Silent Auction Tips

5 Myths You Shouldn't Believe About Mobile Bidding: Part 1

If you're evaluating whether mobile bidding is right for your event, it's essential to start separating truth from myth. In this two-part series, we clear up some common myths about adopting mobile bidding for your event. Soon you'll be better equipped to evaluate your readiness for mobile bidding.
If you're evaluating whether mobile bidding is right for your event, it's essential to start separating truth from myth. In this two-part series, we clear up some common myths about adopting mobile bidding for your event. Soon you'll be better equipped to evaluate your readiness for mobile bidding.

We get that change can be difficult, especially if your donors aren't privy to innovation. Whether it's innovation or technology, we've heard about it.

If you're evaluating whether mobile bidding is right for your event, it's essential to start with the facts and separate truth from myth.

In this two-part series, we'll clear up some common myths around what it's like to adopt mobile bidding at your organization. After reading this series, you'll be better equipped to evaluate your readiness to start reaping the benefits of mobile bidding.

Many people have ideas about how their guests will respond to mobile and use their guests as an excuse to opt out of a technology that could increase revenue at their event.

Here is a video with 5 of the top objections to mobile bidding that we hear and why we still believe it's the best way to create the ultimate guest experience for donors and staff alike.  After the video, read the post to learn more about each myth and get the facts.

Mobile bidding myths and rumors

Debunking The Myths - Part 1 from Handbid on Vimeo.

Myth 1: Some of My Guests are Older, or Not Tech-Savvy

We used to hear this one all of the time, but with more than 3,000 auctions and seven years of running mobile bidding at events, it's been proven no guest is too old to work with a mobile bidding system.

This “myth” was more common a few years ago before we started to see rapid increases in technology adoption by older adults.

While the majority of your guests will be comfortable using their smartphone, you can accommodate your few non-tech-savvy guests by having bid “helpers” or iPad bidding stations.

Your older guests may even welcome the introduction of mobile bidding, since they won't have to navigate a crowded auction room, and can bid with ease from their table.

couple using tablet-1

Myth 2: My Guests Don’t Want to Download a Mobile Bidding App

No one has to download an app to use Handbid, but we are confident they’ll want to.

This myth contains two assumptions: first, that mobile bidding requires an app download, and second, that your guests aren’t interested in downloading a mobile app!

If you think that your guests won’t want to download an app, you might be surprised by how many are eager to download the app for the benefits and convenience it provides. In fact, the average person has 60-90 apps on their smartphone.

Your guests will appreciate the app with features including Apple Pay, real-time updates, timers, and dashboards that enhance the bidding experience.

However, if your have bidders who ultimately opt not to use the app, there’s plenty of ways for them to participate, no app necessary. Handbid allow bidders to access auctions from a web interface on their phone, no downloads required, if that’s their preference. You may also decide to have iPad stations set up at your event, an option that doesn’t require users to whip out their phones at all.

Ultimately, we encourage all of our customers to let their bidder decide rather than guessing what their preference will be. That way you can offer the choice to your bidder whether to bid from an app, or bid from the web; both are options with Handbid.

Man looking happy on iphone

Myth 3: I Can’t Afford Mobile Bidding Software

Events are an investment. When you spend money at your event, you are investing in the future of your community and its purpose by engaging your donors and community.

Many of the larger expenses involved in an event like catering, the venue, and entertainment will enhance your guest experience, which certainly helps your organization, but they won’t generate revenue.

Mobile bidding is an expense that will actually give you a return on your investment.

Aside from streamlining and improving the user experience, mobile bidding apps can increase donations by making them simpler and exposing a larger audience to more items.

As a result, the software should, and in almost every case does, more than pay for itself. Don’t be afraid to add this revenue-driving expense to your list.

Workplace with tablet pc showing calendar and a cup of coffee on a wooden work table close-up

Myth 4: The Wi-Fi at My Venue is Not Strong Enough for Mobile Bidding

A few years ago, this was a legitimate objection.

However, most venues recognize that in order to attract the best events, they need to offer strong, reliable internet. As a result, they’ve upgraded their Wi-Fi capabilities to handle high volume traffic while supplying high browsing speeds.

Beyond Wi-Fi, users can connect to their favorite apps and websites using cellular data. Many of your guests might have unlimited data plans that allow them to skip the Wi-Fi altogether.

All in all, don’t let the Wi-Fi myth slow you down. If you do have concerns, talk to your venue and confirm that their Wi-Fi can handle your needs.

Wireless internet sign on pole on the street-1

Myth 5: Our Guests Aren’t Ready for Full Mobile Bidding, so I’ll Put Half the Items on Paper and Half on Mobile

Are you familiar with the paradox of choice? If your guest has to decide between mobile or paper bidding, you are bound to confuse them and they’re more likely to not bid at all or bid on fewer items. Not to mention, having some items through the mobile option and some items through paper will make a lot more work for you at the end of the night!

If you're not convinced that mobile bidding will work for your event because of fears you have about your guests’ reactions, you might consider going “halfway” with a combination of paper and mobile to test the waters.

We recommend against this approach should you choose to introduce mobile bidding at your event for a couple of reasons.

We believe that your guests are ready, if not eager, for mobile bidding. Most of them already purchase their coffee, check into their flights, and deposit checks with their smartphone. They trust their phone with financial transactions, valuable information, and to get their morning coffee order correct. They will likely not object to bidding on their smartphone, especially with the convenience it provides.

By going halfway, you might inadvertently confirm the bias of the few guests who do remain skeptical! The confusion a split auction creates will lead some of those opposed to the mobile bidding idea in the first place to dig in further on that belief. By committing fully, you’ll lead the way for your guests to embrace the technology.

Finally, your organization might miss out on revenue opportunities if you have two different types of experiences. With everyone competing for the same items, you’ll be able to drive up competition and increase revenue from the event.

If you’re ready to streamline and liven up your events with mobile, your guests will be, too.

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In conclusion, don’t let your assumptions or fears interfere with the positive changes you’re seeking to make to drive revenue and improve the bidding experience for your guests. With mobile adoption high, you’re more likely to see an embrace of the new technology rather than disdain for it.

In the second part of this series, we’ll discuss more myths and facts about mobile bidding so you’ll be ready to go for your next event.

Feel like you know your fact from fiction now? Check out our free resource for 3 Benefits to Running a Silent Auction.