Choosing a good online auction fundraising service is essential to the success of a group’s online auction fundraiser. It is the express purpose of these services to help groups profit large with online auction fundraisers; and to achieve their purpose, online auction services are offering some excellent tools and value-added services on their websites. These ‘extras’ should be taken into considerations by groups choosing a partner for their online fundraiser.
Expect the basics like managing auction transactions. But you’ll have a much higher level of success with your online auction fundraiser if you partner with a company that offers an extra leg up.
At the very least, your online auction fundraiser service should provide you with the tools and templates you need to set up your auction. These should be complete with secure services for bidding and processing of transactions.
Still, a good fundraising auction service will do more. Some of the services that online auction fundraiser websites are offering include:
1. Resource Library
A resource library still might be considered basic; look for a website that offers a host of free tips, tutorials, and articles to help you increase online auction fundraiser profits and manage the behind-the-scenes of fundraising with an online auction.
2. Price breaks for extended contracts
Some sites are offering unlimited auctions for up to a year for one set fee. This means you can run as many online auction fundraisers with as many items as you like for the contract period.
3. Training classes
Online training classes, sometimes free with contract, are offered to groups so that the key players can become adept at running the online auction fundraiser.
4. Live and ongoing support
You should be able to expect ongoing and live support to help you work your auction and customize your website. If you need help while your live auction is going on you need to make sure you have someone available.
5. Auction marketplace
Some sites offer a marketplace so that you can purchase auction items (below retail) through them and offer them in your auction to increase appeal. This is a great way to expand a catalog of goods, and is a good option for a group that has few donations of auctionable items. On some sites, there is no exchange of money unless the item actually sells above cost; that means there’s no up-front expense for using this service.
6. Public bidding
Groups are offered the option of opening up bidding to the general public – anyone who visits the parent website. It’s simple to choose this profitable option and expand the outreach of your auction (simply opt in to this in the admin panel). This way, your auction is never limited by your advertising ability.
7. Sponsorships and advertising
Some companies allow you to place ads and sponsors on your website so that you can generate profits by selling marketing on your site.
Different online auction fundraising websites offer different value-added services. Knowing what is out there will help your group weigh one site against the other, so that you can be sure you are partnering with the best service, the one with all the best ways to increase the profitability of your online auction fundraiser.