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How to Create a Virtual Auction: The Ultimate Guide to Set Up

How to Create a Virtual Auction: The Ultimate Guide to Set Up

Posted on December 31, 2020
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Auctions are the bread and butter of nonprofits. With this nonprofit sector facing challenges like never before, it’s time to step up the game by experimenting and exploring new options. And what better way than organizing virtual auctions?

With charity auctions having made a substantial achievement, it is an indication of online auctions being the right move. Especially when the paradigm shift is needed in times of social distancing and restricted gatherings. Let’s understand online auctions a little better by delving deeper.

How to Host A Virtual Auction: Steps for Nonprofits?

Just because live events are off the table now does not mean money can’t be raised. A perfect substitute for in-person auctions is the virtual auctions wherein the revenue can be generated with ease, thereby keeping nonprofits on track. A few essential steps to follow are

  1. Going for the right software
  2. Promoting the event like crazy
  3. Communicating with the supporters
  4. Following-up with them

Tips to Host a Successful Virtual Auction

Choose the Best Online Platform

Choosing a platform for your online auction is of the utmost importance. Make sure the platform you choose is user-friendly, allows easy bidding, provides notifications, and encourages participation. iConnectX is one of the options you can consider since it enables easy online participation.

Be Clear with Your Policies

How high is the bid to be increased? How are the prizes going to be delivered to the winners? Who will end up paying the shipping charges – the organization or the winners? Questions like these are vital and must be shared upfront with the participants so they know what they are getting into. Nothing should come across as something that might make them feel betrayed.

Keep Your Audience Engaged

Never reveal everything in a single go. Keep things to build suspense. Sharing the pictures of the items being bid on and prizes can benefit immensely to keep the audience hooked. Ensure that when the bidding starts, people are engaged enough to become a part of the whole thing even if they have to miss another important meeting.

Start Small

Have you ever been bombarded with the best of options but ended up making no purchase? We are sure it rings a bell. The learning to be derived from this experience is that the buyers must never be given too many items to bid on during an online auction. Always start small.

Hire Somebody to Take the Pictures

Pictures of the items you plan to sell can either make or break your auction. It is important that you don’t shirk away from hiring a professional who can take pictures from all the right angles because that’s what matters. Ultimately, what people see is what people buy!

Keep the Prices Moderate

The bids should open with considerable scope to go up. However, they shouldn’t be too low lest people should doubt the quality.

Don’t Fear Extending Your Auction

Because online auctions can run up to a week or more, take advantage of the same. Extend it so more people can participate, and they have enough time to raise the bids.

Make It Easy for Your Donors

Make sure your auction software has the Donation Option so bidders can pay with the utmost ease and convenience.

Difference Between Virtual Auction & Reverse Auction

Virtual Auction is like any regular auction wherein the seller sells the products or services to the buyer who bids the highest. What makes a regular auction a virtual auction is that it happens online, over the internet. This opens up new sales channels for the sellers and gives favorable purchasing conditions to the buyers. Example: eBay’s regular auction listings.

Contrary to this, a reverse auction is an auction wherein the sellers lower the prices of their products or services until the buyer agrees to buy it. Example: eBay’s booksellers continue to lower the prices until the buyer buys.

Long story short, regular auction involves buyers competing with other buyers while reverse auction involves sellers competing for buyers.

How Does a Virtual Auction Work?

A virtual action or an online auction is like a flea market being organized over the internet. Sellers choose to sell single or multiple products while the data collection happens behind the scenes. It involves winning and losing after making substantial bids. However, there are different types of online auctions that one can go ahead with. Let’s discuss this in detail.

Types Of Online Auction

There are two types of an online auction

  1. Virtual Live Auction
  2. Virtual Silent Auction

Virtual Live Auction

Virtual Live Auction is a live-streamed event with auctioneers, buyers, and sellers participating online, from their respective places. People can view the item details, join the live chat to discuss things with fellow supporters/participants, make bids, offer donations, and buy things, all through the single screen they operate with the help of the software. To make this work, all the interested candidates have to log on to the live-streaming platform at a specified time. The auctioneer will then commence things in real-time which the attendees can see on their screens. Items are auctioned one-at-a-time and the bids are made via online or mobile bidding tools.

Just like every coin has two sides, this type of auction comes with its own cons. The major drawback is that people can’t tune in after a specified period of time.

Virtual Silent Auction

An online silent auction takes place over a longer period, say, a week. This type of online auction gives the participants enough time to gain access to the online catalog that has the list of auction items. Participants can go through the catalog at their own pace and make bids on the items that interest them the most.

However, a combination of both can be achieved by opening bids for a week or so for certain items and doing a live auction for 2-3 trending items.

If you are all excited to organize your virtual auction, make sure that you choose the right software platform for hosting it. Choosing a good platform streamlines the entire process of organizing the event.

One of the most exceptional software for organizing virtual events is iConnectX. It is a platform that has been used by several nonprofits to organize different types of fundraisers over the years. It has innovative features that take care of each aspect of event management. iConnectX enables you to offer a great event experience to your attendees ensuring that the event proceeds in a hassle-free manner!

So why wait? Get in touch with one of our team members by either giving us a call or by joining the live chat.