Planning a Silent Auction or Fundraising Auction for Sports Memorabilia Collectors

Fundraising Auction, Silent Auction

Fundraising Auction - Silent Auction - Charity Auction

At AFGI we have been honoured over the years in creating unique, once in a lifetime events for our clients and their guests. As we work with many non-profits across nearly all areas we always give 110% effort when designing events and sourcing items for our silent auctions.  AFGI has been a family run business for over 40 years providing professional charity auction services at fundraising events both in Canada and international locations.

As the leading benefit and charity live and silent auction company in Canada, we strive to gather the most special and memorable items for our auctions. Early on we discovered one of the most popular themes people enjoyed was auctions with sports items and sports memorabilia. At AFGI we have talked to hundreds of clients about the popularity of our sports memorabilia auctions.

When clients ask us how we go about designing a sports memorabilia auction, whether it be live or silent, we love sharing all that we’ve learned about sports memorabilia. When discussing sports memorabilia people often think of something they have personally saved or collected – perhaps from childhood or after attending an event. People who collect sports memorabilia often find connections through pieces they collect to sports and athletes they love. Memorabilia can be collected for a lifetime and can be a very affordable hobby.

Items at our auctions can range from team uniforms (both signed or unsigned), autographed equipment like helmets, hockey sticks, bats, baseballs and footballs. Then there is the incredibly wide world of sports trading cards; whether they are vintage or modern getting involved in trading cards is a wonderful and at times lucrative hobby. Sportscards sold before 1969 are considered highly valuable, and certain ‘modern’ ones such as the 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan or the 1979 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky are very rare and highly sought after.

At an AFGI auction, you can look forward to bidding on items like professionally framed jerseys from hockey stars such as Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid. We also have entire team hockey cards framed that would be a great addition to any family room. When looking at items to collect it is also important to consider the packaging some items come in. Complete sets, wax boxes and sealed cases with items intact often go for higher prices and are more valuable. When people successfully bid on items of sports memorabilia they are bringing a piece of the past into their homes. Even if your favourite sports star is retired you can still relive their glory days and enjoy these moments over again.

We find most of our guests at an AFGI fundraiser bid on items that they find great personal attachment to. Many collectors of sports memorabilia also think of their collection as an investment; as your collections grow and depending on the pieces you have they can often become very profitable. Being strategic about what you collect can pay off greatly in the future. The lucky people who invest in rookie cards are often awarded years later when their one-time rookie becomes a superstar (think Sidney Crosby whose Rookie and recently sold for an astonishing $100,00.00!). At an AFGI auction, you can be assured that all of our items are authentic and presented in high-quality frames or display boxes. We also provide certificates of authenticity for all our items. We advise anyone bidding on items at any auction to make sure the items are in as flawless condition as possible. Often the older the item, the more valuable, but a key factor in determining a piece of sports memorabilia is its condition and its supporting paperwork testifying to its authenticity. We advise collectors to have their collections evaluated from time to time by a reputable appraiser – this way you can plan for the future of your collection keeping in mind the value of your current collection.

If you are new to an AFGI event and are just starting your collection of sports memorabilia there are three things you should keep in mind.

  1. It pays to do your homework. Find out what items appeal to you and what you should add to your burgeoning collection.
  2. Look for quality. Make sure the items you bid on are in the best possible quality – older items will understandably show greater wear and tear, but items free from rips or tears will grow to be of greater value.
  3. Be patient. People who make money from investing in sports collectibles understand that they are in it for the long haul. The sports memorabilia market is based on many factors including the overall economy; keeping this in mind you will most likely need to hold onto your collection for many years before you can see a profit.

When working with AFGI you can be assured that we take all levels of collectors into account when developing our pricing model for your event, whether you have newcomers or seasoned collectors we will have something for them! We take into account your attendee list, their demographics, past event info if we have worked with you before and previous bidding history. Our pricing is competitive, we don’t believe in inflating prices as this could discourage visitors and deflate your auction before it event gets started.

As our past clients will attest at AFGI we love what we do. Whether you are interested in an auction showcasing sports memorabilia or would like a more varied selection of items AFGI can create an auction that speaks to your guests and will result in a successful event. For all items provided by AFGI, we guarantee you a percentage of the final highest bid price; we spare you anxiously waiting for multiple bidders to ensure your charity makes money. Our costs are covered in the balance of the bid price after the charity receives their percentage.

AFGI is a leader in the live and silent auction industry; we are equipped with the latest in technology and focus on auctions and methods that will make your charity the most money. Our staff are the best in the business and come to us from the country’s leading auction schools. We offer a comprehensive service and will see your event through from beginning to end with an eye for detail and a collaborative attitude.

Call us today to start planning your next successful event!

Fundraising Auction / Silent Auction
AFGI Canada’s Top Live & Silent Fundraising Auction Experts!
(416) 804-9193

A Brief Look at Events AFGI has Helped With

At Auctioneers Fundraising Group International (AFGI) we have been honoured over the years to work with our clients representing a wide range of non-profit causes. When new clients approach us to work with them one of their first questions is usually – how will a silent auction work at one of their events?

Fortunately, AFGI is a leader in the silent auction world. For over 40 years our family-run business has been dedicated to providing the highest quality auction experience for our clients and their guests. Whether you are holding an intimate event for 50 or a large-scale event for hundreds AFGI can work with you to create a profitable and memorable event.

While AFGI is based in Markham, Ontario we work with clients all over the North America to support their non-profit endeavours.

There are four types of service we provide:

Silent Auctions

AFGI provides a wide range of items for people to ‘silently’ bid on via bid sheets we provide. Silent auctions often take place over a number of hours and can occur while other activities (cocktail reception, dinner) is taking place. AFGI is happy to tailor items for your silent auction to your audience’s interests. AFGI takes care of all the sourcing, set-up and take-down.

Live Auctions

AFGI also offers the traditional auction experience for our clients. As AFGI has been in business for decades we have the best live auctioneers at our disposal and all of our auctioneers are from an accredited school and are in good standing with the National Auctioneers Association. Unlike for-profit auctioneers our auctioneers are skilled at working fundraising events – and have provided services for hundreds of successful events. We offer customized live auction items and packages and are dedicated to making your charitable cause the most money possible.

Online & Mobile Bidding

AFGI is a leader in auction technology – we only work with technology developed by fellow auctioneers and know what works and what doesn’t. We happily pass this expertise on to our clients. If you do not wish to hold an in-person event or auction we can provide the technology and support to online-only timed auctions and love online bidding with real-time video and audio. People can bid from the home or office – and with our technology built with the bidder in mind; the ease in which people can bid will add greatly to the profits of your online auction.

Auction 2 Go

Many non-profits we have worked with over the years have enjoyed getting their board members and other volunteers involved in sourcing items for their charity auctions. In this instances AFGI can still be a great resource for your organization; we can help augment your auction items if you feel you require ‘big ticket’ items are missing, help organize your items at the event and even help with bid sheets. AFGI are experts in all aspects of auctions and we enjoy working closely with our clients and acting as consultants to help you organize a memorable and profitable event.

At AFGI we work closely with our clients to design an Auction event that will be entertaining, lucrative and fun. Below is a selection of successful events we have executed for our clients.

Parachute Gala 2015

Created in 2012 after the amalgamation of four charities who are dedicated to preventing injuries at home, at play and on the move. Parachute works coast to coast to keep people safe in all areas of their lives. In 2015 the organizers approached us to be part of their inaugural gala. Held at the Fairmont Royal York the event was a who’s who of Canadian entertainment. Highlights of the event were appearances by Martin Short, Jason Priestly, Deborah Cox and even Wayne Gretzky. AFGI provided an exciting live auction for the event – raising important funds for this important charity. Live item auctions included sports experiences with Wayne Gretzky’s fantasy camp and a golf experience with PGA Tour Pro Ian Leggatt. We worked closely with the organizers to tailor the live auction items to suit their audience. By providing once-in-a-lifetime experiential activities for the guests AFGI helped Parachute create a memorable inaugural event.

Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation

AFGI was extremely proud to work on this exciting, high-profile, event held at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas. Country singer Garth Brooks started his non-profit in 1999; it is dedicated to providing support for various children’s charities and causes. His foundation has partnered with thousands of athletes from the fields of baseball, football, basketball, hockey and soccer to hold events which raise money for children. AFGI provided a wide range of items for guests at the Wynn hotel to choose from: from sign guitars from rock n’ roll royalty, to signed sports jerseys and exquisite jewellery items AFGI went above and beyond for this important event.

Toronto Taste

One of Canada’s best-known fundraisers was held at the Corus Quay and was presented by The Daniels Corporation. It was an incredible evening and raised $850,000 for Second Harvest – Canada’s largest food rescue charity. During this annual event AFGI was again pleased to provide auctioneer services for this important event – in fact our auction this year broke the previous record for funds raised. Not only did we provide unique culinary themed items for people to bid on but AFGI also broadcasted the auction live online which opened to event to bidders in Canada and around the world.

AFGI is Canada’s top charity auction company and is staffed with highly skilled staff and professional charity auctioneers. We have extensive experience in managing complex events and we are constantly striving to learn more about our clients and their guests so we can provide a curated array of items for their events. We are leaders in new auction technology and are often consulted when new features are developed. When working with AFGI we can assure all of our clients that our family values and dedication to quality are infused in everything we do – our goal is always to raise the most money for your charity.

So, whether you are organizing an event for 50 or 500 give us a call to learn how we can increase your profits and work with you to create a fun, entertaining and memorable event. We can be reached at 416-804-9193 or at – we look forward to hearing from you!

So what’s it like to hold a silent auction with AFGI?

Silent Auction - Silent Auctions with

AFGI is Canada’s top live and silent auction fundraising experts. We have been in business for over 40 years and have provided our clients in Toronto and the GTA professional auction services at a silent auction or charity fundraiser at no cost, no risk and without hidden fees. If you are organizing a charity fundraiser for your non-profit please contact us so we can share how we help you raise money for your worthy cause.

Below we recently caught up with a client we helped a couple of years ago. Here’s what they had to say about working with AFGI.

Q:           What kind of event were you holding?

A:            Well my family had recently experience a brush with cancer with one of our family members. Fortunately the person went through treatment at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto and after a few months of treatment the cancer went into remission. We were so grateful that we wanted to hold some sort of fundraiser to support cancer research and the Princess Margaret Hospital. So we decided to hold a dinner as a fundraiser.

Q:           Why did you decide to hold a silent auction?

A:            When we looked at our event we realized that we had a cocktail hour with no entertainment. We also thought there would be an opportunity to raise more funds beyond the price of the event ticket – so we started thinking about having a silent auction set up during the cocktail hour prior to the dinner.

Q:           How did you find AFGI?

A:            We started with a google search! And it was pretty apparent that AFGI had a long history of producing excellent silent auctions. So we contacted them and told them about our event…from the first phone call they were fantastic to work with and very helpful.

Q:           Silent Auctions sounds like a lot of work…how did you find the experience?

A:            That’s what we were worried about! There was no way my family had the time to call companies and ask for donations or organize all the pick up of items. To our great relief AFGI did all of that! Not only that but they also took the time to ask about who was attending the event and what we thought our guests would be interested in. We knew a lot of the people attending and knew they were interested in sports – so AFGI pulled together a great selection of items that included sports memorabilia.

Q:           What did you learn from holding the silent auction?

A:            A lot! I honestly don’t think our event would have been nearly successful had we not had a silent auction. At the beginning we thought a cocktail hour, followed by dinner and some speeches would be enough. But the silent auction added a whole other layer of entertainment and excitement to the event. We actually had to extend our cocktail hour to accommodate everyone who wanted to bid on items! I noticed it was a great way for people to meet and make small talk during the cocktail hour, not everyone knew each other but by the end of the event complete strangers were chatting away to each other. We also noticed that people that finished eating a little early got up and wandered around the silent auction items to take a second look. AFGI left all the items out until after the event and people were still making bids on the way out!

Q:           How much did your charity make from the silent auction?

A:            We made $2000.00 for the Princess Margaret Hospital.

Q:           Would you use AFGI again?

A:            Oh definitely! We only had to meet with them a couple of times to discuss what we wanted and then AFGI just did everything related to the silent auction. They set up everything, created all the bid sheets, stayed during the event to answer questions and then removed all the items at the end of the event. We would never have been able to pull of a silent auction of such high quality without AFGI