Is Your Online Auction Set Up the Way You Want?

If you’ve converted your event to an online auction, or if you were planning to run an online auction to begin with, you may be wondering if your set up is correct. 

The “correct” online set up can depend on a number of factors and may vary from one organization to another. But here are some things you can check on your site to see if yours is set up the way you intend. For most of these settings, there’s no right or wrong choice. It’s just a case of making sure you’ve selected the option that works best for your event.

Go to your Catalog page and click the Gala button to the upper right of your item grid. 

If any items display here, that means you’ve still got items set up for paper bidding (either paper only, or transferring from online to paper bidding). If this is not your intent, you need to bulk edit the bidding style of these items.

Go to Admin > Site Settings > Online Auction/Mobile Bidding > Signup and Invitations. 

Is the Make Online/Mobile Elements Visible to Public box checked? If not, no one can see your public catalog.  

Is Display Sign Up Button and Links checked? If not, your supporters will only be able to bid if you invite them to do so.

Go to Admin > Site Settings > Online Auction/Mobile Bidding > Bidding Settings. 

Are the opening and closing times of your bidding group(s) correct? 

Have you selected the bidding style (Quick Bids or Max Bids) you wish to use? 

Have you enabled Automatic Closeout? If not, items will not be placed in their winners’ carts automatically. That will give you a chance to review the winners before awarding – but you must either enable this feature or manually award items in order to place them in the winners’ carts.

Is Extended Bidding enabled? Extended bidding is optional, but it can help you capture last minute bids on competitive items.

Are you restricting bidding to any groups?

Go to Admin > Site Settings > Online Auction/Mobile Bidding > Payment Settings.

Is your default payment setting correct?

If you are allowing custom payments, have you set up your Custom Payment instructions?

Are Daily Payment Reminders turned on?

Go to Admin > Site Settings > Online Auction/Mobile Bidding > Email & Text Notifications. 

Are outbid notifications turned on?

Are text notifications turned on?

Is Send an Email Notification to Winning Bidders turned on?

Go to Admin > Site Settings > Communications > Email Templates.

Have you edited your Invitation to Bid, Outbid Notification, Daily Payment Reminder, and Winning Bid Notification templates? These templates can all be sent as-is. Editing them is entirely optional, but can add some nice personalization to your event.

A couple of final reminders:

The best way to get your supporters started bidding is to send them an invitation to bid.

We review sites about a week prior to your event. Set your event date to match your earliest opening bid time at Admin > Site Settings > Gala Auction > Event Info, and we’ll be able to time our review correctly for your event. The review covers a lot of the information above, plus a bit more. 

2 Comments
  • I am SO disappointed to see that Paddle Calls are not yet part of ONLINE bidding for standard package, particularly during this social distancing time. BRINGING attendees to a second page is clunky and adds an unnecessary step.

    • Hi Mary,

      As part of our COVID-19 response, customers who let us know that they will NOT be cancelling their event, and instead are going to convert it to an online auction, are getting free upgrades to their sites this year so that they have access to everything we’ve got that can help make that online auction as successful as possible. Please contact the support team to let them know that you will be converting, and they will upgrade you at no charge.

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