Silent Auction Bid Sheet

Most probably you have already heard about bid sheets but do not know all the details about them. In this article, we share what is a silent auction bid sheet, how to use it during auctions and what benefits it can bring.

paper bidding

What is a bid sheet?

You have probably heard of this term a lot when it comes to silent auctions. It is the most traditional bidding method in silent auctions and often gets called many things! But what exactly is it.
A bid sheet is a piece of paper showcased at the auction alongside an auction lot. It includes your supporters’ names, contact details and, of course, theirs bids on an item. It is that simple! Believe it or not, your bid sheet can have a huge impact and can influence your supporters’ decision. BUT! We are here to help you to have the best bid sheets to encourage your supporters to bid more!

bid sheet benefits


Make sure you’ve labelled your bid sheets with your logo to remind them that this is who they will be supporting when making this bid. Doing so will lean than towards putting that bid in not only for the prize they will win but because it will go to a fantastic cause.

Don’t be afraid to add a bit of colour

Bid sheets are full of relevant information but don’t be afraid to add a colour header along the top.

Title & Description

Shout your auction item loud! It is a beautiful piece, and it might be by a famous artist or signed by a well-known celeb. If the title on your sheet is big and bold, then it will prompt your supporters to put a bid in.

Showcasing a beautiful piece of art with a well-known name could be a factor in getting a bid! Your description should be informative and clear. Your guests will be socialising and taking a glance at the bid sheet. If they are interested, they would not want to read paragraphs about the piece. Only what is relevant information, expiry dates, and any T&Cs!

Reserve price and starting bids

A reserve price is the starting bid for your item. If you have been lucky enough to receive lots of donations, then you could start the bidding at zero! However, we would recommend putting a reserve price close to them what the prize is worth. This way, you will be sure that an item does not sell for a fraction of what it should do. If you are taking a product from an external company, usually, they will make the reserve price 10% higher than their supply cost if the item sells. It is to make sure that you are guaranteed a percentage of the funds’ bid.

Benefits of a bid sheet

— As it is the most traditional bidding method, we know it works.
— It is easy to make and cost-effective.
— You won’t need a designer to design the bid sheet, and you can print it anywhere.
— It is self-explanatory: guests won’t need to be told how to bid.
— Encourages competitive bids, as you can see the previous bid above.
— They can be placed right next to the auction lot so supporters can bid immediately.

Bid sheets are a very basic bidding method, and although they work well, multiple options have been developed on from this that are worth looking into for your event.

One of which is turning your bid sheet into a brochure. It works well if you are holding a charity dinner or sit-down event where you can hand out auction brochures to your guests. They can browse throughout the evening and make anonymous bids.

In a brochure, you can include more information about the item with images and more of a selection of products. It is perfect for guests who want to bid but don’t want to put their name and contact information on the show. Brochures can be collected at the end of the evening, and winners can be announced privately. Doing so would make your guests feel more comfortable in making a bid.

Another bidding technique which has been developed from bid sheets is electronic bidding. An electronic bidding platform can be showcased at your event. Guests can access this platform via their phone or, alternatively, if you are using a provider, they can supply iPads which are put on the tables for guests to bid on. It is a great sustainable approach to fundraising.

    In conclusion

    Bidding techniques depend on the type of event and your supporters. Your type of bidding can make a huge impact on your fundraising efforts.

    It is valuable to explore all options to see what would benefit your fundraising the most.