Auction Tips

Silent Auction Tips from the Trenches: Pre-Bidding

Tips for pre-bidding at your silent auction
Tips for pre-bidding at your silent auction

As we continue with our silent auction tips direct from our, "in the trenches” experiences, we wanted to talk about one tip that is often overlooked - largely because it requires a bit more planning and preparation:  PreBidding. 

In a lot of ways, pre-bidding is a lot like early voting in an election.  The benefits of early voting are pretty obvious to those that do it:

  • Those that can and do vote early get to avoid long lines on election day.
  • Election officials get an early sense of results. 

In this post, we will explore how early bidding can have a significant impact on your auction.  This isn't a joke - we have seen tremendous revenue impacts and reduced stress from pre-bidding... so read on and let's explore it!

Excited young woman on the sofa waiting for online auction to be over

 Prebidding at your silent auction

Before we start, we should tell you that this blog covers Tip 3 out of 7 (I know.. pick up the pace right?).  If you missed our previous tips, you should go back and read about [Tip 1: Treat your Auction like a business] and [Tip 2: Merchandising].  All good stuff!  Trust us.  We would not write about these tips if we didn't find that most of our customers would benefit from them.



Prebidding is the practice of opening up your auction early to your bidders. This can be anywhere from 1-2 days in advance to up to weeks in advance. The majority of Handbid mobile auction customers open their auction about 4-5 days in advance.



There are a few good reasons why you would want to open your auction early:

  • Opening your silent auction early gives people more time to register, view items and to bid. This takes a ton of pressure off of your team at checkin and also off of your guests when they arrive: "Off to the bar, we have been bidding all week and have it down pat.”

  • Opening your silent auction early generates more revenue. We have seen this happen over and over again. In fact, we did a short case study on this and have provided it in an eBook that you can download and review. How nice would it be to see that you have already covered many of your event costs with booked auction revenue before your event doors open?

In our case study, we show how two organizations saw as much as a 150% - 200% revenue increase through pre-bidding.

Yes, that's right - they both roughly doubled their auction revenue through pre-bidding.

  • Pre-bidding pushes your team to get your silent auction setup in advance. This is a healthy push that will help relieve that last minute auction setup stress you tend to find when you are still adding items to the auction the day of the event.


Handbid does not charge more to open your auction early. Open your auction whenever you want. We are aware though that some other providers to charge extra for this. You will need to weigh that into your decision when selecting a mobile bidding platform.



Pre-bidding is not a new topic for us. We have spoken about it in previous Blog posts and we often discuss it with clients and prospects.   It is one the biggest advantages that online auction technology gives you and we hope you give it a strong consideration at your next event!  

Meanwhile, if you have questions or want to discuss how Handbid can help you implement pre-bidding at your next auction.  Please click the button below to reach out to us and get started!