Checklist: Things to Consider When Setting Up Your Auction

Listed below are things to consider before setting up your auction.

Will you enable bidding before your event?

If you're having a silent auction at your fundraising event, pre-bidding is the practice of opening up your auction beforehand.  For most, this ranges from 3-5 days prior to the event.  If done correctly, pre-bidding can have a profound effect on your overall auction’s success.

If you're having a silent auction at your fundraising event, pre-bidding gives your guests the opportunity to begin bidding prior to arriving at your event. If this is something you're considering, we recommend opening the auction anywhere from 3-5 days prior to the event.  If done correctly, pre-bidding can have a profound effect on your overall auction’s success.

To help you decide, click to read a related blog post about pre-bidding.

Are you going to process Credit Cards through Handbid?

You can opt to process credit cards through Handbid. Handbid is integrated with the Stripe payment processor. However, we strongly recommend you set up your own account with Stripe and process your funds directly into your Stripe account; you will receive your funds much quicker this way. If you prefer not to set up an account with Stripe, then Handbid can process transactions on your behalf.  Note, there may be additional fees involved if you decide to manually settle your account through Handbid's Stripe account (please contact your Handbid account representative).


Quick Note: If you have an account with one of our resellers and have a processing account setup with them, then please contact them directly to review your options. 


In all cases, regardless of the payment processor, Handbid’s system will allow you to securely collect credit card information from the bidder. This information will be stored with the chosen merchant processor. The credit card can be accessed through an encrypted token and billed later after the auction has closed. Bidders can add their own credit card information from the iPhone or Android app or, you can add credit card information through the auction manager.  In either case, the card is securely stored with the merchant processor.  Here are some things to consider about the Handbid CC system:

  1. If you plan to use Handbid's credit card system you will need to click the checkbox for "Enable Credit Card Processing through Handbid" in the Financial tab of the Auction Settings.

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  2. If you want to require bidders to place a credit card on file before they start to bid, you will need to check the checkbox "Require a card on file to bid or purchase" in the Financial tab of the Auction Settings.

  3. Collect bidders mailing address by selecting the "Require user enter an address to pay" box in the Financial tab of the Auction Settings.  Note, Handbid will do its best to collect complete and accurate addresses from bidders. However, the system uses Google Address to lookup and verify addresses. It will ultimately accept any valid US address (regardless of whether an item can be shipped there nor not).

  4. Select "Enable Winner Notifications" to notify bidders if they've won in the auction. If a user was outbid and lost an item, this will offer them to make a donation if donation items are available.

  5. Credit cards on file are not automatically charged when the auction closes. You can bill to a card on file, but you will still need to process that payment manually after generating and reviewing a bidder’s invoice.

  6. If a bidder has a credit card on file they do not have to pay with that card. You can still collect cash, check or a different credit card from them.

  7. If you decide to use Handbid's Stripe account, Note: Handbid offers this payment service as a convenience for you and your guests. We charge a 3.5% transaction fee and $.30 per transaction on all funds charged by the Handbid Credit Card system.

  8. Consider prompting your bidders to pay your credit card fees. This gives your guest the option to cover credit card transaction fees. If this is enabled, by default, the fees will automatically be added to the guest's invoice. If they do not wish to cover credit card transaction fees, they would have to off-click the "pay credit card fees" checkbox to have that additional cost removed from their invoice. 

  9. Review the "Auction Health Check" article prior to opening your auction. This article provides additional instructions on how to test your gateway prior to opening your auction for bidding and payments.

Are you going to require guests to "check-in" to bid?

Want to limit bidding to local bidders only? Want to only allow specific bidders to participate? This feature gives you more control over who can bid in your auction.  You can require that the auction manager checks-in a guest/user before they are allowed to bid. This setting is found on the "Bidders" tab in the Auction Settings window.

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If you require a bidder to be checked in, you will need to ensure all of your bidders are checked-in before they can bid.  You can check-in a bidder at registration through the guest list, or from the bidder detail page. If you're hosting a virtual auction, you'll want to check-in bidders through the bidder detail page since no in-person registration/check-in will take place. 


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Are you going to use Handbid for ticket sales?

If you are going to use Handbid for ticket sales, then a majority of your users will be visiting your auction site prior to the event. You will need to make sure you have your auction setup (at least the info, the banner images, etc.) prior to inviting people to visit your site. You will also need to have your tickets set up and your auction in pre-sale mode. See Setting up tickets for more information.