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06 Sep 2019

5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Using Third Party Auction Item Suppliers

Investing in a third-party auction item supplier can be a daunting prospect and a lot of work. However, on the other hand, you could gain an added team of experts to help you determine which auction items will appeal to your demographic, as well as, providing a higher quantity of exclusive items you couldn't get your hands on.

The benefits can outweigh the drawbacks when using the correct supplier. You may ask yourself: but how do I choose the right supplier? Here are 5 key questions you should ask yourself before selecting a third-party auction item supplier to ensure you raise as much as possible from the item or experience:

 1. Do they offer genuine advice?

As always, your first step should be to check if the supplier is trustworthy and reliable. If the company is heavily sponsored by a particular brand they may push specific items simply because it’s in their policy to do so despite the item not being a good fit for your event or demographic.

In addition, it’s important that their auction item team are experienced and knowledgeable, they should get back to you quickly with thorough answers to any questions you have. Another great way to ensure you are dealing with a genuine company is by reading reviews. One useful site to find truthful and valuable reviews is Trustpilot (https://uk.trustpilot.com/). You can browse reviews from customers, former employees and clients that can give you a clear and honest impression of the company.

 2. Do they have knowledge of which items are popular?

It’s vital that the team you are working with are genuinely knowledgeable about their items and know which are the most popular with your demographic! They should be able to provide statistics showing an item’s success rate in selling and be transparent about how much they paid for the item, how much the minimum bid would be, how much they make from it, and how much money, on average, the charity receives from the item. These statistics are crucial to ensure the item will sell and that your cause is the main beneficiary.

3. Do they offer a wide variety of auction items?

One of the main benefits of using a third-party auction item supplier is their access to an extensive range of items and experiences. The best way to measure if a supplier has a good range of items is by browsing their auction item brochure. Make sure they have a variety of physical products as well as experiences — signed posters, holidays, concert tickets, sports experiences, dining experiences, etc. 

 4. Do they offer unique items?

Supplying one-of-a-kind auction items is another key feature to look for when researching suppliers. In general, suppliers are likely to have a deal in place with their own suppliers to increase the number of elite items and experiences. Make sure you take advantage of these! Limited edition items and experiences can entice bidders to bid higher; a pair of concert tickets is great, but easily available. However, if you included VIP backstage passes and entrance to the exclusive after-party your donors are more likely to be intrigued.

5. How does their pricing structure work?

It’s paramount you understand how they price their items. As stated before, the company should be transparent about costs and revenue made from each item. Generally, they will have a variety of pricing structures, most commonly either percentage based or cap based. A percentage based pricing structure means that the company will take a fixed percentage of what you sell the item for, sometimes in addition to the starting price. What is more secure is when a company has set a cap on how much revenue they will generate from a particular auction item. Make sure you’re well versed on the company’s specific pricing structure to raise as much as possible. 

In the last 12 months charities have raised £2.9 million across the globe via Givergy auction items, if you’d like a free consolation or a brochure please get in touch.

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