stands out the most among the rest.

Step 2: Checking Bid Increments

Bid increments are the least amount of bid by which the next price offer should be based on. These are usually the number that the current bid is standing on, as opposed to the highest price that has already been promised. This does not give you, as a bidder, the explicit amount you should give to secure the item, but it is still worthy to calculate the bid increments in order for you to formulate a strategy.

Step 3: Silent Auction Bid Sheet

Considering you have had your bidding number during registration or perhaps at entry level, you now have to enter the number in the bid sheet. In there, you should also write the name of the item as well as the price you are willing to give for it, after your calculations of the bid increment.

Step 4: Observing the Bids for the Item at Hand

If you really want something, everyone else is a competition. For you to truly get the item, know that you can always repeat bidding, increasing the amount more and more in time. You can always check the event so you can make sure that no one is outbidding you. This is why it is important for you stay all throughout the event.

Step 5: Wait for the Checkout or Closing Program

Waiting for the results is something you have to go through to find out if you have won. It is also a form of respect you give to the event as well as its creators. This is the part where you may claim your item if you won the bidding, and perhaps where you could declare your payment option.


Can I withdraw my bid?

Yes. Withdrawing your bid is something that is very much allowed during auctions. However, make sure to notify the facilitators about your decision since you have to make this action before they announce that the sale has been completed.

What are the benefits of mobile bidding?

Mobile bidding is sometimes more preferred by people compared to traditional silent bidding. The trend of mobile bidding has also risen especially because of the change in landscape that COVID-19 has imposed on us as people. In mobile bidding apps, you are able to be more mobile in checking your bid standing since the writings do not come in paper but are only reflected in your phone. Mobile bidding apps also come with an outbid notification, so you can always have a heads up for when you have to repeat your bid. But most importantly, mobile bidding requires less contact, hence why it is very good for people to use as an alternative.

What happens if two people bid the same amount with automated bidding?

Because of the rise of COVID-19, along with the people’s need to go on with their lives, online silent auctions are on trend right now. These auctions may occur in eBay, for instance, and some even hold the event on Facebook. In the case of automated bidding which more often than not only occurs online, the first person who bids the amount gets the item if they have the winning bid. When the auction closes, it is the first bidder who primarily gets acknowledged by the system, hence the prioritized status.

What items sell best at silent auctions?

Items that are on demand change with the times. But as of now, according to public opinion, the best items to sell at silent auctions are travel related items such as airline tickets, hotel stays, and all around trips because travelling has transcended from an occasional thing to a necessity for a happy life. Other than that, sports tickets or memorabilia are also really sought for. The rise of sports fans, and their attachment to player merchandise are a good thing to consider in deciding your set of items. Lastly, music related items are also worth a consideration such as concert tickets, signed instruments, or backstage passes. The hype for music never dies.

Silent auctions, and auctions in general are a really great way of making a fundraising event creative and fun. These bring light to specific causes and issues, and provides donations to charities or organizations that help make these things much more sustainable. To attract a lot of people into taking part of your cause, it truly is important to ensure the organization and smooth flow of your event, as well as picking the right items with respect to the target audience. Considering the new kind of normal we have in the status quo, silent bidding truly is a good way in retaining the nature of auctions as a form of fundraising.