I'm not sure where it started, but somewhere along the way, auction committees started writing really long and detailed descriptions of items being offered in Live/Silent auctions. Most are taking a stab at being creative or cute in an effort to convince folks to bid. I think sometimes we get too carried away.
Keep it simple. We don't want to gloss over key details or important information, but too often we are creating a paragraph that requires people spend 1-2 minutes reading a description. Considering the limited time and how many items we offer at an auction, do we really have time?
Recently I saw one that had 3 opening sentences on "how great Napa Valley is for people who love wine...mentioning rolling Hills and gorgeous sunsets will great you with the sweet scent of vintage vineyards that have been cultivated...blah blah" or this one for a Cubs game..."Spend a beautiful day at The Friendly Confines, watching one of the most storied teams in baseball...this could be the year...A wonderful experience that will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime..."
I'd wager, in both cases, any potential bidder knows the basics for what makes each package appealing. What they don't know is How long is this vacation? How many friends can I bring? Who are they playing? Where are the seats? Is airfare included? Any date restrictions?
Give bidders 4-6 good bullet points, some amazing photos and stop burying the lede under a bunch of unnecessary fluff.
This is what we really need to sell it:
4 Chicago Cubs vs Detroit Tigers Tickets
- 4 tickets to Cubs vs Detroit Tigers
- June 20 @ 1:20pm
- Marquis Inter-League game!
- Section 109 - Left Field line - Row 5 - Right behind Cubs Dugout!
- $100 in Cubs Bucks for Food & Drink
- Complimentary Parking pass
- Donor: Bob & Nancy Jones
1 Week in in Napa, CA @ Chateau Rio Vista
- 7 Days/6 nights in Executive Suite- 3 bedroom/3 bath
- Sleeps 6 comfortably
- Round Trip First Class airfare on United Airlines
- 4 days of guided Vineyard Tours w/Limo Transportation
- Private Champaign Tasting at Bubbly Bob's
- Not available between Thanksgiving and New Years Day and Easter
- Donors: Dr. Todd Warner