It is not technically possible to have more than one winner on a silent auction item, but there are ways to accomplish that if you need to.
We get this question a lot: "Can I have multiple winners on an item? We are selling slots into a class and want multiple people to buy into that slot."
The obvious answer would be to set it up as a forSale item, but that begs the question: "What price do we set it at to achieve maximum revenue?"
There are two ways in Handbid to accomplish this, both will take a little bit of configuration, but they are not difficult to pull off: Reverse Auction or Silent Auction Sale. Let's discuss them both.
Use a Reverse Auction when you want more than one winner
A reverse auction is (you guessed it), the reverse of the open-ascending silent auction model you are used to inside of Handbid. In a reverse auction, the price will be dropping, not increasing. And, YOU will be the one making the price drop. The purpose of a reverse auction is to allow people to buy-in at a price they are comfortable, provided there are any "buy-ins" left. Let's do an example to show how it works:
Imagine you have a cooking class with 10 spaces available and you want to get the MOST available amount of money out of each slot. You will create a forSale item in Handbid called "Cooking Class (10 slots)" with a limited quantity of 10. For the price, you will want it set it at a higher opening price than you would expect any slot to sell. This takes a bit of thought. If $150 per slot would exceed your expectations ($1,500 total), then start the item at $150. What you will do is then open the item for purchase. People who want to buy in at $150 will buy slots. After the buying activity slows down (or after a pre-determined period of time), you will lower the price a bit (perhaps to $140). At this price more purchasers will commit. You will continue to periodically lower the price until all slots are purchased, effectively giving you the maximum potential revenue.
Let's review the setup steps:
- Create a forSale item
- Set the BuyNowPrice to a level a bit higher than you would expect any slot to sell
- Enable "limit inventory" and set the inventory amount at the number of available slots
- Open the item for Sale
- Periodically lower the price until all slots are filled (don't do this too fast)
Use a Silent Auction to set the price
This one is tougher as it will require more participation and coordination with bidders; and it is a bit more complicated to manage on your end. To do this, you will need to present the item (either on stage or virtually) and let people bid on it. Live auctioneers should be skilled in selling multiple-winner items like this. The goal here is to just sell ONE SLOT at the class or event (not all of them at once). You are looking for the high bidder for just one. From there we will sell the rest.
Once the winning bid (highest bid and no additional bids are offered) is determined, you disable the item (set it to pending, yet leave the bids in there). The item's price has been set by the high bidder.
You will then ask the bidder how many slots they want at this price. Once the winner has selected the number of slots they want at the winning price, you offer that same price to any other bidders. You will then take a ForSale item (you had hidden all along) and set the buyNowPrice of the forSale item to the winning price. Sell as many of this forSale item has you have buyers at this price.
If available slots remain, you will then offer slots at the next highest bid's price (which should just be a bid increment lower). If you have buyers at this price (or any other price), duplicate the same ForSale item, adding something like "round-2" to the end of it and set its price to this slightly lower amount. Sell as many of this item as you have buyers.
Continue to do this until all slots are purchased.
Let's review those steps:
- Create a silent auction item for a single SLOT
- Create a forSale item for the same SLOT, but hide it (so bidders cannot see it)
- Conduct your auction on the silent item to set the winning bid
- Ask your winning bidder how many slots they want at that price.
- Offer that same price to anyone else (especially the under-bidders on the silent item)
- Use the hidden forSale item (un-hide it) to complete the sale of these slots
- Go down a bid increment and offer additional slots at the reduced price until all slots are filled.
- Each time you reduce the price, you will want to duplicate the forSale item so you can easily track the price paid by each user*
Note: Handbid can handle multiple purchases of a forSale item at different prices, but we suggest you duplicate the item instead of changing the price of the existing item. Why? Because your reports will make more sense.
Hopefully these methods will help you generate maximum revenue at your next auction with your signup classes!