Online auctions are a way to make money, but they’re more than that. These creative fund-raising websites introduce participants to a worldwide marketplace of buyers and collectors. www.lvnmauction.com invites you to sign up and bid for a number of items from its selection of art and other services.
Below is a Q&A with Linda Anderle, project coordinator and owner of 2 Ten, a Galeria of Art and Treasures.
ORP: What is the genesis of the online auction?
Linda: I am quite sure the idea was from Wid Slick. He has wanted to do an online auction for some time and felt some frustration with the pencil and paper silent auctions. A business or artist donates goods, and maybe they sell, but well below fair market value. Wid is so very supportive of the local area artists and had felt an online auction was a way to showcase them to a much larger audience, which will advance their presence and market their work. He came to me in March, to research how we could put on such an auction in conjunction with MainStreet’s annual membership dinner. It grew and grew from there, and became it’s own event with tie-ins to the Castaneda Under the Stars event in September.
ORP: Who are the primary beneficiaries of funds raised?
Linda: First, in the art category, the artists. IF a work is sold, the artist will be paid a commission as a gallery would pay. The remainder of the funds on art sales will go to Las Vegas Arts Council. The council is supporting and cooperating with MainStreet in this first ever endeavor, as is the Las Vegas San Miguel Chamber of Commerce.
The travel/adventure and memorabilia categories have packages donated and all the funds generated from those sales will go to MainStreet to support its programs.
ORP: Explain how the auction works.
Linda: Anyone with access to a phone, computer or tablet can go to the Las Vegas New Mexico Renaissance auction via this link: lvnmauction.com, a direct link to our auction through Charity Auctions Today.
TO BID, one must register on the site. This involves registering with a valid credit card, for use in a purchase. To merely see the items offered, one does not need to register.
Easy. Scroll through the items we have listed. There are more than 70 items from which to choose. Most items have 2-5 photos of the object or package and a description. We have more than 25 area artists represented. Bidding takes place, is tracked to the individual, text messages are sent out to keep bidders informed. The ‘bell’ rings and the winner is declared. The site invoices the winner and charges the card on file. A winner in New York will then be contacted for shipping and those charges will be added.
ORP: There are three dates. What is the significance of that?
Linda: The auction goes live August 1 at 12 p.m. It continues to run until 9 p.m., Sunday, September 30 via 3 time blocks.
August 1, 12 p.m. – August 19, p.m.
August 20, 12 p.m. – September 9, 9 p.m.
September 10, 12 p.m. – September 30, 9 p.m.
We have the 3 blocks to start and stop at different times in order to engage people over a period of time.
ORP: How many potential donors/buyers will be reached and how are they targeted?
Linda: Actually we tie into a full page ad that was purchased by the city in Amtrak’s The National. This is the passenger publication that is on every train coast to coast and the coastline of California. The ad runs August and September. The auction is the bottom quarter of the ad that highlights Heritage Week and Places with a Past tour. The readership of this magazine is reported as 5 million. I’m not involved with the publicity team, but I understand there is to be radio/TV, newspaper, print advertisement and articles as well as billboards and reader/digital boards, estimated to reach over 1 million additionally in Albuquerque and rural New Mexico.
The auction also ties in with MainStreet’s annual membership event advertisements and web-site. This year it is Castaneda Under the Stars on Sept. 22 in the Castaneda courtyard. See castanedaunderthestars.com for information on the membership drive and the “Hard Hat Tours” of Castaneda on Sept. 22 and 23.
We are using the social media of Facebook to post to related pages dealing with MainStreets, arts & culture, historic preservation, Fred Harvey and Mary Colter, the Harvey Girls, train enthusiasts. This campaign should reach several thousand. Each of the artists, committee members, friends and family have been given the link and asked to SHARE SHARE SHARE. It is possible to share an individual item that is offered on the auction also. Look at the site and see how easy it is to view and share.
ORP: What is the track record of auctions of this type?
Linda: MainStreet’s being a winner in a national online contest that granted the $150,000 grant for E. Romero Fire & Hose building restoration via a Facebook campaign, gave us hope we can reach out to people across the U.S. and beyond to support our local causes.
As far as online auctions, in my research, they can be quite successful if everyone involved stays pledged to the cause and continues to involve others. We are offering a variety of price points and a selection of different mediums in the art works. Schools and organizations use this type of fundraising and within their immediate arena, do well. We are going well beyond our immediate radius. At least those who take a peek at the site will see for a brief shining moment: The Original Las Vegas.
The plan is to do this type of fundraising auction for three years. I’d be happy to share the track record in October of 2020!
ORP: May artists and other providers still get in on the auction?
Linda: Yes, due to the three time blocks. It is only hours until we start Block 1, so to think in terms of a deadline to submit-now until August 18 or September 9. Please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org for entries. There is no fee to enter.
ORP: What do you say to encourage vendors/businesses to provide art work or services for future auctions.
Linda: This is a three-year effort. We will need donors for 2019 and 2020 auctions. We are thinking and planning ahead to continue proactive approaches to fundraising and promoting our community.
We appreciate all the support and encouragement received to date. We are grateful to all that have worked on all the committees for the auction and the Castaneda event. Go online, view all the wonderful items, register and bid, buy buy buy and share share share.
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