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Houdini was a magician, not an Auctioneer !!!

Houdini was a magician, not an Auctioneer !!!

Over the past several months, we have broken records for our business, helping more charities than ever.  We are helping more charities plan, manage & host events than we ever have.

But with this, especially as we transgress our great country, we are faced with several issues which plague charities.  Most of the problems arise from not being educated and still believing in the various myths that still exist.

speedo-wearing-flag-carrying-mountain-climberCharities, or I should say the people who make up the charity and actually planning their next fundraiser, tend to live in a “Fantasy Land.”  It’s not their fault, you must understand but trying to educate them so that they not only better understand the “Reality of Charity Fundraising” is harder than trying climb Mount Everest backward in a “Speedo and flip flops.” 

 

Charities don’t want to believe that the items donated to them are not going to bring full value (aka Retail Value).  The refuse to believe it – in fact, while I am often am talking to them about their fundraising, they stare blankly back at me with a dazed look on their face.  The reality is that they never go back and look to track what the items they had at their event, actually did or how they performed.

Sadly, charities (I am truly talking about the people) don’t think when seeking donated items, what kind of items they should be going after.  And, here is where you want to rip my head off, don’t truly care about the business who donated the item, they only care about how much money they could possibly make from the sale of it.  How do I know?  Because I use to be the “Donation King.”  I had it down to a science.  But then when I really figured it out…that is when I became a Donation God!!! 

Are you ready for a dose of reality?  Are you sure?  Before I go into it, let me tell you photography-quotes-reality-welcome-to-reality-Favim_com-581101-500x264a little story.  I was helping a charity at an event which they had donated some very high end art.  In fact, they brought in the artist from out of the country – six (6) in total – all from South America.  The artists insisted that it had to be displayed in a very high trafficked area with amazing visibility of the artwork.  Understand that the event was very high end and the place, high end as well.  But…I know the reality of the reality.  I asked the artist if there were “Reserves” on the art which they said there were none.  I explained to the Artist what may happen and they obviously disagreed with me.  The pieces ranged (retail mind you) from $7,000.00 to $15,000.00 Retail – original art.  Because they wanted the art to be prominent, I ensured that everyone could see it and it was the centerpoint.  This same art took up the majority of the Live Auction.  Again, I asked them if they would be upset if it did not receive high bids, they laughed and shook their heads as if I was telling a joke.  Well during the live auction as I began to sell the art, the room fell silent (can you hear the crickets?).  The highest bid for the art was $350.00 for a $15,000.00 piece of art.  Then at the end of the evening, one of the buyers tried to back out of the bid so that he could buy items from us (our No Risk Auction Items – Mike Tyson autographed Boxing Trunks and a Sugar Ray Leonard/Roberto Duran dual signed Boxing Glove).  The artists were devastated but came over to me after the event and thanked me for educating them while asking if they should ever do it again – I told them no.

I could provide you with example such as when a donor was present at an event and the item which his business (which he was the owner of) donated an item worth $900.00 and it sold for $45.00 – he walked out immediately after seeing it sell for that amount furious.

 

 

houdini_handcuff_kingLadies & Gentlemen, I am sorry if you think differently, but Auctioneers are not Magicians.  We auctioneers cannot turn water into wine or make money fly magically out of people’s pockets.  Not one auctioneer in the world can.  You have to provide people with items or experiences that they would want.  Unfortunately, in the example above with the Artists, our Decor items sold higher than their original art – I find that sad.

 

Furthermore, charities must market the items which they have and will be available to bid on.  Facebook and email newsletters are perfect for this.  But putting people in a room and expecting them to bid on stuff just because…doesn’t happen. 

Another myth – this one will probably sting so gear up – people do not bid on items at your charity fundraiser because they are helping your charity.  This is 100% false.  What is true is this – they bid on items that are attractive, that they want.  The items that get the most bids are Hard to find items, things they have never seen before or Travel Experiences.  If this weren’t true, why do people get buyers remorse and try to return the items the following day?  Charities tend to think people walk in the door blind folded with a stack of $100 bills in their pockets and just throw it up in the air…wherever it lands is what they are going to buy and say “Well it’s for charity” – That is totally false and those days are over.

Be smart about what you are doing, be strategic when seeking donations and then market your donations as much as humanly possible.  Use Facebook religiously to market your event and the items available.

Something else very important – why is it acceptable to pay a venue for food & drinks, a florist for floral arrangements but not to use consigned items and travel on your live and silent auction?  I’ll leave you with that thought.

If you would like to learn how seek and get incredible donated items while ensuring the donors are happy by the result and how to also absolutely ensure that those items bring an amazing amount of money – or if you would like to learn more about how to host a successful charity fundraising event and how to plan your fundraising platforms such as the Live & Silent Auction effectively, contact us at www.BWUnlimited.com, we would love to help you exceed your fundraising goals.

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“The Reality of the Reality of Donated Items”

If you are a fan of mine or read my blogs, you repeatedly have heard me say repeatedly Man on a soap box spouting bubblesthe same things over and over again.  As with most things I say, the lessons I am trying to teach come from real “Honest to Goodness” mistakes I’ve made or have seen made over the vast amount of years I’ve been involved in fundraising.

I am always incredibly inquisitive about why charities have the beliefs they have and why they do what they do.  What do I mean by “Do what they do”?  Well, what I mean is simply this – charities believe that donated items will bring close to if not higher bids than what they are worth.  Or, why they continually put items in a fundraising event which will not have the return they believe.

Ok – so the best examples are real life stories or real life examples right?  Well, I hate to admit but over the weekend, I saw most of what I preach against happen at an event which we were a part of.

What most charities do not know is this – the larger, more profitable charities don’t even deal with small donated items.  They know these items are not profitable and only go after Sponsors and large items which are always on their live auctions.  They educate themselves because in the end, they are evaluated on their fundraising successes on a continuing basis.

So at this event we were a part of – prior to, we had begun to help their founder but our tactics seemed extremely counterintuitive.  But because she believed in what we were saying, she allowed us to do what we are known to do.  In her many donations, we found a basket which was better than most.  Because of the quality of items and that we also believe that a smaller scale fundraising event should not be all of our items – we placed this basket in the Silent Auction.  If I were to guess, the retail value would have been well over $200.00.  But as you hear me say over and over and over again, donated items only bring 1/8th to 1/4  of retail in any Silent or Live Auction.  Well, it brought only $65.00 – exactly what I say day in and day out.  Proof positive.

Then, another issue which I address all the time is donated Vacation homes as well as locally donated items.  I tell our clients continually how if someone can get a vacation home either given to them free or less, they will not bid on those items.  Same with locally donated items, if you live closeby to a store which donated items in the fundraising event you are attending, you’re not going to bid to the retail value – you and everyone else is looking for deal 100% of the time.  This is always correct at every single event we do.

So, after the event was over and we were packing up to leave, I overheard a friend of our client say to her “I wasn’t going to bid on that because I can use it for free” about a Vacation Home which was in the Live Auction.

200167732-001I literally fell out of my seat yelling “Oh my God”….in fact, I said to my client “Remember that, we will talk about it tomorrow.”

Folks – people do not want donated items.  If you are solely relying on donated items, you will see the inevitable result – that everyone is looking for a deal.  People are NOT and will NOT bid on items anywhere near what they are worth despite the fact that they are attending a charity event.  This NEVER EVER happens!!!

People bid with their wallets, not with their hearts.  It’s sad, gotcha, but it’s the truth.  Wake up to the reality of fundraising.  Fundraising is a treacherous place to be.  There are monsters under the bed if you go looking.

If you understand the reality of the reality, you will make the right decisions which will always prove to be profitable.

On another note, smaller charities believe that consigned items (like ours) pull money away from their donated ones.  This cannot be farther from the truth, in fact, they pull money out of the crowd that would not have been spent otherwise.  This is the same belief as previously stated above – that people pay full retail for donated items (Fantasy and Myth).  In fact, the profit they make on our items at the starting bid far exceeds the highest bids on the donated items.  I challenge anyone reading this to see how people will win items at very low levels for the donated items but will bid on our items which the starting bids are much much higher.

Your guests DO NOT walk into your charity fundraiser with blinders on and a pocket full blindof cash, throw the money up in the air and spend it blindly.  This ideal or thought process can’t be further from the truth but for some reason, charities think this way.  Your guests bid on items they want and will bid heavily on them.  However, if the items have a known retail, they are looking for a deal and will not bid anywhere near the retail.  However, on items such as ours or another provider, these items have no known retail causing your guests to make incredibly high bids over and over and over again.

This my friends is the “Reality of the Reality of donated items.”  I am not saying do not go after donations and only use consigned items, I am saying if you are going after donations, to use them in a way that they have a certain high profit return.

If you would like help with understanding the reality of charity fundraising and how to use your donations in such a way that they have a very high return, contact us at www.BWUnlimited.com, we would love to help you.

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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BW Unlimited vs. Charity Autograph Counterfeiter’s

BW Unlimited vs. Charity Autograph Counterfeiter’s

I truly believe it’s my duty to educate, inform and protect people from being swindled, lied to or stolen from.  So, here again I am hoping that this blog reaches charities or people across North America who care about the same things I do.

Yesterday, as you will see here, we did yet another autograph signing with Ray Lewis – Legendary NFL and Baltimore Ravens Superhero.   While at the signing, people surrounding him were constantly taking photographs of him and with him including myself.  Not only is he an incredible athlete but he is an absolute icon in the sport.  Oh and btw, we also took video.  We took photos of him signing our items and then asked for a picture with me standing with him in front a Ravens Backdrop.   So, in the photo’s do you not only see Ray Lewis autographing the items but you also see me there.

Now – not only did all of that occur, but there watching Ray sign everything was a representative from James Spence Authentication (JSA).  Each item he signed received a numbered sticker corresponding to a Certificate of Authenticity Card (COA).  I am challenging other providers to at the very least MATCH our level of Authentication!!!

Along with me, there were many other autograph dealers involved in the signing, all of which were doing the exact same thing – taking pictures and video.  Everyone wanted their picture with Ray.

We feel its vitally important to show our charities just how real we are.  Here’s how:

#1 – We use the #1 Authentication companies in the world – JSA and/or PSA/DNA.

#2 – You know exactly who we are – our names and our pictures are not only listed on our website but also on Facebook, Instagram etc.

#3 – We have and provide photos of the items actually being signed.

Now here is the rub….

For several years, honestly since the beginning of my business, there are only a few other recognizable businesses involved in the charity world as we are.  These two businesses  have been focused on offering extremely “EXCITING” items such as autographed Guitars, Drumheads, cast signed movie posters, autographed photos and now suddenly a few sports items.  I just saw a photo of a “Hall of Fame” autographed helmet.  None, not one of their autographed items are authenticated by JSA or PSA/DNA.  None of them are witnessed in person.

So I examined everything which I am going to show the major differences between our companies, here they are:

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising (BWUCF) – VS. – Counterfeit Companies

BWUCF Point #1 – We only use the only two Authentication companies which are the standard In the autograph world – JSA & PSA/DNA.

Counterfeit Companies – They use an absolutely unknown    Authentication company, not accepted by any major autograph dealer or website

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BWUCF Point #2 We carry commonly found items.

Counterfeit Companies – These two (2) companies are the only companies in the world who have them.  Oddly enough, several years ago, one of the managers left and started his own business and carries the exact same as the original company but somehow suddenly had testimonial letters from charities.  Didn’t anyone even look or check?

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BWUCF Point #3 – We have never been featured in a News Article, Magazine or TV Show as a Charity Counterfeit autograph item provider.

Counterfeit Companies –  One of the companies, which both companies carry the exact same items, was TV featured during an investigation into a Counterfeit autographed Guitar – Inside Edition. Oddly enough, both companies carry the exact same item.

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BWUCF Point #4 – Our companies name has NEVER changed since it was opened.

Counterfeit Companies – They have changed their names (both companies) more times than I can even recall.  Why is that?  BECAUSE THEY ARE RUNNING!!!

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BWUCF Point #5We provide untouched, non photo shopped photo’s of the items actually being autographed and you can find out when it was signed and where through the Certificate of Authenticity.  This is a common used term in the auction or autograph community referred to as “Provenance.”  The definition is this:

Provenance:  The place of origin or earliest known history of something.  The beginning of something’s existence; somethings origin.  A record of ownership of a work, used as a guide to authenticity or quality. 

Counterfeit Companies – They do not!!!  Why???
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BWUCF Point #6 – We publicize who we are, our names and pictures.

Counterfeit Companies – They do not – Who are they?

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BWUCF Point #7 – We have many photo’s of us standing with Athletes and Celebrities which we are doing or have done autograph signings with.

Counterfeit Companies – They do not – Why not?

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BWUCF Point #8 – We offer items which other Retail Companies offer across the United State and can be found all over the internet at much higher prices.

Counterfeit Companies – They are the only two companies that offer these items.  Why are they the only ones be found all over the internet at Autographs when that is not how the true autograph industry works.  If you do find a true authenticated item which they carry, that has been authenticated by a real authentication company, its ridiculously much higher priced.  And don’t believe the “Because its for Charity” hype.

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BWUCF Point #9 – We worked with Gene Simmons alone for 3 years.  Gene would charge us $2,000.00 for a guitar which only he provides and only he signs.  Gene absolutely refuses to sign with the rest of the band KISS – which by the way, he owns.

Counterfeit Companies – Why do they have KISS band signed guitars when Gene refuses to sign with anyone else?   Why is the guitar not the guitar that Gene will only sign?  It’s his “Axe Bass” which he sells himself.

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BWUCF Point #10 – If you scour the internet, you will not find one (1) bad comment or remark about us or our items.

Counterfeit Companies – If you scour the internet, especially  “Autograph Magazine Live”, you will be amazed at what you find.  Do it, go there, I beg you.

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Seriously – do you see the major differences?  BW only provides authentic autographs.  We beg charities to look and be well informed.

Charities must educate themselves before accepting items from any provider, including us – BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising.

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising leader in a “One Stop Shop” convenient setting.  Every single autographed item BW Unlimited carries comes complete with a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) from JSA or PSA/DNA.

We would love to help you, contact us at www.BWUnlimited.com.

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Joe Namath New York Jets autographed Helmet

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We are proud to be sending this Joe Namath New York Jets autographed full size helmet along with a bunch of other Charity auction items to a charity auction in New York City.

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising Leader in a ” One Stop Shop ” convenient setting.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Rare Charity Auction item

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1980 Team USA “Miracle on Ice” Olympic Hockey Team autographed Jersey.

BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising Leader in a ” One Stop Shop ” convenient setting. http://www.BWUnlimited.com

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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2015 AL Cesky Scholarship Fund annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser

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We love helping our great friends at the AL Cesky Scholarship Fund annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser.  This marks our 3rd year helping with many of our No Risk Auction Items.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising

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BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising is a North American Charity Fundraising Leader in a ” One Stop Shop ” convenient setting. http://www.BWUnlimited.com

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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