With many organizations planning fundraiser events this coming holiday season, this is a very timely question.  Often those events feature a silent auction where items are displayed or described in writing, and interested bidders fill in their name, contact information and bid amount.  This can be a great fundraising tool and a source of excitement for those bidding.  However, it can be easy to get carried away in the competition of an auction and suffer from “bidder’s remorse.”

When you bid on an item in a silent auction you are essentially making an offer to purchase it at that price.  When the auction closes and your bid is chosen as the “winning” bid your offer has been accepted, and a binding contract is formed.  Both you and the organization running the auction are now obligated to perform on your contract.  In other words, you have pay what you bid, and they must supply the item bid on.  So be careful what you bid on…you just might get it.