What You Need to Know
The software utilizes the same platform to accept both online and mobile bids.
You control when, how, and who may place bids on which items via the settings you choose - so you can have supporters around the world bidding in real time on online/mobile items before or during your gala event (or only some items), or you can restrict bidding to invited supporters or ticketed guests only.
Since the bidding platform is shared, bids can be placed from whatever device is used to access your web catalog (desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone).
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.
Online/mobile bidding open and closing times, and whether online/mobile bids become the starting bids for silent or live bidding, are 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 begin in bidding online, then continue as mobile bidding during a gala event, and/or
- To offer and sell 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.
In addition, Proxy Bids can be placed for bidders who lack the ability to bid on their own.
Mobile Bidding also includes optional display screens. By projecting a realtime display of bids as they are placed, kudos are tacitly provided to bidders and frenetic bidding can be excellent (and motivating) entertainment.
For many audiences, Mobile bidding works best when limited to 20-25 items for bidding during a gala. Not all guests are equally capable, or comfortable, using mobile technology - so having plenty of traditional bidding opportunities allows all of your guests to support your cause in a manner they will feel good about. Also, smartphones have pretty small screens - so navigating dozens and dozens of items in order to place bids can be too high of a hurdle for many bidders.
*Offering Paddle Raise/Special Appeal items via online/mobile bidding requires a Plus or Premium subscription.
How to Get it Done
- Preview Online/Mobile Bidding on a Demo Site
- Assess Your Venue's Network Capacity to Support Mobile Bidding
- Setting Up Access to Bid
- Customizing the Bidding Options
- Choosing Your Online Payment Settings
- Adding Items to Mobile Bidding
- Inviting Users/Guests to Bid
- Creating Mobile Display Screens
- Sending Invitations to Bid