Lesson 8: Marketplace and Auctions
Primary, Roll Out Your Classroom Economy, Lesson 8
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Video: Adding Items to the Marketplace and Auctions

Lesson 8: Marketplace and Auctions

Learning Objective:

Students will be able to decide whether to save their leftover money or spend it in the marketplace or at an auction.

Jump$tart Standard: Spending:

4-1c. Prioritize future spending, taking resource limitations into account.

8-1a. Identify personal goals for spending and saving.

SEL Competency: Responsible decision-making


  • Watch this short video to learn how to add items to the marketplace and auctions.
  • Optional/Recommended: If you’re teaching in person, gather together the physical items kids can purchase. If you’re selling an experience, you may want to create a printout of it with a picture or pictures (e.g., a bowl of popcorn and a Hollywood sign for an after-school movie with popcorn). 
  • To determine the starting price for auction items, go to the Leaderboard and see who has the most money to spend. I recommend looking at the top five amounts and pricing your best item somewhere in that range. 
  • Spread the marketplace and auction items/images around the classroom so students don’t get clustered in one area as they look to see what’s available. 
  • Decide if you are going to allow students to pool money together to purchase or bid for bigger items or experiences, like a movie with a friend.
    • If you opt to do this, have one student be the “bidder” at auctions or “buyer” in the marketplace, and have the other students send that student their money via check or wire transfer.

Explain Marketplace and Auctions (10 min)

Say: Today we are going to talk about the marketplace and auctions. After you pay your bills and rent, and take care of all your financial responsibilities, you may have leftover money that you earned with your hard work. In the marketplace, you can choose which items or experiences you want to spend your savings on. Everything in the marketplace will sell for the price that’s listed online, which we call a “flat rate.” To see what’s in the marketplace when you’re logged into Stash101, go to My Group > Marketplace. 

Say: During an auction, you can bid for an item or experience you’d like to buy. The person who places the highest bid will ultimately win, and others may get outbid. 

Once there’s an active auction, a timer with a countdown will show up below “Announcements” on your Home page. 

If an item like a snack or pencil costs $10 and you want to bid for it, you must add at least the minimum bid increment to the base price. So for example, if an item costs $10 and the minimum bid increment is $5, how much does your bid have to be, at a minimum? ($15.) If you really, really want an item and don’t want any competition, what might you choose to do? (Answer: bid a very large sum of money!) 

Once you put your bid in, you may not change it. So if you have $100 to spend and you bid $75 for an item, you have to assume you only have $25 left to spend unless someone outbids you, in which case the money you initially put in for the bid will be refunded to you. If you still want the item or experience and are willing to bid a higher amount, you can rebid. 

Say: You can always decide to save your money to use later in the marketplace or at another auction, where there will be different items and experiences. The more you save, the more you’ll have to spend in the long run. But if you choose to, you can use your savings and spend your money now. Make your decisions carefully.

Display Items or Have Students Explore Them (5–15 min)

If demonstrating items/experiences in person, say: Follow me with your eyes as I go around and tell you about the different items that are available in the marketplace or at our auction. (Walk around and show students the different items.) Any questions? Now, take a few minutes to walk around and look at your options.

If teaching remotely or demonstrating items online, go to the Home page and click on the gold access key to the far right of any student’s name. Then go to My Group > Marketplace and click on Products (for the Marketplace) or Auctions, where you can display what’s available and show students how to buy or bid for an item. Be sure to tell students not to buy anything until you tell them they can, or they won’t get the item and will waste their money.

Share Out Auction Winners (5 min) 

Once you’ve held your first auction, take a few minutes afterward to identify the winners and what they won. You  can do this by going to Students > Newslog and filtering byShow Auction Results and Marketplace Purchases.” You can also view a list of auction items and who they were sold to under Classroom > Marketplace > Auctions Tab > Details > Bids History. 

To wrap up, talk about the pros and cons of bidding for things now vs. saving money for later.