Have you ever hosted a wine auction? Wine auctions are pretty popular among wine enthusiasts as well as professionals. A wine auction or wine pull is one of the best ways to get their hands on premium wines at very reasonable prices.
Wine auctions are an additional fundraising strategy that you can incorporate into your charity auction or another fundraising event. The concept is very simple. You sell supporters the opportunity to bid on a random bottle of wine from a wall or table for a set price. You can wrap the bottles to hide the value or number them and have buyers draw numbers or numbered corks from a bowl to see which wine they have won.
No matter the method you choose, you must host a great wine auction so guests will be eager to attend another. However, the auction process can be overwhelming for people who are not used to it because there are so many things that you need to keep in mind when hosting an auction event- from picking out wines and setting up a price bracket to promotion. Here are seven top tips to help you host a successful wine auction.
1 – Pick the right wines for your wine auction
Choosing which wines to display is probably the most important part of hosting a wine auction. Choose wines that will appeal to your guests and are within your budget. It is also essential to select a variety of wines to have something for everyone. While it may be tempting to offer mostly cheaper wines, you should avoid this. Don’t display any wine that has less value than the cost of the wine auction ticket. Most of the bottles you display should be mid-to-low range in quality and price, with a smaller percentage being high-end.
Undoubtedly, many persons will attend your wine auction to nab select bottles of their favorite or most coveted wine. However, including spirits in your auction can also attract a different type of bidder- the one looking to get their hands on an expensive bottle of liquor. Having select bottles of spirits can be a great way to increase the overall value of your auction and make more money. Just make sure that you have a wide enough variety of spirits available for bidding so that everyone has something to choose from.
2 – Estimate the number of bottles based on participants
One of the most important factors that you need to consider when hosting a wine auction is determining how many bottles of wine or spirits will be needed for your event. If there are too few, guests may feel disappointed with their options and leave empty-handed. However, having more than enough can result in waste if some are not sold during the auction. To avoid both situations, determine the number of participants and estimate how many bottles they will need to bid on based on that information. A good rule of thumb is 3 bottles to every 5 participants.
3 – Eye appeal is buy appeal
You want to ensure that your guests get excited about the auction when they walk in. Therefore, where you place the wines for bidding should be carefully considered. Ensure that the wines are easily accessible and visible to everyone, but not at eye level or too low because there is no point in having them look like they are within arms reach. Go all out and get a large rack or table to make the opportunity visible from all over. As a plus, get a barrel to put in your display. It will undoubtedly set the stage and make your auction more memorable.
Wrap your wine bottles
Here’s where you can get creative! No one wants to see the price tag of a wine they are bidding on, so make sure that all of the bottles you display are appropriately wrapped. This will add an extra layer of mystery and excitement to the auction. You can either use regular wrapping paper or get creative with it using themed paper or cloth material. The more unique and eye-catching your wrapping is, the better.
4 – Stock your wine auction with some big winners
Of course, the ultimate prize at any wine auction is a premium bottle of and exciting by including other related prizes such as a tour of the winery/distillery or showing guests a collection of wine glasses or decanters. This will give your guests something to aim for and increase the competition.
5 – Mix in some variety
Host a wine stocking party to get a variety of wines to complement your winery’s selections. Ask each guest to donate a bottle of wine from their personal collections as the cost of admission to the party. Ensure you state the minimum value of a bottle that will be accepted. This is a great way to get some coveted wines that may not have been available otherwise for your auction.
6 – Simplify the auction process
Avoid complications by getting organized beforehand. This includes having a detailed plan on the table layout, how the bidding will be done (manual or electronic), and if you need to hire staff for assistance during your event. Having everything clearly planned out ahead of time helps ensure that everything runs smoothly at your auction- which is what everyone wants!
7 – Create excitement for your wine auction
One of the best ways to create excitement for your wine auction is to have a great promotion leading up to it. This could mean advertising on social media, in local newspapers or magazines, or even sending out mailers to people in your area. Use your wine/spirits pull as a stand-alone email. Let it “breathe” on its own. Use the email to promote your wine/spirits contributors and share pictures. If you want to up the ante, have a competition leading up to your auction where people can win tickets or entry into it. This will ensure that people are excited about attending and increase ticket sales.
Hosting a wine auction can be fun and very profitable if done correctly. Follow these tips to ensure that your event is a success and guests will be eager to participate. Have a great time at your auction and enjoy some fantastic wines. Cheers!