Mobile Bidding Part 2: Know Your "Rescue" Tools

07 Jan 2020 By Carolyn Dasher

In our final post of 2019, we talked about how to plan a successful mobile bidding event. In today’s post, we’ll consider a less-than-ideal case scenario:

What if you’ve followed all of our planning suggestions – you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s, not just once but three times – and things go sideways anyway.

In spite of the most diligent preparation, sometimes life just…happens. Maybe you have to switch venues at the last minute and you don’t have time to test connectivity at the new one. Maybe you have to start your gala thirty minutes later than originally planned, and you need more time for your silent auction. Maybe a couple with deep pockets, who reliably bids high, showed up only minutes before closing time, and you want to make sure they get their chance to bid. Whatever the reason, you need to make changes NOW.

Of course, our support team is always standing by to help, and we pride ourselves on responding quickly. But we’ve also built some “rescue” tools right into the software, so that you can immediately and easily start solving problems. And maybe even finish solving them by the time we answer your call.

Premium subscribers can manage virtually every aspect of their mobile event from the Mobile Dashboard on their Auction Night tab. This professional event planning tool displays a countdown timer for near-term bidding group closings and allows for at-a-glance monitoring of online bidding by items, bidders, and bidding groups. From the Mobile Dashboard, you can edit and activate mobile bidding settings on the fly to:

  • Extend bidding time for each bidding group
  • Enable/disable automatic closeout
  • Award items
  • Send invitations to check-out

Plus and Premium subscribers have access to a suite of Mobile Bidding Tools:

  • The Mobile Invite Screen shows which guests have been invited to bid and how they were invited (by email or text). From here, you can quickly send (or resend) invitations to bid, or access a mobile bidding QR code to give guests bidding access.
  • The Bid/Purchase for a Guest button allows you to place proxy bids for guests who lack smartphone access.
  • The Check Guest’s Bid Status button lets you quickly look up the current bids for any guest. This comes in handy for those guests who need extra reassurance that “it’s really working.”

Plus subscribers can use the Extended Bidding feature to postpone closing time on all open online items by 10 minutes. This ten-minute grace period gives you time to make additional edits to your bidding group settings, as needed.

And everyone can use the analog backup tools built into the software. Even with the best planning and preparation, the unexpected can occur: a power outage at your venue, a service outage for a major internet provider, etc.

Before your event, print out your emergency report, so that you’ll have a backup in case of loss of electricity or connectivity. This report lists all of your guests and items. You can find it – look for the exciting title “Excel Backup” – at the very bottom of this screen: Admin > View Reports > View Summary Reports > Sales Revenue tab.

And in the unlikely event you have no choice but to switch to paper bidding, you can quickly generate paper bid sheets and description sheets for only your mobile bidding items at Admin > Print Materials.

Even if you intend to run a paperless event, remember to have a ream or two of paper and a working printer (test it ahead of time) on hand. Odds are you won’t need them, but it never hurts to be prepared.

Speaking of being prepared: be sure to check out last week’s blog post on making sure your site’s Privacy Policy complies with new regulations.