How to Bid in a Virtual Live Auction

This article will provide information about how to conduct a Live Auction virtually (remotely).

In Handbid, a traditional Live Auction signifies bidding that is happening in a physical place with an auctioneer managing the bidding process.  Typically, an auctioneer will announce the starting and current bid and solicit bids from bidders in the room who raise their paddle or hand to acknowledge a bid.

Because of the traditional Live Auction method, any item set up as a live auction item in Handbid will disable mobile bidding on those items.  In other words, live auction items will be visible but not be able to be bid on via cellphone. They will need to be present. 

With that said, if you are hosting a virtual event and want remote bidders to participate, we have a few best practices for achieving an virtual Live Auction. 

1.   Keep the Item as a Silent Auction Item

You can just keep the item as a silent auction item in Handbid.  This will allow bidding from anywhere.  You are essentially giving the silent auction item the "Live Auction Treatment." In other words, you may put this item in a category called "Live Auction," open and close these items on a different timeline, and promote on your live stream. 

However, you will want one of your auction managers to log into Handbid with a dummy account (e.g. "In Room Bidder").  Also, you may want to set the dummy user's displayName to "in-room bidder" so your other bidders know they are being out bid in the room. 

If someone in the room outbids the in-room bidder, your auction manager needs to raise their paddle to notify the auctioneer.

if the in-room Bidder wins, you just need to complete the sale, mark the item sold, and then you can transfer that purchase over to the actual winner. 

To do that, you will get the winner's information, then delete the winning bid from the in-room bidder and replace it with the winning bidder's final bid. 


2.   Utilize Live Streaming 

Once you change your Live Auction items to Silent Auction, you can use the Live Streaming feature to go live and broadcast the Live Auction. This is a great tool for your auctioneer to use (along with coordination, planning and rehearsal) to conduct a virtual/remote live auction. Handbid also allows you to feature items below the Live Streaming video  as well. This is a great opportunity to feature the specific item that is being auctioned off. Guests will be able to simply enter their bid amount and place their bid without navigating off of the live stream page!

3.   Transfer the Item back to a Live Auction Item from Silent

There is an article that explains how to do this here:  2. Transfer the item to a live auction item from silent

You would encourage your bidders to set their final max bids prior to the live auction and then you would notify the auctioneer of the current highest online Max Bid. Keep in mind that someone in the room may be holding that max bid.  You should not simply start the item at this max bid, but instead will want to start the item just above the current bid from the silent.  If no one counter bids, the current price or if the bidding does not get up to the Max Bid online, then you will simply need to have the auctioneer sell the item below that highest online Max Bid.  


As you can see the process of combining mobile (remote) bidding with a live auction can be tricky, so make sure if you plan to do this that you communicate extremely well with your bidders!