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What Are the Usual Items Sold in Auctions?


The basic formula to ensure a successful auction is simple—price tag and scarcity. You need to find the right items that your target market will find appealing to capture their interest.

But while ensuring that selling every item will produce an excellent result, the best way to take full advantage of the auction model is by having several bidders competing on each item to ensure that each item goes above the high estimate.

To help you with it, here are a few of the usual items sold in auctions.

The Most Common Items Presented in Auctions

1. Asian Antiques

Asian antiques, like chinaware or china, are treasures and perfect gifts throughout generations. It’s because they emphasise elegance and are priceless. And with wealthy Chinese collectors actively participating at auctions, you can undoubtedly see prices heating up soon after introducing the item.

Aside from old china, Japanese and other Asian antiques are also quite popular at most auctions. Antiques like Old Japanese woodblock prints and other wooden furniture made by well-known artists are valuable collectibles. Even pop-culture collectibles are popular, too.

2. Travel Packages

Travel packages refer to a series of itineraries that the winner can use. Instead of putting away money for leisure travel each year, they can use these live auction ideas to get some much-needed vacation time.

Most organisations consider consignment items when looking for a travel package. These are packages that organisations only need to pay for once it’s sold. It’s an excellent way to raise funds for the auction without any risks.

3. Signed Memorabilia

Signed memorabilia can be anything that holds a nostalgic or sentimental value previously owned by a celebrated public figure who your target market relates to deeply.

Depending on your audience, you could choose any movie prop with a signature of a famous actor. You can also select an instrument signed by a hugely popular musician or even a piece of equipment owned by a well-loved athlete.

Ask any of your partners or supporters if they own any memorabilia that you can use for the event. You can also ask them for any connections that you can use to reach out to a celebrity.

4. City Bar Crawl

A city bar crawl refers to all-night access to a few of the most popular nightlife spots in your area. You can start the adventure with a restaurant, then bring your supporters to bars or lounges. You can also ask for these spots which would be more willing to donate free perks such as foods or drinks.

When doing a city bar crawl auction, you need to ensure that you provide the winners with much-needed transportation. Aside from ensuring that they’ll be comfortable throughout the night, you can also guarantee that the winners will enjoy the night responsibly.

It’s essential to include various components to the “city bar crawl” auction item to make it enjoyable; you can start by scoping out a few establishments in the area and see which one would be willing to donate their hospitality.

5. Gift Baskets

Gift baskets are another popular auction item on the list. It often includes various entities that share a similar theme. For instance, you can create a Spa Day gift basket complete with nail polish and pedicure accessories. You can even add mud masks and other relaxation items, too. A coffee-themed basket is another theme you can consider, including various coffee accessories and beans.

Most people often have fun with gift baskets because of how exciting it is to check out all the trinkets inside. What’s even great about it is that you can customise your items based on what your donors find interesting. As your procurement staff starts to solicit auction items, you can then start giving your donors an idea of the auction item inside the basket and see if they might feel interested in donating any items.

Meanwhile, if you have a particular theme for the event, you can let your donors know about it so that they can relate their baskets to the theme. If not, you can give them a few ideas that you think your audience might find appealing.

6. Customised Artwork

Artwork can refer to any creation, including but not limited to jewellery and glasswork. All creations would be handcrafted and should be tailor made for the auction. While unique pieces are in limited supply, getting these particular items can effectively incite bid wars to your guests.

That’s because people won’t have another chance to get these items anywhere else. Additionally, these artwork pieces are often emotionally charged so that guests might feel personally attached to these items.

One best way to procure such items is by checking if you have any artists in your team. You can also get in touch with a few artists in the area and see if they can create a custom piece for the event pro bono.

7. Behind-the-Scenes Tours

Other commonly auctioned items included in the list are behind-the-scenes tours. These items often refer to various experiences, from shadowing the director on a TV show to getting an insider’s peek at a local business.

No matter what type of context you choose, it’s essential to select access to an exclusive look into what happens behind the scenes that your donors will find interesting. Most donors prefer to make beautiful memories instead of buying an item.

Key Takeaways

These are only a few things that you need to remember when looking for items that you can sell at an auction.

If you’ve been on the hunt for a few of these items, then it’s best to coordinate with other organisations that can help you plan your event from start to finish. Look for experts who can help you within live and silent auctions to guarantee success.