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Auctioning ‘Absolutely Nothing’ Makes Big Bucks!


Monday, 4th March 2002 at 12:03 pm
Staff Reporter
Charity auctions are well-established fundraising tools and now one Melbourne auctioneer is using a technique that sees him sell ‘absolutely nothing’ to bring in the donation dollars.

Monday, 4th March 2002
at 12:03 pm
Staff Reporter


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Auctioning ‘Absolutely Nothing’ Makes Big Bucks!
Monday, 4th March 2002 at 12:03 pm

Charity auctions are well-established fundraising tools and now one Melbourne auctioneer is using a technique that sees him sell ‘absolutely nothing’ to bring in the donation dollars.

John Shore has 25 years experience as a Real Estate Agent and works with the national group Ray White Real Estate. Charity auctions are his specialty particularly when it comes to whipping the crowd into donating.

Shore says when all the goods are gone he goes one step further and sells ‘absolutely nothing’ with incredible results.

His says his preamble and technique are important. He tells the crowd that they all came to the auction to buy for a good cause…and many missed out due to brisk bidding…so now it’s their opportunity to give for the sake of just giving!

In true Real Estate Agent aplomb he begins with dummy bids of $5, $10 and then $50s and very quickly the crowd catches on with great enthusiasm.

He says he’s never been left to pay up from a dummy bid…but he’s quite prepared to if it ever happens.

Shore says the smallest amount he has raised selling “nothing” is $310 and the highest was recently at the Melbourne Town Hall for a charity called “Ben’s Dream” where he raised $715.

Six-year-old Ben lost his mother last year from Cancer and the little boy made a public wish to raise money for Cancer research….

Shore says the auction of ‘absolutely nothing’ always gets a standing ovation for the donor because it’s a noble donation! “Selling nothing” always ends up as a highlight of the function.

John Shore says it’s not an original idea…he saw an auctioneer do it once many years ago and has further developed the successful concept.

Shore says the property business doesn’t have the opportunity to give back to the community very often because agents just can’t discount a sale for charity.

But Shore says doing between 20-30 charity auctions each year for good causes from school fetes to major charities is a way of giving back to the community.

Shore says he has just collated the efforts of Ray White agents in Victoria in the past twelve months, taking into account MC duties, charity auctions and general donations to clubs and organisations which amounts to $1.5million!

Shore says he’d be delighted if his concept is used across the country to help raise much-needed funds.

What’s your experience of charity auctions? Why not join our Pro Bono Australia Forum at probonoaustralia.com.au.



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