The format of charity auctions varies from auction to auction. When dealing with small-scale or localized charity auctions, most of the bidding takes place through sealed ballots. Many charity auctions of this kind are conducted through multiple, simultaneous rounds of sealed bidding. Bidders examine each object and submit a bid in writing for all of the objects in which they are interested. In this way, the charity auction organizers are able to circumvent the fees usually charged by auction houses, as each participant bids independently and volunteers collect the bids to determine winners. Large scale charity auctions often take the form of a traditional English auction, and they are either able to convince auction houses to work pro bono or they gather enough sales to pay the auction house fees.
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