New Auction Setup

How to Change Your Auction Status

Learn how to change your auction status. Including instructions for how to open and close an auction.

The status of your auction determines who can see your auction and who can bid in your auction.  You will use the buttons at the top of the auction manager to change the status of your auction. The current auction status will be displayed in the upper right corner of the auction manager.  Each auction status has its own color signifier. 

Article Index: 

To skip ahead click on a link below

  1. Auction Status Indicator
  2. Auction Status Overview
  3. How to Open an Auction
  4. How to Close an Auction

Auction Status Indicator

    • SETUP = Light Blue
    • PRESALE = Pink
    • PREVIEW = Orange
    • OPEN = Green
    • CLOSED = Grey
Auction name and toolbar


Auction Status Overview

  1. Open the auction will allow bidders to start bidding on items. Please note that your auction does not automatically open. You WILL need to do this manually by selecting the OPEN from the drop down in the auction dashboard. 
  2. Pause the auction will temporarily stop the ability for anyone to bid, donate or make purchases in your auction.  All of your auction items are still visible, but bidders are unable to place a bid, donate or make a purchase while your auction is in pause mode. 
  3. Hide the auction (Set Up Mode) keeps the auction hidden from users in the app and on the website.  When you are first setting up your auction, this is the status you will want to use.  
  4. Open Ticket Sales (Presale) allows you to sell tickets to your auction or publish information about your auction without revealing any of the items. Use this setting if you wish to sell tickets or if you want to send out a link to your auction page to encourage pre-registering. Once your auction is in presale mode, the auction will show up online at and users can view your auction description and location. Your auction will also show up in the app, but your auction items will not be visible.  Note: "For Sale" items will show up online and in the app when your auction is in presale status if they are marked as "available for presale" . 

  5. Preview the auction (bidding not allowed) will display your auction items just as they will be displayed when your auction is open, however, bidders will not be able to place bids. Your auction will be visible on the Handbid app, Handbid iPad App and the events site (web browser). This is a great way to review your auction before opening for bidding and make sure everything is displaying as you wish and that you do not need to make any changes to descriptions or bid increments. This is also a great way to review your item images for accuracy. You can still sell tickets when your auction is in preview mode.           
  6. Close will close the auction for bidding. You can also close the auction immediately, or set a timer. 

NOTE: We recommend closing your auction using the auction CLOSE TIMER so that bidders are given a warning message and a visual countdown timer before the auction closes

The start and end time in your "EVENT" tab of your settings will NOT automatically open or close your auction. You must select to close the auction with the event end date when you manually OPEN the auction.  

How to Open an Auction

One of the most rewarding parts of all the hard work from putting together your auction is, finally launching your auction! You may have even considered opening your auction before your event to allow for Pre-bidding.  Learn more about the advantages of pre bidding!

  1. In your Auction Dashboard, click on the auction status drop down in the tool bar.
  2. Once the dropdown opens, you can change the status to open by clicking on "Open the Auction" option. This will open up all items for bidding. 

    If you're not seeing items appear on the auction site, please make sure all your items are in a category. Items that are not placed in a category will not appear on the site for bidding.

  3. Once you select the "Open the Auction", the auction will change to open and the auction status indicator will change to green and update to "OPEN". Any item that was in a pending status will automatically be changed to "OPEN" and your guests will be able to start bidding.

    Auction name and toolbar


    NOTE: If you add items to the auction after it's OPEN, they will need to be manually changed to an "OPEN" status before guests can bid on them.

How to Close an Auction

There are a few strategies organizations use to begin closing their auction. Handbid has the functionality to allow you to close by category, on a timer, all at once, or even by individual item(s).


When you select to OPEN your auction, an option will appear to select to close your auction by the end time in your event settings, or you can select to set the auction to close later. automatically close auction

  1. In your Auction Dashboard, click on the auction status drop down in the tool statuss
  2. Once the dropdown opens, you select which "Close" method you prefer:
    1. Close Auction by Timer allows you to set a specific date / time for your auction automatically close ('close at'), or you can set a specific number of minutes for the auction to 'close in' (ex. you want the auction to close in 10 minutes). close auction in minhourclose auction at datetime
    2. Close a single category in the Auction allows you to choose a set time for each category to close (ex. you wish to do a "rolling" close with each category closing at different times). close by category
    3. Close auction right now will close the auction immediately without warning. 


When you opt to close the auction by timer, this will give your bidders some notice that the event is closing.   As soon as the timer is set,  Handbid will pop up an alert to your guests that the auction is set to close and display a countdown timer on their App or Web page.