The Difference between Charity Auctions and Liquidation Auctions

Not All Auctions Are Created Equal

The other day my mother-in-law dragged me along to a charity auction with her. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe in charity just as much as the next person does, I just don’t enjoy spending a Saturday morning in a room filled with dozens of people all bidding on stuff that I don’t really need and as much as I love auctions, charity auctions just aren’t my thing. If you must know why, it comes down to the fact that I’m a bargain hunter, and charity auctions aren’t the place to be bargain hunting as a rule. My mother-in-law learned the hard way what I already knew – not all auctions are created equal.

The Difference is in the Details

The difference between charity auctions and most other auctions is the goal of the auction. The sole purpose of charity auctions is to raise money whereas the goal of most other auctions is to liquidate stuff that is no longer wanted or needed. Because the purpose of these two auctions differ greatly, the end results usually differ as well.

When you go to your everyday, average auction, you can be sure you’re going to find quite a few deals and an abundance of unique items depending on the auction you’re attending. One man’s trash is another’s treasure and at times the value of the item being auctioned isn’t defined.

On the other hand, when you attend a charity auction, you can rest assured that the charity has made sure that all valuable items that are being auctioned off have had the values of those items clearly stated, encouraging increased bidding. When you take the treasure hunt out of the equation and add that to the fact that many people are encouraged to bid higher than they normally would because the proceeds are going to a good cause, the opportunity for awesome deals begins to diminish.

The bottom line is this, if you want to attend an auction where you will spend decent money on donated items with the proceeds going to a good cause, then by all means attend charity auctions. However, if your main motive in going to auctions is to find awesome deals on rare treasures, skip the charity auctions and head to a nearby barn auction.