A handbag auction is an effective strategy for raising money as either a standalone event or as a component of a more extensive program. If you are considering organizing one, read on for everything you need to know about hosting a successful handbag auction.
1. Choose your handbag auction-style
The first step in organizing a successful handbag auction is deciding what type of event it is going to be. One of the most common models is a silent auction, which involves having new or gently used items laid-out in well-organized arrangements, and then attendees can bid on each one through an app or a paper located next to the handbag. Alternatively, you could opt to host a live auction in which you have a professional auctioneer sell the bags. A live auction would be most effective if you have one or two stands out fashion items that people will be very excited about.
You can also choose to have a theme for the event such as a “Vintage Purse Auction” in which you solely offer beautiful vintage or retro handbags, or a “Designer Purse Auction” which includes one-of-a-kind purses from local designers and artists. For a vivacious event, consider including additional mystery items inside the bags being auctioned.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to determine the best way to raise the most money possible.
2. Create a committee.
To be able to pull off a successful handbag auction, you need to have other people working on your team. Enter your auction committee. The size of your committee is going to depend on how large your event is going to be and how much time must be invested to make it happen.
That being said, there is no possible way for one person to do it all, and so you want to make sure you have enough human resources to get everything done. Otherwise, your auction can quickly deteriorate into a disaster zone.
When building your auction committee, there are several qualities you want to look for in each person you bring onto the team. After all, these individuals are going to play a massive role in what handbags you secure for the auction, which in turn will influence how much money your event raises.
Therefore, you want to make sure each person has enough time and energy for their position. You’ll need to delegate tasks, so you need to ensure each person is right for the job assigned to them. Additionally, they should be well-connected enough to help you secure items and also to bring in attendees. Finally, they should be good team players as this will boost the effectiveness of the entire group.
3. Know your audience
Any salesperson will tell you that in order to be successful, you need to know your customers. This also holds true when you are doing handbag auctions (or any kind of auction, for that matter). Therefore, you want to think about whom you are going to have in attendance at your event because that will dictate how you organize, market, and stock the event. Customarily, women who attend handbag auctions want to find a bag that they can use frequently and that is going to stand the test of time.
For this reason, you need to be selective about the brands you include and know what brands and styles are in demand at the current time. Consider what designs will appeal to young women in the workforce, executives, middle-aged women, and older women. Generally, some of the most popular handbag brands for auctions include Tumi, Kate Spade New York, Salvatore Ferragamo, Michael Kors, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Tory Burch.
One of your committee’s roles will be to thoughtfully vet donations to ensure they are a suitable fit for your audience.
4. Keep things fun and manageable.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to organizing these types of auction events is that they don’t keep it a manageable endeavor. Unfortunately, this is a surefire way to suck the fun out of it for you and your committee members. And, if this happens, it is going to affect how your attendees experience the event. After all, philanthropy is all about rallying others to support a cause. Therefore, it is crucial that you work to keep it to a reasonable size intentionally.
One of the best ways to keep things manageable is by opting to partner with one of the top fashion auction sites which can help you ensure the event happens without any issues. You can have them ship the handbags to you, and you are then responsible for all aspects of handling the items throughout your event. Or, you can have them on-site where they will manage all aspects of the auction, including setting up, management, redemption, and shipping.
Of course, the more you host handbag auctions, the better you will get at it. After all, it may take some time to learn what sells and what doesn’t and which are the best strategies for reaching your target customers. However, if done right, it can be an enriching endeavor.
Have you ever hosted a handbag auction? Maybe you have attended one? Let us know your experiences in the comments below!