What You Need to Know
Online Auctions have no physical gathering place - they only exist online - and generally span 1-3 weeks. Your supporters can bid on any device connected to the internet: desktops, laptops, tablets, or smartphones, but they do so from home (or office, soccer practice etc).
Mobile Bidding is an online bidding element of an event (usually a Gala Auction) where your supporters are together in the same venue, placing bids on their smartphones. It is also possible to allow supporters not present at the event to join in the bidding from home, but the defining elements of Mobile Bidding are:
- Most bidders are together in the same space (with distractions and competition for their attention) and
- Most bidders are bidding on the small screens of smartphones and
- Active bidding is typically limited to a couple of hours.
Virtual Live Auctions are livestreamed events with an auctioneer or MC(s) presenting and online supporters watching and participating remotely. Supporters can watch the livestream, view item details, participate in a live chat with other participants and place bids/pledge donations/purchase items - all from a single screen.
The software utilizes the same platform to accept both "online" and "mobile" bids, but Mobile Bidding requires additional tools (and an Acorn, Plus or Professional subscription) to:
- facilitate immediate access to the bidding platform,
- easily navigate and browse a large catalog of items on a small phone screen,
- quickly place and monitor their bids during a short bidding period with many distractions.
Virtual Live Auctions uses a separate platform to accept "online" bids and is set up independently of the Online/Mobile tools. More information on Virtual Live Auctions.
The following are elements of the shared bidding platform and apply to both Online Auctions and Mobile Bidding:
There are two ways potential bidders can participate (and you control both):
- You can upload or migrate the names/emails of your supporters, then email them invitations to bid containing. Each invitation contains a token that creates an individual bidding account and provides that supporter with instant access.
- Anyone arriving to your site without an invitation can use the Signup to Bid links and buttons to create a bidding account.
The bidding venue is set on an item-by-item basis, so you can choose:
- To offer and sell items in an online only event, and/or
- To begin bidding online, then transfer the high online bid as the starting bid and continue bidding on paper bids sheets, or in a live auction*, and/or
- To offer items via mobile bidding during a gala event, and/or
- To offer items via paper or live bidding only.
The Extended Bidding option ensures that your online and/or mobile items receive the highest bid available by automatically extending the closing times on items receiving additional bids just before closing time. Enabling the Extended Bidding option allows you to create triggers to automatically extend the closing time on items with active bidding and capture all last minute bids.
Two bidding style options are available for your event:
Quick Bids allow bidders to place single bids by simply clicking the button that displays the desired amount.
Quick Bids are most often used for mobile bidding to encourage bidding frenzies - and work best when bidders are focused because the bidding window is limited and/or bidding is taking place at a gala event.
Max Bids are similar to ebay-style bidding: Bidders specify the highest amount they are willing to pay for an item, then the software automatically places bids on their behalf, against other bidders, up to their specified maximum bid.
Max bids are most often used for online auctions as a convenience for bidders. They work best when bidding is taking place over a longer period and other distractions compete for bidders' attention. Max Bids can be used in conjunction with Extended Bidding.
How to Get it Done
- Setting Up Access to Bid
- Customizing the Bidding Options
- Adding Items to Online/Mobile Bidding
- Notifying Winners and Requesting Pay (Online Auctions)
- Notifying Winners and Requesting Pay (Mobile Bidding)
- Inviting Users/Guests to Bid
- Mobile Bidding Tools
- Assess Your Venue's Network Capacity to Support Mobile Bidding (Plus/Premium)