Always on the lookout for new ideas, Woolwich Community Services added a silent auction to their thrift shop last week.
Leigh-Anne Quinn, WCS’s community resource coordinator, says they had done a silent auction years ago and decided to start it up again because they noticed they were getting some antiques, jewelry, and collectible items that were worth a little bit more.
“So far it’s going pretty good. Right now we have an acoustic guitar, a German bible, a mink stole, and a View-Master with 11 full slides up for bid,” Quinn said.
Those interested in bidding can go to the WCS office and get a bid number. They can come back anytime and use their number to bid on items. When an item hasn’t been bid on for five days then it will close, so the last person who bid on that item will become the successful bidder. They’ll have two weeks to collect and pay for the item.
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“Now that people are finding out that we have a silent auction, there have been a few that have stopped by and specifically said this is an antique item, you could probably use it in your silent auction. But we have had some other donations come in that have just been antiques and we’ve recognized that and set them aside,” Quinn said.
The silent auction will be ongoing and they’re always looking for donations to add to the auction. They can be dropped off at WCS during open hours and if they think the items should be considered for the auction they can let staff or volunteers know.
They have one exception that allows people to call in and put a bid in. If there are two people bidding on an item and they both want it, but one person’s going out of town they can call in and bid on the item again.
“We do have a thrift shop Facebook page, which we actually just launched a couple months ago, which is nice because we now use that for sales that are happening within the store, different items that are coming in, and yes we have added pictures recently of the first items that we put out for our silent auction,” Quinn added.
She recommends people come in and look at the items in person to get a sense of what condition they’re in. So far the acoustic guitar has been popular, seeing numerous people bid on it.
The Mennonite Central Committee Thrift Shop also does a silent auction. She says she spoke with them a few months ago and decided to adopt MCC’s process because it seems to work well for them.
“I think the nice thing about this community is that we have several thrift shops and it’s such a destination for people in town and outside of town to come and stop, so people come weekly, bi-weekly to stop at several of the thrift shops in the area to try to find their next treasure, which is really neat,” Quinn said.