- Do participants need to create an account to make a bid?
- Can participants view an auction without an account?
- What is the difference between the Coordinator and Organizer roles?
- I forgot my password. How can I log into my account?
- How do I cancel my account?
- My account is locked when I attempt to login.
- I am not receiving emails (outbid notification, bid confirmation, etc).
- I created an account, but I didn't receive the confirmation email.
- Can I run a live auction after the online auction and prevent the winning bidder email?
- Can I use PayPal to collect payments and donations?
- Is there a summary of items and leading bids during the auction?
- How do I invite participants to my auction?
- Can I lock down my auction so participants must individually request access from me?
- Can I restrict bidding to members of a company, organization, or specific group?
- How do I invite additional auction administrators?
- Is there a way to have items end at different times?
- How do I cancel or remove an auction?
- Would you mind changing the auction dates?
- How do I find an auction?
- Where is the auction participants list?
- Can I add items while the auction is running?
- Can I choose the order in which items are displayed?
- How do I find out who won an auction item?
- Who is the high bidder for an item?
- How do I pickup and pay for the item I won?
- Is there a way to remove an item after it has sold or the auction has ended?
- Can I copy items from one auction to another?
- Can I upload auction items from a spreadsheet?
- Can I create items but not publish them for viewing until a later date?
- How can I close bidding on an item before the auction ends?
- How do I make sure an item sells for a certain amount?
- Why can't I edit an auction item after it has bids on it?
- Why can't I set a reserve price on an item?
- What payment processing options are available when adding the Payment Collection and/or Donation Collection features?
- Can I collect payments in person or outside of my auction?
- Why am I getting errors when I try to submit a payment through PayPal?
- Are we responsible for making arrangements for payment and shipping?
- How do I change the PayPal account associated with my organization?
- How do I issue a refund for a payment or donation?
- How can I set up the payments and/or donations to go directly to a charity?
- Why are participants receiving an error in PayPal when making a payment or donation?
- Why do I receive an "Insufficient Funds" error in PayPal when making a payment or donation?
- Why do I receive "Your payment can't be completed because the receiver can't accept payments at this time" error in PayPal when making a payment or donation?
Live Event Package
Who can use 32auctions to host online silent auctions?
Are we required to have an official "organization" or a 501(c)3 status?
There is no need to be a non-profit or not-for-profit organization.
Do participants need to create an account to bid on items?
Yes, bidders need an account in order to bid on items. We require accounts so the organizers of the auction will be able to identify the winning bidders after the auction has ended.
Can participants view an auction without an account?
Participants can view an auction without an account. An account is only needed for entering bids.
What is the difference between the Coordinator and Organizer roles?
The Coordinator role allows for full access to everything the organization is involved with (including all auctions). Coordinators can edit the organization details, create new auctions, edit existing auctions, add/remove coordinators, add a PayPal account for payment and/or donation collection, etc.
The Organizer role allows for administering one specific auction. This role does not allow editing organization details or creating new auctions for the organization. This role is great for volunteers who are willing to upload auction items, but are not responsible for decisions at the organization level.
This information is also summarized on the How It Works page.
Please see How do I invite additional auction administrators? for instructions on inviting Coordinators and Organizers to join your auction.
I forgot my password. How can I log into my account?
You can reset your password by following these steps.
- Click the LOGIN link in the upper right hand corner of the site
- Click the Forgot password? link
- Enter your 32auctions account email address
- Check your email for the reset password instructions
- Click the reset password link contained in the email message
- Enter a new password and your 32auctions account email address
How do I cancel my account?
Log into your account and use the Contact Us feature to let us know you would like to have your account removed. Please include a note letting us know why you are canceling your account. We will remove your account and send an email once the account has been removed.
My account is locked when I attempt to login.
As a security measure, accounts are locked for 15 minutes after there have been 3 failed login attempts. You will need to wait until the 15 minute time frame has passed before taking any additional actions on your account.
Another potential cause is the account has not been verified. When your account was first created, an email was sent which contained a link to verify your account. If you did not receive the email, or do not have the email handy, please send us a message using the Contact Us page and indicate the email address you used when registering at 32auctions.com. If we can locate the account, we will resend the verification email.
I am not receiving emails (outbid notification, bid confirmation, etc).
All 32auctions participants should receive an email when they are outbid. You will receive the outbid email only if your bid is the leading bid and then someone outbids you. You should also receive an email when you submit a bid which confirms your bid and lets you know if you are the leading bidder.
Have you received bid confirmation emails? If your email application uses a filter or spam blocker and is picking up the emails we send, you may want to check your spam folder for the emails. Also, it might be worthwhile adding firstname.lastname@example.org to your address book to ensure you receive emails from us. All messages sent from the system come from that email address.
I created an account, but I didn't receive the confirmation email.
- Your spam folder
- Your junk mail folder if your email client has one
To ensure you receive future emails from 32auctions, please add email@example.com to your address book. This helps prevent our emails from getting flagged as spam or junk.
If you still cannot locate the confirmation email, you may want to create an account with a different email address. Our system sends all notifications (bid confirmations, outbid notices, etc) via email. Therefore, it's important to use an email address which can receive emails from us.
Can I run a live auction after the online auction and prevent the winning bidder email?
Yes you can! Thanks to all the requests for this feature, we have added it to the system. You can learn more about the Live Event Package feature by reading the Features & Pricing page.
Can I use PayPal to collect payments and donations?
Absolutely! In fact, 32auctions uses PayPal exclusively. You can learn more about these features by reading the Features & Pricing page.
Is there a summary of items and leading bids during the auction?
Auction administrators can quickly see the high bidder of all items during and after the auction by looking at the Sales Summary page. The highest bidder and their contact information will be listed for each item.
How do I invite participants to my auction?
You invite participants by sharing your custom Auction URL. To view your Auction URL, log into your auction and click the Invite Participants link. This page also explains how to invite participants.
To read more about inviting participants, please see our How It Works page.
Can I lock down my auction so participants must individually request access from me?
Your auction has a 'Participant Setting' which allows you to require all participants to request access prior to joining your auction. With this setting enabled, your invitees will need to create an account or log into their account and then request access to participate in your auction. Auction administrators will receive the access request via email from which they can easily approve the request. Once a request is approved, the invitee will be joined to the auction as a participant and can enter bids.
We caution against locking down your auction to this level, unless you are doing so to restrict bidding to members of a company, organization, or specific group. As an auction administrator, you will be fielding many requests for access and may deter impulse bidding. Also, you will need to be quick with approving access requests at the end of the silent auction to give potential bidders enough time to join your auction and enter their last minute bids.
Can I restrict bidding to members of a company, organization, or specific group?
It is very easy to restrict bidding to members of a company, organization, or specific group when they have the same email domain. First, your auction needs to require all participants to request access prior to joining your auction. Then provide an email domain (everything after the @ symbol) to automatically approve anyone with a matching email address.
Here's an example of how this works. All Acme corporation employees have an email address which ends with @acme.com. To allow automatic approval for all Acme employees to bid in your auction, you would enter 'acme.com'. Anyone who doesn't have an @acme.com email address will need to request access to join.
How do I invite additional auction administrators?
You can invite people to assist with running your auction from the About Our Cause page. When logged into your auction, click the About Our Cause button followed by clicking either the Invite Coordinator or Invite Organizer link.
Please see What is the difference between the Coordinator and Organizer roles? for an explanation of the different roles.
Is there a way to have items end at different times?
How do I cancel or remove an auction?
There currently is no way to cancel/remove/hide an auction. Here are a few suggestions to help get the desired effect of canceling or closing an auction.
If your auction has not ended, you can remove all of the unsold items. To do this, use the 'Remove Item' link within each auction item. The auction will automatically close after the end date passes. To speed up this process you can edit the auction and set the end date and time to a few minutes from now.
If your auction has ended, you cannot delete or hide the auction and you also cannot remove any of the auction items. This allows winning bidders to view the items they won and make sure the items they receive are as advertised.
Would you mind changing the auction dates?
Good news... you have complete control over these dates from within your auction. To edit the auction dates, click the Auction Information link found on the left side of your auction table. Then click the the Edit Auction link on the right side of the page.
How do I find an auction?
Auctions hosted on 32auctions are private and require a special auction url for participation. Typically, the auction url is provided in an invitation which may be sent by email, post card, flier or posted on a web site or social networking site. If you know someone who is hosting or participating in an auction on 32auctions, contact them to request the auction url.
Where is the auction participants list?
Only auction administrators can view the list of auction participants. To view the list, click the About Our Cause button followed by clicking the View Participants List link.
Can I add items while the auction is running?
You can add items to the auction until the auction has ended. Once the auction ends, the ability to add items will be disabled.
Can I choose the order in which items are displayed?
Items are always displayed in alphabetical order. This allows you to take a few approaches to control the order in which items are displayed.
- Keep them in alphabetical order.
- Use numbers as the first part of the auction item title. We recommend using 3 digits to ensure your items are in numerical order. For example, if you want to start your numbering with number 1, you should add 2 leading zeros so it would be 001. Number 10 would be 010. This ensures your items are in the proper order as the numbers increase, and especially if you end up having more than 99 items.
- If you only want to bring a few items to the top of the first page, you can prefix the title with one or more asterisks (*). The more asterisks you have, the higher in the list the item will appear when next to other items with prefixed asterisks in the title. For example, ** will be before * in the auction item list.
How do I find out who won an auction item?
During and after an auction, the auction administrators can view the Sales Summary information. There is a link on the left side of the auction table called Sales Summary. Clicking this link will bring you to a page that displays a list of the items, the winning bid amount, and the winning bidder (including their name, email, and phone number). If there is not a winning bidder, it will state that next to the item.
Who is the high bidder for an item?
Auction administrators can quickly see the high bidder of all items during and after the auction by looking at the Sales Summary page. The highest bidder and their contact information will be listed for each item.
How do I pickup and pay for the item I won?
The best thing to do is view the auction item you won. Within the item description, there is a section called Pickup Instructions. That should explain how you can pickup and pay for your item. If you have further questions, you can contact the auction administrator listed under the Contacts section. By clicking on the contact name, you can view the administrators contact information.
Is there a way to remove an item after it has sold or the auction has ended?
You can hide an item after it has sold or the auction has ended. To do this, click the Hide Item link found in the Admin Controls on the auction item page. Hidden items are not displayed in the auction items list. Administrators will have a Hidden Items link on the left side of the auction items list to allow for easy access to all hidden items. Administrators can also re-display a hidden item by clicking the Show Item link found in the Admin Controls on the auction item page.
If the hidden item was sold, the winning bidder will still have access to the item. This allows them to view the item they won to ensure the item they receive is as advertised in the auction. They will also be able to pay for the item online if the auction has the Payment Collection feature.
Can I copy items from one auction to another?
Copying items between auctions is a feature available to administrators of 2 or more auctions. You will see an option for copying items on the Add A New Item page. From the Copy Auction Items page, you can select any number of items from one of your auctions and have them copied into your auction in one shot, including images.
Can I upload auction items from a spreadsheet?
We don't have a feature for bulk uploading of items from a spreadsheet. Instead, we have actually found it is best to add items to your online silent auction as they are received as opposed to keeping a spreadsheet of items offline and then trying to load them all at once. You can add items to the site as they come in and even hide them so only administrators can see them until they are ready to display. This eases the process of uploading all your items in addition to facilitating easy collaboration across multiple administrators for your auction.
Can I create items but not publish them for viewing until a later date?
Right after you create a new item you will see a Hide Item link in the Admin Controls on the auction item page. Clicking this link will hide the item until it is ready to be published for viewing. Administrators will have a Hidden Items link on the left side of the auction items list to allow for easy access to all hidden items. Administrators can also re-display a hidden item by clicking the Show Item link found in the Admin Controls on the auction item page.
How can I close bidding on an item before the auction ends?
You can have items end at different times by marking individual items as sold at a specific time. This will end bidding on the item and will award it to the highest bidder. You can use the subtitle or title of the item to clearly communicate when bidding will end on individual items. Check out the Demo Auction for an example of how the end date can be communicated for an item. You can also use custom categories to group items which end at the same time. That will allow your participants to view only the items which are ending at a specific time. This is especially useful if you have 'auction boards' which close down at set times.
When you want to end bidding on an item, you just need to log into the auction, view the item and click the Mark As Sold link found in the Admin Controls section of the page.
How do I make sure an item sells for a certain amount?
Set the starting bid as the amount you need to sell the item. This will ensure a minimum price is received before the item is sold. For example, if a donated item has a cost of $1000, you can set the starting bid amount as $1000 (or higher), ensuring the cost is covered.
Why can't I edit an auction item after it has bids on it?
The system does not allow editing an item once it has bids. This protects bidders from having auction items changed substantially after they have placed a bid.
What you can do is duplicate the item by clicking the Duplicate Item link found in the Admin Controls of the auction item page. To correct the new auction item, click the Edit Item link, make the necessary corrections, and save the new item.
You can email participants who bid on the original item to let them know the item has been re-listed and they can bid again. You can get the email addresses for the bidders by matching the bid history on the auction item with the participant list on the auction information page. Please see Where is the auction participants list?
Once you are done with the original item you can remove it from the auction by clicking the Remove Item link found in the Admin Controls of the auction item page. This will remove the item along with any bids on the item.
Why can't I set a reserve price on an item?
The system used to support setting a reserve price on items. This feature was not used frequently and many times was the cause of frustration for bidders. Therefore, this feature has been removed from the system.
The purpose of a reserve price is to guarantee an item sells for a minimum amount while also allowing bidders to enter bids at a lower price. A bidder will not win an item unless their bid is at or above the reserve price. Allowing lower bids is what caused the frustration for bidders. To avoid this issue, we recommend setting the starting bid at (or above) the minimum amount you wish to sell an item.
Can you remove or correct my bid?
Contact the auction administrator to inform them of the issue. You can find their contact information under the Contacts section left of the auction items table. The auction administrator can use the Contact Us page to request support from the 32auctions team if they agree that a correction is needed. The 32auctions team requires that the auction administrator provide specific instructions for how to correct a bidding error, including a link to the item, before they will take corrective action.
What is a proxy bid?
A proxy bid is when you place a bid for the maximum amount you are willing to spend, then let the system bid for you up to that amount. For example, if an item is currently selling for $10 and you enter a proxy bid of $20, the system will automatically bid for you until the selling price goes over $20. At that point, you will be outbid and someone else will be the leading bidder.
A proxy bid is a single bid and only shows up in the bid history one time. The bid history always shows the highest amount the system has bid for the proxy bid. This may look weird in the bid history when multiple bids have been entered against a proxy bid.
Explanations are available for the bid types by clicking the help icon next to each on any auction item page.
What happens in the case where 2 bids are the same?
Anytime the system receives 2 bids that are the same, the first bid entered into the system wins. When the bid history displays 2 bids of the same amount, the bid which was placed first is a proxy bid. When someone submits a second bid of the same amount, the first bidder continues to be the winning bidder because they were first to bid that amount.
Can I turn off or modify the bid history display?
It isn't possible to turn off the bid history display, however, you can choose how the Bidder is displayed. There are three settings to choose from when editing your auction. You can display the bidder's full name, bidder name, or an anonymous version of their bidder name. To edit this setting, log into your auction and click the About Our Cause button followed by clicking the Edit Auction link. When changing the Bid History selection in the Advanced Settings, you will see an example of what the Bidder column will display in the Bid History.
The Bidder column displays differently for auction administrators and participants. Auction administrators will see the full name of each bidder while participants will see the bidder's full name, bidder name, or an anonymous version of their bidder name, based on the Bid History auction setting. Administrators can view the participant version by clicking the "Show Participant View" link on the bid history header.
Each participant can make their bidder name as anonymous as they wish when setting up (or editing) their account via their My Account page. Each bidder name must be unique within the system and cannot be used by more than one person.
There is no place to bid. Is that because the auction hasn't started?
Correct. Once the auction has started, you will see the bidding box. You need to be logged into your account and a participant in the auction in order to see the bidding box.
What payment processing options are available when adding the Payment Collection and/or Donation Collection features?
We currently support payment processing through PayPal. PayPal is secure and trusted and they make the payment process easy for participants and administrators. PayPal allows you to expand the payment options available to your participants by accepting major credit cards and PayPal accounts. This option also does not require 32auctions to collect or process any credit card information.
Can I collect payments in person or outside of my auction?
Using the Payment Collection feature is optional. You can leave it turned off and collect payments offline by any means available to you. We recommend stating the payment options you accept in the Pickup Instructions which are displayed on every auction item page and emailed to winning bidders.
If you choose to accept payments and/or donations through your auction, the transaction fee only applies to payments and/or donations processed through the site. Therefore, there is no cost associated with providing online payments as an option, unless it is used.
Why am I getting errors when I try to submit a payment through PayPal?
Errors displayed on PayPal are generally caused by an account which is not verified. Please log into your PayPal account and make sure that it is verified.
Are we responsible for making arrangements for payment and shipping?
With a free silent auction, you as the auction administrator will need to arrange for payment and delivery of the items sold. Our system allows you to set pickup instructions for the auction items. Typically, we see auction administrators setting a designated time and location for the winning bidders to pick up and pay for their items. We will provide you with the name, email address, and phone number (if available) of each winning bidder so you can contact them as necessary. Our system also sends a notification to the winning bidders which contains the pickup instructions.
You can upgrade your auction to enable collecting payments and monetary donations through 32auctions. You will still need to coordinate delivery of the items with the winning bidders. See the Features & Pricing page to learn more about the payment and donation collection features.
How do I change the PayPal account associated with my organization?
Only coordinators of an organization can change the PayPal account. It can be changed from the Organization Information page. Just click the My Account link in the top right corner of the page, followed by clicking Manage My Organizations. Click the organization associated with the PayPal account followed by clicking the PayPal Account link. This page allows you to add or edit the PayPal account.
How do I issue a refund for a payment or donation?
Refunds need to be initiated from within the PayPal account. To do this, log into the PayPal account. Locate the payment you want to refund in the recent activity. Click the details link for the payment. Click the Issue Refund link at the bottom of the page. Continue the process from there through the PayPal pages.
How can I set up the payments and/or donations to go directly to a charity?
There are a few ways to have the proceeds from your silent auction go to a charity.
- You can setup the auction to use your personal PayPal account for collecting payments and donations. After all payments have been collected, you can send the proceeds to the charity.
- You can check with the charity and ask to use their PayPal account for having payments and/or donations sent directly to their account. When you enter the PayPal account into 32auctions, you will need to have the owner of the PayPal account verify it by clicking the link contained in the email we send to the PayPal account email address. After it is verified, your auction will be able to collect payments and/or donations.
- You can ask a representative of the charity to create an organization on 32auctions. They can add their PayPal account to the organization right away. Once the organization is created, they will need to create an auction for you (by entering the name of the auction and start and end date/time) and invite you to be the organizer of the auction. As the organizer, you will have the ability to completely manage the auction, but not modify the organization. You can change the auction name, date, description, add/remove items, invite participants, upgrade features, etc.
Why are participants receiving an error in PayPal when making a payment or donation?
The error could be due to a number of reasons.
If the error is "Your payment can't be completed because the receiver can't accept payments at this time", it's due to a currency issue in your auction setup. The currency chosen for your auction must match the currency on the PayPal account.
If the error is "Your payment can't be completed. Please return to the participating website and try again.", it could be due to a setting on the PayPal account. Please follow these steps to verify the account is setup properly:
- Log into the PayPal account.
- Click on "Profile".
- Find "Payment Receiving Preferences" under the Security and Risk Category and click on it.
- Change the "Block Payments for the items not sold on eBay from U.S. users who do not provide a Confirmed Address" from "Ask me" to "No" and Save.
Why do I receive an "Insufficient Funds" error in PayPal when attempting to make a payment or donation?
Please check your PayPal account and verify you have a credit card besides PayPal Plus associated to your account. PayPal is working on an issue with processing payments using PayPal Plus.
Why do I receive "Your payment can't be completed because the receiver can't accept payments at this time" error in PayPal when making a payment or donation?
This error occurs when the currency for the PayPal account does not match the currency used in the auction. The auction administrator will need to change the PayPal account or the auction so the currencies match.
- Log into the PayPal account.
- Click on the Profile link in the menu bar.
- Under the Financial Information header, click the Currency Balances link.
- From this page, you can see the balances for each currency and configure the currencies for the account.
The other option is to update the currency used within the auction. To do this, click the Auction Information link found on the left side of your auction table. Then click the the Edit Auction link on the right side of the page. Select the correct currency and click the Update Auction button. Please note that it's dangerous to change the currency in a running auction. 32auctions will NOT perform a currency conversion on existing bids, starting bids, bid increments, etc.
Live Event Package
What is the purpose of the Live Event Package upgrade?
The Live Event Package upgrade allows you to start your silent auction online and effortlessly carry it forward to a live event auction. You can learn more about the Live Event Package by reading the Features & Pricing page.
Can I enter the final sales information after the live event and sell items to winning bidders?
Yes! With the Live Event Package, auction administrators have the ability to enter the final sales information after the live event. This allows you to sell items to any auction participant, regardless if they participated in the online auction or only attended the live event. To use this feature, go to the Sales Summary page to edit the item, enter the final selling price, and choose the winning bidder. If the winning bidder only attended the live event, you can enter their information one time and then choose them from a list of auction participants. After entering the final sales information, the Sales Summary will update to show the new price and bidder. The previous leading bidder will receive an outbid notification and the winning bidder will be notified about winning the item if they have a valid email address.
Oh, and if you've enabled the optional Payment Collection feature, and the winning bidder has a valid email address, they will be notified and can pay for their items online. This allows auction administrators to use the site to completely manage the entire auction process all the way through closing out the live event and collecting payments. It's that easy!
I've got a really cool idea for your site. How can I tell you about it?
Great! We love receiving suggestions for improving 32auctions. You can send us your ideas using the Feedback page, preferably with as many details as you can provide.
We are concerned about our participants getting spammed.
Our site uses email to communicate with auction participants and administrators to inform them of relevant auction activity (auction starting, auction ending, bid confirmations, winning bid notifications, etc). At times, we will communicate directly with the auction administrators for other reasons related to the site, or their auction. The 32auctions team despises SPAM and will not allow junk mail to be sent from our site.
Do you have any public testimonials that can be shared?
We do! Click the Testimonials link found in the footer of every page.
Which web browsers do you support?
We support Internet Explorer (8, 9, and 10) and recent versions of mobile browsers, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Google Chrome.
Why are your fees so low? How do you make money?
We get this question a lot. Our fees are low because our goal is to help people raise money for their cause...period. Charging high fees does exactly the opposite by taking money from causes that need it.
We also have revenue from advertisements on our site. This revenue helps offset our expenses, allowing us to offer this free service with reasonably priced upgrades for optional features.