Bulk Import of Items

Importing Items into Handbid

Learn how to upload items directly into your auction by uploading items individually and by using the Handbid's Import Items feature.

We understand that importing items can be a cumbersome task, especially when you're receiving a lot of item donations. Because of that, Handbid offers an Import Items feature which will help to take a little extra work off your hands. The Import Items feature allows you to use a templated spreadsheet to add item information and bulk upload directly into your Handbid site. You can also upload items individually if that's the method you prefer. Check out the instructions below to learn the different ways to upload items to Handbid.


Article Index

To skip ahead, click on the section title below.

  1. Item Import Spreadsheet Instructions
  2. Spreadsheet Category Breakdown
  3. Instructions for Uploading Items Individually


Item Import Spreadsheet Instructions:

  1. From your Auction Dashboard, in the left-hand menu, click on ITEMS. Once the item options dropdown appears, scroll down and click IMPORT.
  2. From here you can download our Item Import spreadsheet (CSV file)to use as a template. 
  3. If you have multiple people adding auction items to your spreadsheet consider creating a Google Doc with your team so that you can collaborate with your entire team. This helps ensure version control.  If you decide to do this, be sure to save each sheet (Example: Auction Items & For Sale Items). Once it is complete, if you are using Google doc or an Excel spreadsheet, download the spreadsheet AS A CSV file in order to upload to Handbid, otherwise you will receive an error message.

Pro Tip: Include no special characters, decimals or dollar signs. Including "&". Handbid doesn't like it, and you will trigger an error and not be able to upload your item list. 

Import items


Spreadsheet Category Breakdown and Meaning:


 A Code is used so you can use it to identify your item. You can make your item codes anything you want (letters or numbers), but once you set this and import, you do not want to change it. Handbid will use this column as a key for future uploads. What does that mean? It means that if you upload an item with code 100 and then do another upload with code 100, Handbid will match on the code and update (overwrite) what is already in the system for item code 100. Item codes are required in the item upload spreadsheet.  Get more information on How to Assign Item Codes. 


The auction name should be short and descriptive so your bidders understand what the item is.  If you have more than one of the same item we recommend adding a (1), (2), or (a), (b) to the name so they are not exactly the same.  Item Names have to be less than 64 characters. Please note: There are limitations on how long it can be so it will fit on a mobile screen.


This is the type of item. You can only to use the types Silent, Live, ForSale, Ticket, or Appeal. Any other value here will give you an error.


Each item must be put into a category as everything in the Handbid App is organized by category.  If you leave this field blank, Handbid will not assign a category to the item. However, ONLY items in categories appear to end-users. So if you do want it to show up on your site, create a category and assign it to an item. As a best practice, make sure that you spell the category names correctly when adding it to an item, though categories will start to appear as you type, if you type a category name with a typo, it will create a new category with that typo. For example, if one row has "Dining Out" and another row has "Dining Out", Handbid will create two separate categories!


This is the field to input a description of your item. Please be careful with pasting from the web or word processors,  as sometimes text editors add hidden characters. When in doubt, make sure your description is plain text in UTF-8 format. If you are not sure, use Google Sheets. It supports only UTF-8.


These values are required for Silent & Live Auction items.  For Live Auction Items, the bid increment will default as $1 since there since guests will not bid on the Live Auction through their phones. If your item is a live or silent auction item, you will need to populate this field with a value. This should be the starting price of the item.


This what your auction item is worth. You need to complete this if you have an item of type LIVE or SILENT. This field is required and cannot be Priceless.  This field does not accept letters as value therefore, typing the word "Priceless" will not be accepted. If you wish to identify an item as priceless, you will have to enter in a numerical value of 0 in conjunction with checking the "Show value as Priceless" checkbox when you edit an item.  Note that, you can hide this value from your bidders in the bidding interface, however, it will show up on the winning bidder's receipt for tax purposes.


This field is required for ForSale, Ticket, and Appeal items. You can have a BUY NOW Price for Silent Auction items if you'd like, however, it is not required for Auction Items. If you decide to set a Buy Now price for Silent Auction items, we recommend setting the cost at 200% of the Fair Market Value. We advise setting it so high because in some cases bidding could exceed the buy now price if it were set to the Fair Market Value - we don't want you to miss out on funds!


If this item is a consignment item and has a cost to the organization associated with it.  You can enter that consignment cost here. Handbid will deduct the cost from the current price when calculating net revenue. This value is not displayed to bidders.


For ForSale, Ticket, or Appeal items, this is equivalent to the Fair Market Value (FMV). This is the value returned to the donor in exchange for their purchase/donation. This is displayed on the receipt for tax services and is the dollar amount of the services they received for purchasing this item.  If this item is a direct donation you can enter 0 as the value received.  If you are selling a $100 ticket and the meal costs the organization $25 the value received should be $25.


Donor name that will be displayed in the app and on the website. 


Fine print should contain any restriction or expiration dates, etc. for the item.  This information gets displayed in the Handbid apps and online for each item. The Fine Print and will appear to users under the "Fine Print" column on an item. 


Redemption instructions are displayed on the invoice for the WINNING BIDDER only.  This information is not displayed to the public - only on the invoice to the winning bidder.


This value can be YES or NO.  If Yes the Fair Market Value will be displayed.  If NO then no value is displayed for the item.


This value can be YES or NO and is only used for FOR SALE, APPEAL, and TICKET items.  If YES,  For ForSale or Appeal items, you can make them available to purchase at check-in. The item will be available for purchase in the bidder check-in window. Your team, checking-in guests at the door can then put it on the user's invoice. This is great for adding things like mulligans at the door at a golf tournament or selling a ticket at the door for a late entry.


This value can be YES or NO and is only used for FOR SALE, APPEAL, and TICKET items.  If YES the item will be available for purchase when the auction is in PRESALE mode. 


This value can be YES or NO and is only used for FOR SALE, APPEAL, and TICKET items. If this value is YES you need to enter an INVENTORY TOTAL as the number of items you have available. 


This value is only used for TICKET items. This is the number of people the ticket admits.


This value can be YES or NO and is only used for FOR SALE, APPEAL, and TICKET items. If YES the item will only be available for purchase in the iPad app (which your volunteers may be walking around with) during the event.  The item will be displayed in the guest's Handbid app, but cannot be purchased there.  This is good for Heads or Tails, Drink Tickets, Wine Pulls, etc. Note: there are different admin privileges from the Handbid phone app vs. the Handbid iPad app.


You can upload photos with a URL that can be reached by the web. There are a couple of examples in the spreadsheet attached.  You can also add photos directly in the auction manager after your items are uploaded. (NOTE: Dropbox & Google Drive image URL's will not work in the upload spreadsheet) 

See direction on Adding Photos to Auction Items.  

Item Photos should be 800 pixels wide and 600 pixels tall - Landscape oriented. - please check out our article on optimizing photos:  Optimizing Photos for Mobile Devices



Instructions for Uploading Items Individually

Once your spreadsheet is complete and you are ready to upload your items, please follow these steps:

  1. SAVE your document as a CSV file (You cannot upload an excel file) If you are using our excel template you will want to save both the Auction Items and the For Sale Items spreadsheet as individual CSV files and then upload each one separately. 
  2. In your auction Select Items->Import from the left navigation menu.
  3. Select Choose a File and select your CSV file.  Select Add to add your file.

    upload care import items

  4. MATCH your spreadsheet column headers to our import fields.  You can select the AUTO MATCH link to try and match columns for you. All column headers in PINK are required. You can drag and drop the column headers to the data columns in your spreadsheet if they do not auto-match correctly. 
    • Select the VALIDATE button to confirm you do not have any errors in your upload. If you have any errors you can mouse over the column to see the error and Reload File once you fix the error. 
    • When your upload does not have any errors you can select the IMPORT button to import your items. 
Matching header items