Gift Basket Auction Ideas

by Antonia Sorin ; Updated September 28, 2017

Think of a fun theme for your gift basket to maximize interest in it.

gifts in a basket. image by mashe from Fotolia.com

Gift baskets make effective auction items because they can contain many different kinds of items. It's also easier to obtain appropriate items for a basket since you can fit many smaller items into it instead of having to search for one big-ticket item to auction off. To maximize interest in a basket you're planning on presenting at an auction, create a theme for it (e.g., gourmet foods, sports paraphernalia, day of beauty).

Sports Basket

Pick a sport or even a specific sports team and put together a basket centered around that theme. For example, you could include tickets to a local sporting event, a high-profile player's jersey, and an autographed photo or piece of sports equipment.

Coffee Basket

To create a coffee-themed basket, include coffee beans from all over the world, flavoring syrups like the ones they use at coffee shops, and mugs of different sizes—you can include standard-sized coffee mugs along with demitasse cups. A stovetop espresso maker, called a macchinetta, is also a valuable, inexpensive inclusion.

International Food Basket

Include ingredients to make dishes from different world cuisines. For example, create a sushi gift basket with short-grain Japanese rice, seaweed wrapping, a makisu (a bamboo mat that aids in wrapping), a rice paddle known as a shamoji and other tools of the trade. For a paella gift basket, include serrano ham, short-grain rice, saffron, paprika and paella cookware, along with other paella-specific ingredients. Include a cuisine-specific cookbook with each basket.

Wine-and-Cheese Basket

Include items that the winner would want to include at a wine-and-cheese tasting party. Select your wines, then choose your cheeses according to the wines that you've included (see Resources). If you don't spring for premium wines, go for several types of wine to add variety to your basket.

Pet Gift Basket

Create a gift basket for dog and cat owners. Check out your local pet-supply store for chew toys, treats and food. If you can get a local pet-supply store to donate items, even better. Also consider including a pet store gift card. Pet clothing might make a nice addition, but beware: Purchasing a certain size of pet clothing will limit the number of people willing to bid on your basket.

Movie Basket

Include all the items necessary to create a special home movie night, including candy you'd find at a movie theater; popcorn, popcorn oil, salt and flavorings; and a gift card to a movie rental facility or a subscription to a movie rental site (e.g., Netflix, Blockbuster).

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About the Author

Antonia Sorin started writing in 2004. She is an independent writer, filmmaker and motion graphics designer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has completed work for the Long Leaf Opera Company, the former Exploris Museum and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She graduated from Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey with a Bachelor of Arts in communications.