Selling Memorabilia through an Online Auction

UL Auction Email

Auction email from the University of Louisville

One of the focal points of this blog is to give sport marketers and administrators ideas on how to develop more streams of revenue. One way of diversifying could be selling merchandise and other commemorative items through official online auctions. As the photo above depicts, the University of Louisville must have some success in selling team-used apparel and gear in this way, as these are the items they chose to include in an email I received a few weeks ago. Given their recent on-field and on-court successes, they are riding an exciting time and doing everything they can to effectively market and promote being a Louisville Cardinals fan, and good for them for doing so! There will likely always be a market for sports memorabilia in general and depending on program history and success, the demand may ebb and flow.

Something to consider when deciding whether or not an online auction might be a good idea for your organization is how to actually get your items online. There are several companies whose business revolves around selling game-used and player-worn items and could assist you in developing some revenue out of these items. Depending on the agreement, this is probably the easiest way of handling this process, as you, the team administrator, don’t have to worry about much except for delivering the goods to the company to sell. On the other hand, you would be missing out on a defined amount of revenue due to fees charged by the third-party business.

Of course with any auction there is always a risk factor that must be considered. Certainly you could end up selling an item for a significant amount more than if you just set a pre-determined price and sold the goods at your bookstore or team shop. However, on the flip side, you could end up selling your posted goods at significantly below your desired price or perhaps not at all! With that in mind though, consider how you procured the goods and what might otherwise happen to whatever it is that you are selling – is this item to be used ever again? Is it of any value to the team or organization or might a fan find it valuable or worth buying for their bookshelf or mantle?

As with any new business venture, one must weigh the risks with the rewards. Do, however, consider an auction of used goods as a potential way to diversify your revenue portfolio and to develop fans with deeper connections.

Go Forth! And leave your comments below…

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