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BUS:Teaching Marketing Through Auctions (Mktg)

Time Frame

6 class periods of 45 minutes each

Group Size

Small Groups

Life Skills





The students will explore marketing concepts of product, price, promotion and place through the auction activity.


Research Survey
Product Worksheet
Items to be auctioned (food items, school items, etc.)
Material to promote auction items (i.e. posters, markers, computer program, etc.)

Background for Teachers


Instructional Procedures

Week/Day 1:

  1. Divide class into groups of 5-7.
  2. Review the 4 P=s (from slide show at beginning of year)
  3. Teacher Directed: Discuss how a company determines its products. Review and/or revise (with student input) the "Research Survey" to use during the week to determine the PRODUCT(S) that they will sell.
  4. Student Activity: Have students use the "Research Survey" to interview other class members during the week--assign a minimum number of students they should survey during that time (at least 10).
  5. Teacher Directed: During the next auction: Emphasize the products and their charactistics you are auctioning and your rational for choosing them.
Week/Day 2:center>PRODUCT
  1. Student Activity: Have students, in their groups, use "The Product" worksheet to record results of their "Research Survey."
  2. From the worksheet they should make the following decisions:
    • Which products they will attempt to auction at the final auction.
    • Which marketable characteristics they will promote.
    • Specific ideas how to promote their auction items.
    • An idea of minimum price they will start the auction at for each item.
  3. Teacher Directed: During your auction this week: Emphasize supply and demand (target population--demand, cost effectiveness to have adequate supply--not too much, not too little, etc). Use results of last week's auction to show why you decided to chose the number and type of different items to auction this week, etc. Talk about price setting--rational for minimum price, etc.
Week/Day 3:
  1. Student Activity: In their groups, have students determine the number of items they will attempt to sell in the time they have, the minimum cost they will charge for each item, taking into account the following: (you may want to create a worksheet)
    • The initial cost of the item
    • The labor involved
    • The time involved
    • The minimal profit they would like to make, etc
  2. Have them finalize a list of the number and minimum prices for each item they will auction.
  3. Teacher Directed: During your auction this week: Talk about the way you attempt to "sell" each item--how you promote the item and why. Model various ways of promoting items.
Week/Day 4:
  1. Student Activity: In their groups, have students determine the best way to promote (market, sell) their items at the final auction. Have them design: 1) sales pitch to use at auction, 2) posters or advertising they might do during the week leading to the final auction, 3) power point presentation (as part of that unit), etc.
  2. Have them create the specific "tools", (i.e. the dialogue of the sales pitch, the poster, the presentation, etc.) during class (if time permits) or outside of class-- each member of group should have an assignment.
  3. Teacher Directed: During your auction this week: Talk about how candy is displayed, how and why the place is chosen (i.e. in front of room, near light, etc), how it is displayed on table (i.e. which items in front, stacked or not, few or many on display, etc)
Week/Day 5:
  1. Student Activity: In their groups, have students determine where in the room they want to display their items (make request of teacher, first come first choice)
  2. Have them design how they will set up their display at the final auction and make assignments to each individual of what needs to be done before final auction (preceding week and on the day of or day before final auction)
  3. Teacher Directed: During your auction this week: Review all aspects of the marketing process-- product, price, promotion and place. Refer to "TLC Marketing Definintions" under teacher background for '7 sales step process' to expand the concept of place and incorporate role play.
  1. Give class the opportunity to peruse the different displays of items during the day before or day of auction.
  2. Give each group the allotted time previously assigned (determined before depending on number of groups, i.e. 10 minutes or 15, etc) to "pitch" their items and sell what they can.

Created: 05/13/2004
Updated: 01/21/2018