Bidder Paddles for Fundraising Auctions

Make sure you have bidder paddles for each attendee. Make sure you know who each paddle number has been assigned to, preferably getting each bidder to pre-swipe their credit card.

If this sounds like Auction Basics 101, it’s worth noting that we get contacted at least 10 times a year by events who don’t use paddles. It is impossible to do a successful fund-a-need without paddles, regardless of what the salesperson for the latest, greatest mobile bidding platform tells you.

The paddles don’t have to be fancy, they just need to be legible from across the room by the auctioneer. Some of our favorite paddles have been created by the youth the auction was meant to serve that night. Our only caveat is that homemade paddles not be hand-written. You can easily print large numbers on large Avery labels and apply them to the back of the catalog. Or simply print a numerical run on card stock.

Low cost bidder paddles can also be purchased online from suppliers like Kiefer Auctions Supply.

What matters most is that every attendee has a bidding number assigned to them, and understands that they are responsible for any bids made on their paddle. Assigning a bidder number also has the added benefit of setting an expectation for participation in your auction.