Are you trying to set up a Charity Auction for a school, PTA/PTO, a friend in need, or your favorite charity? Where do you start? Where do you go for online fundraising auction services? How do you find auction items for your fundraiser? Don’t worry, we’re here to tell you how to start an online auction fundraiser. It’s easy, and we’ll guide you through it step by step.
First, you’ll need to try it out. Keep this page open, and open your demo auction in a new window so that you can refer back to this step by step online auction tutorial.
Click to sign up for a charity auction account.
Confirm your email. After you get this message, check your email, click the link, and you’re good to go!
Sign in with your username and password.
Welcome to your personal dashboard!
On the left of the screen, there’s a sidebar. To set up an auction, scroll down to events and click the drop down arrow next to ‘auctions’. When the drop down list appears, click “manage auctions”.
On the next screen, click inside the ‘Create A New Auction’ box.
You made it! Fill in the blanks to create an online auction fundraiser.
Name your Auction. Use the name of your fundraiser. Something you will promote and share. Keep it short and simple.
Create a URL: The URL is auto generated when you type name your fundraiser.
For example: NCHSPTO2016
Don’t forget to choose your time zone.
Name the Block of Time, no need to get creative- just label them Block 1, Block 2, Block 3. This is set to define when your auction item (s) will go live and end.
Tip: If you have groups of items that will start or end at different times, you can use different time blocks to accomplish this. If you need to change a time later, edit the time block and it will update all the items within that time block.
Item Status – Click ‘Yes’ to show your items on the auction page before the start time. Click “No” if you want the items hidden until the start time arrives.
Tip: “Yes”, is recommended so you can see a visual of the items on the auction page while you are building it. No one will see your items until you start sending out the auction link. If you listed your auction as public, nothing will be listed on our site until it’s live and approved by our staff.
Privacy Settings – You can choose to keep the auction private so only people who receive your link can attend. Or open it to the public and we will put your auction in front of all our visitors.
Make sure you pick the proper country currency.
Now, click to the next step.
Here’s where it gets complicated for some. It’s not difficult, but you might be unsure what to do. No worries, you can always edit your settings at anytime.
Tip: Don’t worry about getting things right the first time. You can come back and edit all the settings at anytime, even when the auction is live.
Listing Type: From the dropdown menu, you can choose Online Auction or View Only. Most people want to choose Online Auction. View Only is for showing off your auction items but no bids can be placed. You might want to let people see items before a live event or you might want to preview items online before your auction begins. You decide.
Bid Types: Straight Bid or Auto Bid. Choices, choices, choices. Straight Bid allows the bidder to place a bid and the next bid increment will be higher than that bid. Autobid lets the bidder put in their max bid and our system will bid on their behalf up until their max bid is reached.
Tip: You will always raise more money with Straight bidding.
Goal Amount: Display the bid goal to the bidder. You may choose not to display or if you are unsure, decide this option later. If you choose to display the goal amount, a box will pop up for you to enter the bid goal amount.
Auction Terms: Display the terms on every auction item. This is recommended, but you can choose not to display the terms. If you choose to display the terms, have your information ready and fill in the box. If you don’t have the info on hand, choose no/decide later to move on to the next page.
Buy it Now Invoiced: Choose to send an invoice to those who click with a ‘buy it now‘ price.
Tip: This should only be used if you are running a live mobile auction. Otherwise check “No” so if forces people to make a payment at the time of purchase.
Buyer Premium: Do you want to add fees to your item? For example, a credit card processing fee? Click ‘yes’ and name your premium. You will be prompted to fill in the amount. Not sure? Click no/decide later and check with your committee.
Click to move to the next step.
Upload an organization logo and fill in the information needed for invoicing. You will need to fill in the details.
Payment and Shipping Details: When is payment due? Are there shipping costs? When will the item (s) ship?
Contact Info: This is the contact information for someone at your organization that can answer questions for the winning bidders. Only winning bidders will see this information.
Extra Notes: This is a good place to thank your donor.
Pick Up Available: Will the item ship or will you have a time for pick up at a specified location?
Click to move to next step.
Your Auction has been configured successfully. Yay! Save and exit.
BOOM! Your auction is all set. You’re ready to add auction items. When you first create your auction, it is setup as a demo auction. You’re only able to add 5 items and place 2 bids per item.
Tip: We suggest leaving your auction in Demo Mode during the testing process. You will be able to test all our features. Once you feel testing is complete and you want to select an auction subscription, you can “Delete” all the test data before moving forward.
There are many options to choose. Some of them are confusing to beginners. So, we’ve added an explanation for each option.
Listing Type: You already chose this when setting up your demo auction.
Tip: You can change the listing type per item. The listing type you selected on the “Edit” page is a default setting.
Add Category: Click to show drop down menu. Assign a category for your item. Where does it fit best?
Tip: You can create unlimited custom categories. You do not have to keep our default categories. Look for “Custom Categories” under the Items dropdown in the sub menu.
Item Title: Create a clear, concise title, but make it intriguing so that bidders will want to click for more information. Yep, this part is hard! So, if you have a gift basket donated from a chocolate store you might say something like, “Chocolate Lover’s Dream Basket“. It is short and concise, nothing confusing. We know it is for chocolate lovers and we know it is a basket. They’ll want to click to see more details.
Item Description: What is it? Who donated it/Where did it come from? List the items inside the basket. Use brand names, sizes, and retail values. Be as detailed as possible.
Auction Time: You already chose that during set up. To change it, you will have to edit your Block or add another one in the set up feature.
Tip: Can you assign items a new time block here.
Add Buy it Now: What price do you want for this item? Make it more than the retail value, this is for charity! Click for the drop down.
Tip: If bidding reaches the Buy It Now price, the Buy It Now option will be removed and only bidding will be available.
Blind Bid: This hides the bidder history. It can make the bidding more exciting. However, some bidders like to see the bids and get into bidding wars. This can dramatically increase the end bid.
Example: If you have multiple QTY of one item, let’s say 5, you can use Blind Bidding. This means the top 5 bidders will win the items. No one will be able to see the other bidders bid. This will force them to put in their max bid to secure the item.
Add Quantity: Do you have 1 item or several?
Tip: Multiple QTY will only work when Buy it Now or Blind Bidding option are active. We can not assign multiple winners to the standard bidding process.
Item Value: What is the retail value?
Shipping Costs: Will you add shipping costs to the invoice? Will you ship? Have this amount figured for each item. Shipping can get pricey. You can also require bidders to pick up their items at the end of the auction.
Set a Reserve: What do you need to make a profit on the item? Sometimes you purchase items for your auction, make sure the reserve is for more than your cost.
Tip: If the reserve is not met, the high bidder will not be assigned the winner. Only use this for high end items that you need to make sure you re-coop the cost of that item.
Bid Increments: Custom or Default. Choose your own custom increment or use the build in default increment settings.
Popcorn Bidding: Prevents auction sniping in the last few minutes. Say what? What is popcorn bidding? Popcorn Bidding gives all bidders an equal chance of winning an auction by extending the end time of the auction if a last minute bid is placed. Any bids placed in the last five minutes before the auction ends will extend the auction by three minutes.
Tip: Popcorn is mostly used on high value items to guarantee the most bids and the highest bid amount. When enabled, it will extend the end time of your auction.
Catalog Number: Assign a number to your items to keep track for accounting purposes and taxes.
Hide Item: This is optional. You won’t need to use it unless your item has been sold or is not available for some reason.
Add Donors: Display who donated items. Click yes for a box to fill in details. Some donors wish to remain anonymous others want the exposure.
Tip: Add the donors website address to link their name to their website.
Upload Images: Yes, you should upload images showing the item from various angles. You can upload up to 4 images per item.
Tip: If you upload the images in the wrong order and need to change the placement, click the image and drag it into the order you want it displayed on the items detail page.
It is time to save and exit. Did you fill in everything correctly? You are about to find out. It will not approve the item for saving until you have properly filled out the form.
Now that your auction is created and you know how to add items, in the next section we will go over some of the other features we have available.
All Items Page: This is the page you will manage all your items.
Add Items: This is the button to add items one by one.
Upload Items in Bulk: You can upload items in bulk. From the Upload item in bulk page, download our sample excel template.
Tip: On the sample excel template, make sure not to change to column headings or column order.
Risk Free Items: You can search risk free items and list them on your auction.
Sort by: This drop down will let you change the order of the items by: Name, Catalog Number or items with no bids.
Tip: In the last couple hours of your auction, we suggest selecting “No Bids” to move all the items with no bids to the top of your item list. This way it will be the first items bidders see when they log in again.
Editing Auction Items:
Change Order: The order of the items in the list is how they will display on your auction page. To reorder the items, click and hold the items and drag it into the order you would like it listed.
Edit Item: To edit an item, click on the blue icon of the pencil on the right side of the item.
Copy Item: If you want to duplicate an item, click the blue copy icon. This will copy all the item settings, information and images.
Delete Item: This will delete the item permanently.
Making Bulk Edits: If you have to change the same information for multiple items, use our bulk edit feature.
This will get you started. If you have any questions on other features, visit our knowledge base or contact our customer support.
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