Importing Items into Handbid

You can upload items directly into your auction auction using our Import Items feature. 

From your auction: Select Items-> Import 

From here you can download our Item Import spreadsheet (CSV file).  We have also attached an excel spreadsheet to this article which has more detailed information for both auction item and for sale items. 

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.  Once it is complete, you can download the spreadsheet AS A CSV file for your upload. 

Important Information

If you are using Google doc or an Excel spreadsheet save each sheet (Auction Items & For Sale Items) as a CSV before you and upload the document to Handbid. 

Some important things to note about the item upload spreadsheet:

ITEM CODE: A Code is used so you can use 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. 


NAME:  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 54 characters. Please note: There are limitations on how long it can be so it will fit on a mobile screen.

ITEM TYPE: 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.

CATEGORY: 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. As a best practice, make sure that you spell the categories all correctly. If you don't Handbid will create a new one. For example, if one row has "Dining Out" and another row has "Dinning Out", Handbid will create two separate categories!


DESCRIPTIONS: This is the field to input a description about 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.


STARTING PRICE, BID INCREMENT: 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.


FAIR MARKET VALUE: 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.

BUY NOW PRICE: 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!


ITEM COST:  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.

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

FINE PRINT/NOTABLES:  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:  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.

SHOW VALUE TO BIDDERS:  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.

IS AVAILABLE CHECK-IN:  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 it 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.

AVAILABLE FOR PRESALE:  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. 

HAS INVENTORY/INVENTORY TOTAL:  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. 

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


EVENT ONLY:  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 guests Handbid app, but cannot be purchased there.  This is good for Raffle Tickets, Heads or Tails, Drink Tickets, Wine Walls, etc. Note: there are different admin privileges from the Handbid phone app vs. Handbid iPad app.


IMAGES: 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 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


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

  • 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 file and then upload each one separately. 
  • In your auction Select Items->Import from the left navigation menu.
  • Select Choose a File and select your CSV file.  Select Add to add your file
  • 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 header 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.