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A bunch of items ideas for your next online auction

September 08 2022
The number 35 on a blue gradient background accompanied by a bicycle, a tent, a basketball hoop and theatrical masks, which are ideas for items to be auctioned off.

Finding items for your fundraising auction can be a challenge. Lucky for you, we’ve got a lot of ideas. From popular items to VIP experiences, we’re sure you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for. We’ve been pretty specific in some of the suggestions, just in case you need some really detailed inspiration, but feel free to customize them to your needs.

Here is our list of cool ideas that will encourage your participants to bid high!

How to find items for your auction?

Once you have determined the types of items that your participants will be interested in, your team will need to solicit these items from establishments willing to offer them. Here are some best practices to consider:

  • Sometimes the best items are sentimental ones: for example, you might choose an item that has special meaning within your community or organization, a personalized letter signed by the President, or an item that has helped someone through their battle with an illness.
  • Don’t ignore the circular economy: if everyone in your organization brings in two ideas with sentimental value or two items from home that they no longer use — my crockpot is available, if you’re interested — you could fill up your item list quickly.
  • Check your municipal website for a list of nearby businesses: it might be much easier to get the local restaurant to participate than a large multinational (not that we want to crush your dreams, but we know that Elon Musk is a bit harder to reach). Don’t forget to mention to your potential partners that any participation is appreciated. If they can’t provide an item for the auction, can they provide coffee for the event? If they want to do more, would they like to sponsor the event and be the presenter? Perhaps they can even host an auction to benefit your foundation?

💡 Don’t forget to encourage your partners to share the auction in their social networks to multiply your visibility.

Focus on activities

Whether it’s an extreme sport, a family or couple’s outing, or even a full-fledged trip, activities make great auction items and often generate a lot of interest.

  • Tickets to see Taylor Swift, Swan Lake or the Montreal Canadiens,
  • Season tickets for skiing or a water park,
  • A weekend in a dome chalet,
  • One night at the Fairmont Hotel in Quebec,
  • A day at Canada’s Wonderland,
  • A pass for a whole festival,
  • Or, for the most adventurous, a helicopter ride or a parachute jump.

💡 If possible, consider offering flexible dates so that as many people as possible can take advantage of the experience.

Stimulates nostalgia with memories

For collectors, enthusiasts or simply nostalgics, the souvenir section is a real gold mine.

  • A signed sports team jersey,
  • Pokémon cards,
  • A collection frame,
  • A basketball trophy,
  • Rings from the 2001 championship,
  • Dungeons and Dragons miniatures,
  • Celine’s double platinum album commemorative plaque,
  • Or any other autographed item.

💡 Make sure your collectibles are authenticated by professionals in the field.

Offer coveted items

Give your participants the chance to win high-end items that will be the envy of their friends. Include a few unique pieces and watch the bids soar!

  • A paddle board or a kayak,
  • The trendy Nintendo that no one can find,
  • A barbecue cover,
  • A landscaping gift card,
  • A Burger King gift card,
  • A Yves-Saint-Laurent purse,
  • Luxury golf clubs,
  • Or great vintages directly from your wine cellar!

💡 Don’t ignore the value of gift cards, which are sure to be won by people who were planning to buy from these stores anyway, but will gladly do so for a good cause. Plus, you can send virtual gift cards and save everyone a trip!

Suggest exclusive experiences

Everyone likes to feel special. That’s the beauty of offering unique experiences to your participants. Let’s go full-on VIP!

  • Dinner with the President,
  • A visit to the local Tupperware factory,
  • A meeting or photo with a local celebrity,
  • A parking space reserved only for them,
  • Clothing worn by a well-known person,
  • Or an invitation to your very exclusive Christmas party.

💡 It’s usually pretty easy to get people to volunteer their time, so this is a great time to treat yourself. It’s also a great opportunity to solicit spokespeople.

Don’t forget the services

To find items, you can’t just stick to businesses that offer them, you can also opt for services. In addition, you may have contacts who offer intuitive painting classes or custom epoxy jewelry.

  • Oil changes for one year,
  • Clearing snow from a driveway all winter long,
  • Your help in painting a room or a gallery,
  • Yoga or meditation classes,
  • A painting of their pet,
  • Registration to wine tasting, mixology or cooking class.

💡 This is the time to connect with your community and spread the word about your local economy.

Ready to raise more funds?

One of the most interesting parts of a charity auction is often the items themselves. You’d be surprised how easy it is to overlook the acquisition of a solid lineup of items when you’re busy managing all other aspects of an event. That’s why, with Followmybid, we’re offering you a platform that will help you easily organize online auctions. This will allow you to focus on other tasks related to your fundraiser, such as finding items.

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