Silent Auction

As a less noisy, less competitive variant of the traditional auction, a silent auction can be added even to high-key events like a charity ball or wine tasting. It is also great when you only have a limited amount of time, as all items can be shown and sold at once. You don’t even need an auctioneer who keeps track of bids as everything is safely written down!

All it takes is an extra bit of organisational effort.

Silent Auction Set-Up

In order to let bidders see the items for auction, you will need to put those items on display.

Ideally, every item gets a table of its own in a room that is exclusively used for the auction. Prepare sheets of paper for everybody’s bids and leave them on the tables along with some pens. If there is a minimum starting amount or a fixed bid increment; print these on the sheets for bidders’ convenience. Remember to provide a field for the number and name of the item, as well as the name of the bidder!

Individual boxes for bids will make it easier for you to determine the highest bidder for each item. You will also need some volunteers to keep watch over the items, as well as to help bidders with any questions they may have.

Regularly inform bidders how much time they have left to leave their bids so they don’t put it off for too long!


When the bidding part auction is over, the collected bids have to be evaluated in order to determine the winners. Contact them privately or announce them publicly, as befits the event (and the wishes of your bidders), and make sure everybody knows when and where to collect their items!