One of the most challenging parts of being a professional auctioneer is the search for active bidders. Over the next couple of weeks I am going to explore various ways to increase active bidding at your auctions. Make sure you subscribe to our blog via email so you can stay on top of all the latest marketing tips.
One of my favorite ways to bring more people to auctions is also one of the easiest: remind them of the auction. Hey, it’s fast, simple and easy to execute. While it may seem completely obvious to simply remind people of an auction, it is amazing how few auctioneers actually do this. One could argue that every single marketing activity is a reminder to potential bidders to bid at your upcoming auction. That is not what I am talking about. Below are a few more details before I lose you completely.
The morning your online auction ends (and not before), pull the report for every person who has placed a bid for that auction. Send each bidder a quick but tasteful e-mail reminding them about the auction later that day. This is not a sales e-mail. Your goal is not to attract them to the sale. Instead it is to remind them of the sale and why they bid in the first place. This is also a great platform to educate your buyers and provide some original content about the auction or the auction process.
Here are a couple of sample e-mails.
Example One
Subject: Patek Mold Shop Auction Ends Tonight at 6:30
Body: Thank you for bidding with your auction company. Our goal is to make sure you have a positive experience when using our service. This is just a reminder that tonight at 6:30 p.m. the auction at Patek Mold begins to close.
Helpful Hint to new bidders: we use a staggered ending time for every auction on With a staggered ending only three (3) lots per minute will close in the order they are listed online. So lots 1-3 close at 6:30, followed by 4-6 at 6:31 and so on until all the items are closed. If you have any questions please call us at (612) 555-1212 or e-mail us at
We look forward to seeing you at checkout.

Example Two
Subject: Updated Info about Patek Mold Auction Ending Tonight.
Body: Thank you for bidding at the Patek Mold Auction. This auction starts to close tonight at 6:30 p.m., so make sure you are around or have entered your max bids. We updated the checkout schedule to account for the three day weekend. Now you can pick up your items on Monday or Tuesday. If you can’t make it to checkout we do offer shipping for small items. Now instead of having to go to the auction site for one small item we can ship it to your door. Click on the UPS icon in each lot for a shipping estimate. Good Luck, Happy Bidding!

These e-mails are not a sales pitch. The recipients have already bid on your items, you know they are interested. That said I would still use a tool like the Wavebid e-mail generator to add some photos of the actual items in the auction to the reminder e-mail. This adds an element of professionalism as well as a visual reminder of the items being sold. When sending an HTML E-mail make sure you always include a plain text version in the event your bidder does not have html enabled e-mail.
Auction marketing is a series of small steps that add up to a successful event. Sending a reminder e-mail may seem trivial, but if you have ever received a call from a buyer who forgot about the auction, you already know how important it can be.