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Live Auctions: Speed Paddle with Auctioneer Alix Zimmermann

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KELLY: Hello my Fabulous Fundraisers! And welcome to Artisan Auctions! I’m your host Kelly Russell, and today I'm joined by Artisan Auctions’ very own, exceptionally talented, Professional Benefit Auctioneer, Alix Zimmermann!

ALIX: Thanks Kelly! So happy to be here.

KELLY: Alix joined the Artisan Auctions team in 2017 and has successfully been annihilating records and goals for worthy organizations all over town. This girl is on fire!

ALIX: oh stop, a gal does what she can.

KELLY: So. Today we are going to share up-to-date, best practices for Speed Paddle. Alix has some great new techniques that will really help you maximize your revenue.

Without further adieu, take it away, Alix!


ALIX: Now you may remember Kelly explaining Speed Paddle previously, and most of it still applies.

In Speed Paddle you want to select items that could have made it to the live auction if there were enough time in the agenda. A Bid Frenzy is NOT the place to stash your leftover items because you couldn’t bundle them into other packages.

They must be so desirable, that guests can’t resist buying them on impulse. They should have self-explanatory titles and should be items that your audience doesn’t have to think too much about to purchase. They must be an easy buy.

That’s why it’s so important to select items that make sense for your specific crowd’s buying capacity.


For example, in Portland we find attendees are fine with a range between $150 to $650 for a quick “buy it now” item.

For a fast sale, we recommend that you price your items somewhere between 75% to 125% of their value. $850 is Portland’s max for an instant sell.

It’s best to offer several price points so you can engage the donors who may not be interested in the larger live auction packages.

And if an early Speed Paddle item is perceived as a good deal, you can hook your bidders into the frenzy.

But don’t go crazy with your Bid Frenzy! We suggest that you cap your Speed Paddle at about 8 items.

If you find yourself with a huge selection of great items, then it’s best to break up your bid frenzy into two smaller groups that will book end your live auction.

Speed Paddle can make for a great Warmup and a great Last Chance to take something home.

On event night, you need to have all your Speed Paddle items listed in your printed program, including the title, a brief description, any restrictions, and the donor thank you.

But NO PRICES! Never include the prices for these. Your auctioneer will set the rules for the speed paddle from the stage:


A single powerpoint slide on the screen will list the order of the Speed Paddle items, matching your print program, and here’s where we let them see the PRICES!

Now is the time to tell them, so they get EXCITED.

Once the auctioneer starts reading the title, the first bid paddle in the air gets the package at the listed price.

That’s it!

Let’s begin - Cue the slide.

Speed Paddle is all about creating more momentum in your event. Keep it going strong and this will be a fast, engaging activity for your bidders to enjoy while supporting your organization!


KELLY: Girl on fire, Alix Zimmermann. Will you take us to the end, please?

ALIX: It would be my great pleasure.

If you found this video helpful, be sure to GIVE it a thumbs up, SHARE it with your fundraiser friends, SUBSCRIBE to the channel... and most importantly LEAVE me a comment letting us know what you all want to see on FUTURE episodes of Artisan Auctions.

BOTH: Let's go raise some money!

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