The primary drivers of revenue improvement are an extended bidding window, increased bidder activity, and maximum bids. As a result of these features, Thompson Auctions' and 501 Auctions' average impact in taking a client from paper and pen to an online format is a 33% revenue improvement.
Here's a brief summary of the factors that lead to this impact:
Extended bidding window: by opening up bidding to donors prior to the event, our clients are able to establish higher starting bids. This increases the "floor" for any bids made the evening of the event. Earlier bidding also engages more donors, which means more bids per item (and higher end-prices). In addition to opening up bidding early, the service offers clients the ability to sell any unsold items in an online auction after the event has ended.
Increased bidder activity: in addition to engaging more bidders earlier by marketing donated items online, the service also increases bidder activity through outbid notifications which significantly spur bidding. When a donor is outbid, for example, they will be able to see that they are losing on flat screen leader boards. Outbid notifications are also sent via text message.
Maximum bids: The services' maximum bid feature allows donors to set the maximum they're willing to pay for an item. This means that a bidder can set his or her price once and still particpate throughout the evening. As other donors bid against the same item, the system will continually bid in the minimum increments required to keep the donor as the top bidder up to the maximum bid amount he or she has set. This prevents last minute "item poaching" and ensures the cause is capturing the maximum possible revenue for a given item.