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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:35 pm 
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I want to pose this question to all of you benefit jockeys out there. I am doing a survey and yes it is for my benefit and I hope for yours too.

I have a couple of auctions that in the past couple of years the buyers and the donors have been the same in the live auction. But the donors are wealthy but never spend in the live auction.

I want to know what your answer is to the following question:

How do you turn auction donors into auction buyers at a benefit gala?

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 6:22 pm 
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I am not a Paid Benefit Auctioneer, but your question creates a question of mine. If donors are donating items to the auction and I assume they are quality high value items, why would they be expected to be buyers also?

Perhaps they feel they have done more than enough by donating. If they are expected to buy also, I wonder if that would not motivate them to reduce the value of items they are donating.

Lyn Liechty, Auctioneer
http://www.arealauction.com


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:17 pm 
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I find this same thing at most auctions. When I went to auction school, they told us that buyers are often sellers and vice versa. However, in my years, I've found that very few sellers are buyers and vice versa.

Of course, when it comes to benefit auctions, I've found that a majority of those folks attending do not necessarily go to other types of auctions. They are typically there only because of their personal interest in the particular "cause".

By the same token, I've had those that have donated items, also bid quite well. However, I do agree that most of the time, the donors likely feel that they have already contributed and may not be as inclined to bid. Often, I think they only donate to get their business advertised or to see their own name on the list of donors... a little self-gratification, perhaps?

The only way I could see that would get them to become more active bidders, would be to get the committee organizers to contact them after getting the donations (more than once) to thank them and then add that they hope they will also be there to bid on the other "great items that were donated". Sometimes, you just have to tell people what you want, in order to get it.

Jim Ford
Professional Auctioneer & Auction Marketing for the 21st Century

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:37 pm 
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Hey brother Phillip. Thanks for posting this question. James Ford almost shot a bulls eye in his answer with the following explanation from me that might also assist you.

As we discussed yesterday, from one benefit jockey to another, here's the secret answer (now public) to your question. For those who may doubt the validity of my answer, I will use a factual example to prove the point. I have also used this method many times with great success with many of my clients.

Example: The Winter Wine Festival of Naples, Florida benefiting childrens education programs. This auction (the largest charity wine auction in the nation) raised 16.5 million dollars three years ago because of this strategy.

The donors make quite large donations of not only wine, but also art, jewelry and experiential events. Therefore they receive a charitable tax deduction for their donation right? YES, they do.

These same donors also not only buy back their donations at prices above Fair Market Value (their original donated value). Also these donating board or committee members buy the donations of fellow board members. Guess what? They also receive a charitable tax deduction for the items they purchase. The amount of the charitable tax deduction is difference or cost basis between the amount of the original donation (Fair Market Value) and the actual anount the bidder paid or bid.

This strategy alone is what propelled this singular charity wine event well past Auction Napa Valley six years ago! I have used this very same strategy in discussions with my board members for all of my events, both large and small, with amazing success.

I hope this helps you Phillip? Happy trails partner.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:45 am 
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Lyn, - Great question the reason I would like the donors to become buyers in this paticular auction is because the organization has asked them to donate the same items or close to what they donated the first year. I want to change the auction items up this year and give the guest a whole new live auction so those who donated in the past years will not be a repeat donor and can now be buyers.

The way I have planned to do this is two fold. First I am going to ask both the past buyers and donors what they would like to see in the live auction to make it more enticing for them to be buyers in next years live auction. Part two of my plan will then be to ask the buyers of the past few auctions if they have anything they would like to donate to the live auction.

I have a few other plans of attack and felix the cat never left home without his bag of tricks

Mr. Ford Thank you for your answer and thank you sir for all your answers - before I forget and you can email me your answer or reply to my by email. I am in Houston every Thursday if you need any help with any auction let me know. I also have a place to stay in Houston so no problem there, just letting you know.

Tom you are right about the tax deductions and for this group it is not about that it is more about how much they feel that they have already helped and how much they have given throughout the year, but yes good answer.

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