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

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  1. Item Import Spreadsheet Instructions
  2. Spreadsheet Category Breakdown

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 entire team so that you can collaborate. This helps ensure version control. Once complete, save your file as a .csv file (you cannot upload an excel file).
  4. In your auction Select Items->Import from the left navigation menu.
  5. In your auction Select Items->Import from the left navigation menu.
  6. Select Choose a File and select your CSV file.  Select Add to add your file.
  7. MATCH your spreadsheet column headers to our import fields. If you have used the template from Handbid, you can select the AUTO MATCH to link the headers to the columns for you automatically. If you did not use the template, or modified the template (column order), drag and drop the headers to the columns in your spreadsheet. (All column headers in PINK are required).
    1. 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. Once the appropriate changes(s) have been made, Resave and Reload your .csv file. Repeat Step 7 with the column headers.
    2. When your upload does not have any errors you can select the IMPORT button to import your items. 

      Matching header items

Spreadsheet Category Breakdown and Meaning:

WARNING: When completing your spreadsheet, do not include special characters, such as decimals, dollar signs, ampersand ("&") or any other special characters. These will trigger an error and the import will not be completed until the error(s) are resolved. 

ITEM CODE: 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 manually assigning 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 64 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 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!

DESCRIPTION: 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. (Max 8,000 characters)


DISPLAY SHEET DESCRIPTION: This field will allow you to have a condensed, or shortened, version of the item description. This description is what will be printed on your custom display sheets. (Max 400 characters).


DONOR: If populated, this information will be listed on the Apps and Event Site for the item it's associated to. 


STARTING PRICE, BID INCREMENT: These values are required for Silent & Live Auction items. If your item is a live or silent auction item, you will need to populate these fields with a value. For Silent Auction items, the starting price will be the minimum bid when you open the auction. Bid increment refers to the minimum amount by which a bid can be raised during an auction. For example, if the current bid is $100, the bid increment may be set at $10, which means the next bid must be at least $110. For Live Auction items, the starting price and bid increment will be set and controlled by the auctioneer. As a best practice, we recommend keeping the starting price & bid increment at $1 for Live Auction items. This will allow the most flexibility when entering live auction item winners into Handbid during (or after) the live auction. 


FAIR MARKET VALUE: Fair market value (FMV) is an item's estimated value if it were sold today in the current market. This field is required if the item of type LIVE or SILENT 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 need to enter the FMV 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. For auction items, the bids will not b be able to exceed the BUY NOW price, therefore, we recommend setting the price at 200% of the Fair Market Value. Auction items will sell at the BUY NOW price and will be added to the winning bidder's invoice. 


ITEM COST: For items that have a cost to the organization associated to them, you can enter that cost here. Handbid will deduct the cost from the total revenue when calculating net revenue in the thermometer on the left-hand side of the auction dashboard. This value is not displayed to bidders. Examples of items that might have a cost associated with them are consignment items, or items that were purchased by the organization with organization funds. 


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.


RESERVE PRICE: The reserve price is a minimum price you are willing to accept from a bidder. This price is not disclosed to the bidder. If the reserve price is not met by the time the auction closes, the item will revert back to a pending status. The item will not be sold, and will not be added to an invoice since there will be no winner. Bidders placing bids under the reserve price will be notified they are the highest bidder, the reserve has not been met and to bid higher. 

NOTABLES (Fine Print): Notables will appear in the fine print on an item. This is where item restrictions or expiration dates are typically entered. This information gets displayed in the Handbid apps and online for each item. The notables and will appear to users under the "Fine Print" column on an item. 


REDEMPTION INSTRUCTIONS: Redemption instructions are displayed at the item level 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.


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


IS AVAILABLE CHECKIN: This value can be YES or NO and is only used for ForSale, APPEAL, and TICKET items. If YES, the item will be available to sell during the guest checkin process. When purchased during the checkin process, the item(s) will be added to the bidder's invoice once complete. 


HAS INVENTORY/INVENTORY TOTAL: This value can be YES or NO and is only used for ForSale and TICKET items. If this value is YES you need to enter an INVENTORY TOTAL as the available quantity. If NO, inventory total will be left blank 

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


IS HIDDEN: This value can be YES or NO and is used to allow you to hide items that you do not want to be visible on the front end. An example of when you would hide an item, is if you had "secret" or "surprise" item that you wish to release (open) at a later time. Other examples include, items that you are still waiting to confirm details, or perhaps an live item that you have the option to sell more than once, but you don't want to advertise that information. 


IMAGE URL: You can upload photos with a URL that can be reached by the web. This field will accept web URL's only (such as Google Images).

NOTE: Dropbox & Google Drive image URL's will not work in the upload spreadsheet. Image URL's from a public website are required. 

Images can also add photos directly in the auction manager after your items are uploaded. Learn more about adding/removing images here: Add/Remove Image from Existing Item.

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


SOLICITOR: This field should be populated with the email address of contact that is already in your organization. The solicitor is the person that asked for and/or received the item donation on the organization's behalf. 


SHOW VALUE AS PRICELESS: This is a Yes/No field. YES, will set show value as Priceless on the item. NO, will leave the value as FMV. 

NOTE: If this is marked NO and you want the FMV to be visible to bidders, then 'SHOW VALUE TO BIDDERS' must also be marked YES.