Frequently Asked Questions
There is no need to be a non-profit or not-for-profit organization.
Anyone with a link to your online auction can view it without having an account. This is a great way to increase interest in the auction. An account is only needed in order to bid. The process is quick and very little information is required as you can see on the Create An Account page. Requiring an account for bidding makes it easy for auction administrators to identify and communicate with bidders during and after the auction.
Participants can view an auction without an account. An account is only needed for entering bids.
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, link a payment account for payment and donation collection, and more.
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.
Please see How do I invite additional auction administrators? for instructions on inviting Coordinators and Organizers to join your auction.
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.
Cancelling your account will immediately log you out of the site and prevent you from creating, accessing, and participating in auctions. This will not remove your bids.
You can cancel your account from the My Account page. To view this page, log into your account, click the Account menu option, then click the My Account link.
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 trying to log in again.
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.
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 email@example.com to your address book to ensure you receive emails from us. All messages sent from the system come from that email address.
- Your spam folder
- Your junk mail folder if your email client has one
To ensure you receive future emails from 32auctions, please add firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Auctions hosted on 32auctions are private and require a special auction link for participation. Typically, the auction link is provided in an invitation which may be sent by email, postcard, flier, or posted on a website or social networking site. If you know someone who is hosting or participating in an auction on 32auctions, contact them to request the auction link.
Yes you can! Thanks to all the requests for this feature, we have added it to the system. You can learn more about the Transition To Live Event feature on the Pricing page.
Absolutely! In fact, you can link both Stripe and PayPal accounts to your auction for collecting payments and/or donations. You can learn more by reading the What payment processing options are available with the Payment and Donation Collection features? FAQ entry.
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.
There are 2 options for printing invoices:
- Individual invoice pages can be printed using the web browser's print feature. You'll find a link to each winning bidder's invoice page on the Sales Summary page.
- Auctions which have applied the Items feature for listing more than 20 items or have the Transition To Live Event feature can download all auction item data on the Sales Summary page. Included in the download are the invoice number and shipping details. The download is in an easy-to-use spreadsheet format for applications like Microsoft Excel and can be sorted by invoice number for printing. Take a peek at a sample Sales Summary download from our demo auction.
You can sell event tickets by creating a Tickets auction item and setting the Quantity Available along with a fixed Buy Now price. This allows participants to choose the number of tickets they wish to purchase at the set price while the auction is running. If you have different ticket prices, you'll need to create a Tickets auction item for each price. You can also feature the Ticket auction items so they are prominently displayed on the main auction page.
You can learn more by reading the How do I handle items which can have multiple winners? FAQ entry.
Auction sponsors can only be displayed in auctions which have the Premium Donor & Sponsor Management feature. Once your auction has this feature, you'll see a Manage Sponsorships link in the Admin Controls menu. This allows you to select donors which provided auction sponsorship. If the donor hasn't been added to your auction yet, you'll first need to add them to the donor list by clicking the Manage Donors link in the Admin Controls menu.
Once you've added sponsorships on the Manage Sponsorships page, the Sponsored By section will display on the main auction page. Logos and website links added on the donor page will also be displayed in the Sponsored By section.
For a sponsorship example, see the Sponsored By section in the Demo Auction.
Custom auction branding is available to auctions which have the Apply Your Brand feature. Once your auction has this feature, you'll see an Apply Your Brand link in the Admin Controls menu. This feature includes the ability to upload a banner image for your auction, change the auction colors, and arrange the main auction page sections in your preferred order.
The Apply Your Brand page allows you to upload a banner image and customize your auction colors. The banner image can be up to 980px wide and 200px high (anything larger will be resized to fit within these dimensions). Also, you can convert the banner image into a clickable ad, which will go to a URL of your choice. For example, it could be used to link to your organization's website or to a sponsor's website.
- Banner Background - This is the pink banner in the demo auction.
- Banner Text - Text displayed in the banner.
- Link Text - Clickable links displayed throughout the auction.
To arrange the section order on the main auction page, simply click the sorting arrows button on a sortable section heading and then drag the sections to your preferred order. Once saved, the page will update to display the sections in the selected order.
For a branded auction example, see the Rock the House Auction.
Inviting participants is as easy as providing them your custom auction link which is displayed in the Admin Controls menu. You can view the menu by logging into your auction and clicking the Admin Controls button. When someone navigates to your auction link, they can view your auction. As soon as they log into (or create) their account, they will be auto-joined to your auction. This means they will be a participant, can bid on items when the auction is running, and will see the auction on their My Auctions page.
Your auction has a Participant Setting which allows you to require all participants to request access prior to joining your auction. With this setting turned on, 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.
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.
You can invite people to assist with running your auction by logging into your auction and clicking on the Invite Administrators link in the Admin Controls menu.
Please see What is the difference between the Coordinator and Organizer roles? for an explanation of the different roles.
An auction must start within 6 months from the date it is created and can run for as little as 15 minutes to a maximum of 45 days. Read our How long should I run my auction? post for tips to help you choose the correct length for your auction.
Good news... you have complete control over these dates from within your auction. To change the auction dates, log into your auction and click the Edit Auction link in the Admin Controls menu. You'll need to use the calendar to:
- Select the date
- Select the time (hours)
- Select the time (minutes)
Once the minutes are selected, the calendar window will close and the field will update with the date and time you selected.
Copying auctions is a feature available to auction Coordinators. You will be presented with an option to copy the current auction after clicking the Create An Auction link in the Admin Controls menu. This allows for copying the organization and auction information, including any applied features. All auction settings and feature upgrades can be modified prior to them being applied.
Once your new auction has been created, you can use the Copy Auction Items feature to copy items from the previous 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 unsold items by clicking the Remove Item link on each auction item page. 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. Instead, you can hide auction items so they can only be viewed by the winning bidder and the auction administrators. This allows winning bidders to view the items they won and make sure the items they receive are as advertised.
To change who is listed as the contact for your auction, log into your auction and click the Edit Auction link in the Admin Controls menu and select the contacts for your auction. If you don't see the name of someone you want to have as a contact, you can invite them to be an auction administrator. Once the invitation has been accepted, you will be able to select them as a contact for the auction.
We have full support for 6 of the most popular currencies, including USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD, and NZD. When creating your auction, you need to choose the currency to use. The currency you choose will be used for bidding and will also apply to the awesome Online Payment & Donation Collection features if you choose to enable them.
You can add items to the auction until the auction has ended. Once the auction ends, the ability to add items will be disabled. To add an item, log into your auction and click the Add Auction Item button found in the Admin Controls menu or the pink plus button on the bottom right corner of the page.
You can select items to feature in your auction as often as you wish. Featured items are prominently displayed in the Featured Items list on the main auction page. They are also sorted to the top of the auction items list view. Any non-hidden item can be featured, even if it has bids or has been sold. To feature items, log into your auction and click the Feature Items link found in the Admin Controls menu.
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 want to bring a few items to the top of the auction items list, you can feature items in your auction.
During and after an auction, the auction administrators can view the Sales Summary information. To view the Sales Summary information, log into your auction and click the Sales Summary link found in the Admin Controls menu. 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.
The best thing to do is view the auction item you won. Within the item description, there is a section called Pickup/Shipping Instructions. That should explain how you can pickup and pay for your item. If you have further questions, you can contact the auction administrator.
The system prevents anyone, including the 32auctions team, from editing an item with bids, including changing or removing item images. This protects bidders from having auction items substantially changed after they have placed a bid.
To edit an unsold item, you'll need to remove all bids. First, you may want to collect contact information for the bidders by matching the bid history on the auction item with the participants list. Please see Where is the auction participants list?
To remove all bids, click the Remove All Bids link found in the Item Controls menu on the auction item page. This will remove all bids from the item and email the current leading bidder to let them know their bid has been removed. After you've edited the item, you can contact the previous bidders to let them know they can bid again.
You can hide an item after it has sold or the auction has ended. To do this, click the Hide Item link in the Admin Controls menu on the auction item page. Hidden items are not displayed in the auction items list. Administrators will have a Hidden Items filter on the auction bar to allow for easy access to all hidden items. Administrators can redisplay a hidden item by clicking the Unhide Item link in the Admin Controls menu 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.
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 Auction 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 and donors.
We don't have a feature for bulk uploading of items from a spreadsheet. Instead, we have actually found it's 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. You can also add notes to each item and optionally notify the other auction administrators about your note. This eases the process of uploading all items and facilitates effective collaboration when there are multiple auction administrators.
Right after you create a new item you will see a Hide Item link in the Item Controls section of the Admin Controls menu on the auction item page. Clicking this link will hide the item until it's ready to be published for viewing. Administrators will have a Hidden Items filter on the auction bar to allow for easy access to all hidden items. When viewing the hidden items, you can click the Unhide All button to redisplay all hidden items, or you can redisplay a single hidden item by clicking the Unhide Item link found in the Item Controls section of the Admin Controls menu on the auction item page.
Each auction item has the option to allow selling more than 1 at a fixed Buy Now price. This allows you to create a single item and specify the total quantity available. Participants will have the option of purchasing 1 or more of the item in a single purchase. Please note, bidding is not available on the item when this option is turned on. You can learn more by reading the Can I sell tickets? FAQ entry.
The best way to handle multiple winners of a bidding item is to list each item individually. To make it easy on yourself, create the first item exactly as you'd like it to appear, including images, then duplicate it until you reach the desired number. You'll find a Duplicate Item link on the auction item page.
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, simply click the Mark As Sold link in the Admin Controls menu on the auction item page. This link is only available on unsold items which have bids. Clicking the Mark As Sold link will sell the item to the current high bidder at the current selling price.
There is an Advanced Setting on your auction (Edit Auction link in the Admin Controls menu) for notifying auction administrators when a Buy Now item is purchased. The notification contains the buyer's name and a link to the item, allowing you to quickly view and act upon the sold item.
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.
The system used to support setting a reserve price on items. This feature was not frequently used 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.
Contact the auction administrator to inform them of the issue. If it's the only bid, the auction administrator can click the Remove All Bids link found in the Item Controls menu on the auction item page. If it's not the only bid, the auction administrator can use the Contact 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.
A proxy bid allows you to enter the maximum amount you are willing to spend and 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 $50, the system will automatically bid for you until the selling price goes over $50. At that point, you will be outbid and someone else will be the leading bidder. You will only owe the amount the system has bid for you which will never be more than your maximum proxy bid amount.
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.
To illustrate how proxy bidding works, let's look at a friendly example of 2 people bidding on the same item:
- Starting Bid Amount: $10
- Minimum Bid Increment: $2
Bob enters a Proxy bid with a maximum bid amount of $50.
- Current Bid: $10 (same as starting bid amount)
- Leading Bidder: Bob
Mary enters an Exact bid of $12.
- Current Bid: $14 ($12 + $2 minimum bid increment)
- Leading Bidder: Bob
Mary enters a Proxy bid of $20.
- Current Bid: $22 ($20 + $2 minimum bid increment)
- Leading Bidder: Bob
Mary enters a Proxy bid of $50.
- Current Bid: $50 (proxy bids are maxed out)
- Leading Bidder: Bob (the first bid entered wins when 2 bids are the same)
Mary enters a Proxy bid of $100.
- Current Bid: $52 ($50 + $2 minimum bid increment)
- Leading Bidder: Mary
Here's how this looks in the Bid History:
|Bidder||Bid Amount||Bid Type|
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.
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: display the bidder's full name, their bidder name, or an anonymous version of their bidder name. To edit this setting, log into your auction and click the Edit Auction link found in the Admin Controls menu. 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.
Absolutely! The Participants List page displays a complete list of auction participants, including the number of bids entered by each.
Auction sniping is the act of placing a bid, which will likely exceed the current high bid, as late as possible, leaving little to no time for others to outbid the sniper. To prevent this, each auction has an Extended Bidding option which the auction administrator can turn on. You'll know when this option is on because the time remaining displayed on each item page will be prefixed with "At least". You can view items in our Demo Auction to see how this looks.
The Extended Bidding option automatically extends the end time of an item by 3 minutes when it receives a bid during the final 3 minutes. This process repeats until no new bids are received during the final 3 minutes of the item bidding window or the auction has been extended for a maximum of 30 minutes beyond the original end time. When an auction is extended, you will see Extended Bidding messages displayed throughout the auction with a link for easily viewing all of the extended items. Extended bidding is an option which the auction administrator can choose to turn on.
There are 2 common reasons for this:
- The auction hasn't started yet. Verify the dates of your auction by checking the main auction page. Double check the start date/time (including AM/PM) as well as the selected time zone. Some time zones have the same abbreviation, so it's best to view the full time zone name on the Edit Auction page. You can change the dates and time zone by logging into your auction and clicking the Edit Auction link in the Admin Controls menu.
- The auction doesn't have any items. When this is the case, it's most common that the item description was entered into the Auction Information section. You'll need to create an item by clicking the Add Auction Item button in the Admin Controls menu. Bidding will be available on the item pages when items have been added to a running auction.
Absolutely! You can upload images from anywhere on the internet! If you have the links for your images, enter them on the image upload page and we'll work our magic to upload them for you. This is a convenient feature which saves you from the time consuming process of downloading images from the internet, saving them on your computer, then finding/selecting/uploading them.
Once your auction has the Payment Collection feature turned on and a payment account linked, winning bidders will be able to submit payment online from their invoice page. The system sends winning bidder notifications which contain a link to the winning bidder's invoice page. Invoices display the items won, the winning bid amounts, the total amount due, and a payment button. Winning bidders can click the payment button to pay with a credit card, debit card, eCheck, or PayPal account. When a payment is submitted, it is immediately deposited into the linked payment account and then the transaction fees (32auctions and payment processor) are automatically paid from the linked payment account. Auction administrators can view a winning bidder's invoice by clicking the Invoice links on the Sales Summary page.
The payment process is the same for the Donation Collection feature. Donations of any amount can be made before, during, and after the silent auction. Like Donations, Buy Now items can be paid immediately, or the buyer can wait until the auction has ended. This allows them to win more items through Buy Now and bidding and pay for them all at one time.
Transaction fees only apply to payments processed online. If someone pays in person or by other means outside of 32auctions, no transaction fees are charged. Please see Can I collect payments in person or outside of my auction? for more information.
Please see What payment processing options are available with the Payment and Donation Collection features? for information about payment account options.
We currently support linking Stripe and PayPal payment accounts to auctions for collecting payments and/or donations. Both are secure and trusted and they make the payment process easy for participants and auction administrators. Stripe allows for payments made using credit cards and debit cards. PayPal expands the available payment options by accepting PayPal accounts and eChecks, in addition to credit cards and debit cards.
All financial information is secure using this payment process. 32auctions never collects sensitive payment information and instead routes all payment processing through the payment processor(s) you've chosen. You can learn more by reading the How do I link a payment account to my auction? FAQ entry.
Using the online Payment Collection feature is optional. You can leave it turned off and collect payments offline by any means available to you. You can even choose the most popular route of accepting both online and in person payments, providing the widest variety of payment options for your participants - which they love! We recommend stating the payment options you accept in the Pickup/Shipping Instructions of the auction as these are displayed on every auction item page and emailed to winning bidders.
Online payment collection makes it very easy for you to collect payments and opens up a variety of payment methods for winning bidders, including major credit cards, debit cards, eChecks, and PayPal accounts. All online payments are automatically tracked within your auction. Without the Payment Collection feature, you'll need to manually track payments, which you can do on the Sales Summary page and winning bidder invoices.
The Payment Collection or Donation Collection feature must be turned on before you'll be able to connect a payment account to your auction. You can turn on one of these features and connect a payment account by following these steps:
- Log into your auction.
- Click the Payment Features link in the Admin Controls menu.
- Click the toggle button to turn on one (or both) of the payment features.
- Click the Connect An Account button for the desired payment account.
- Follow any additional instructions for linking the payment account to your auction.
- After the account is linked, you'll see the account email address displayed in the payment account box.
- Make sure the "deposit into this account" box is checked and the payment account box is green. This indicates the payment account is linked and ready for accepting deposits.
Only Coordinators can change the payment account linked to an auction. It can be changed by following these steps.
- Log into your auction.
- Click the Payment Features link in the Admin Controls menu.
- Click the toggle button to turn on one (or both) of the payment features, if they're not already on.
- Click the gear icon in the upper right corner of the desired payment account box.
- Click the Edit button.
- Provide the new payment account information.
Refunds need to be initiated from within the payment account the payment was deposited.
For PayPal Refunds:
- Log into the PayPal account.
- Locate the payment to refund in 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 to complete the refund.
For Stripe Refunds:
- Make sure the Stripe account is still linked to your auction by viewing the Payment Features page.
- Log into the Stripe dashboard.
- Click on the Payments link.
- Search for "Payment for items won" to locate an item payment or "Donation to" to locate a donation.
- Click the payment to view it.
- Click the Refund Payment button.
- Continue the process from there to complete the refund.
There are a few ways to have the proceeds from your silent auction go to a charity.
- You can set up the auction to use your personal payment 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 payment account for having payments and/or donations sent directly to their account. For PayPal, when you enter the PayPal account email address 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. For Stripe, you'll need to work with the Stripe account holder in order to link their Stripe account to the auction. An auction administrator will need to initiate the process of linking the Stripe account and the Stripe account holder will need to log into their Stripe account to complete the process. Please see How do I link a payment account to my auction? for more information.
- You can ask a representative of the charity to create an organization on 32auctions. 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. After the auction has been created, they can link their payment account. As the organizer, you will have the ability to completely manage the auction, but not modify the organization. Please see What is the difference between the Coordinator and Organizer roles? for more information.
Stripe and PayPal charge fees on each payment and donation processed using the Online Payment & Donation Collection features. The fees are specific to the payment account linked to the auction for processing payments. To find the fees associated with an account, log into the Stripe dashboard or the PayPal account.
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," please view this FAQ entry for an explanation.
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 set up properly:
- Log into the PayPal account.
- Click on the Profile link.
- 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.
For all other issues, please work through the PayPal setup instructions provided on the PayPal Account page within your auction. You can view this page by following these steps:
- Log into your auction.
- Click the Payment Features link in the Admin Controls menu.
- Click the gear icon in the upper right corner of the PayPal payment account box.
- Click the Edit button.
- Click the Important Setup Instructions link.
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.
Please check your PayPal account and verify you have at least 1 credit card other than PayPal Plus associated to your account. PayPal is working on an issue with processing payments using PayPal Plus.
The error could be due to a number of reasons, all of which need to be fixed by the auction administrator.
If the PayPal account linked to the auction for collecting payments is marked as "Limited," payments will not be processed. If this is the case, the account owner needs to contact PayPal Merchant Support at 1-888-215-5506 (Australia: 1800-073-263; Canada: 1-877-569-1116; UK: 08707 307 191) and work with them to remove the "Limited" status from the account. Payments can be processed once the PayPal account is no longer in a "Limited" status.
This error also 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.
You can view and maintain the currencies in the PayPal account by following these steps:
- Log into the PayPal account.
- Click on the Profile link.
- Under the Financial Information header, click the Currency Balances link.
- On this page, you can see the balances for each currency and configure the currencies for the account.
You can view and maintain the currencies your auction by following these steps:
- Log into your auction.
- Click the Edit Auction link in the Admin Controls menu.
- Select the correct currency.
- Click the Update Auction button.
Please note, it's dangerous to change the currency in a running auction. 32auctions will NOT be able to perform a currency conversion on existing bids, starting bids, bid increments, etc.
PayPal tracks the number of times you have made payments through them without using a PayPal account. Once you've met their unpublished threshold, they will require you to create an account before allowing additional payments, regardless of what site you are trying to make your payment on, including their own Send Money page. When this happens you have 2 options:
- Create a PayPal account and link your credit card to it. This is PayPal's preferred option which will raise your payment limits and not cap the number of times you can make online payments. You will always be required to log into your PayPal account to make a payment using the credit card(s), bank account(s), etc. linked to your PayPal account.
- Use a different browser and/or clear the browser cache and cookies to be presented with the option of paying directly with a credit or debit card. Once you have this option, you cannot use the credit card or email address that you've used numerous times before. If you do, PayPal will block the payment and require you to create a PayPal account before allowing the payment to go through. Instructions for clearing the browser cache can be found here: kb.iu.edu/data/ahic.html. You also need to clear the browser cookies.
All auctions start with no shipping options. If you don't want to offer shipping, leave the Shipping Settings page alone and the system will not mention shipping anywhere in your auction.
If you want to offer shipping, you need to add shipping options on the Shipping Settings page before your auction ends. You'll be able to enter the shipping options and associated costs for each option. Shipping options can be anything you choose but most often they are countries or states/provinces/regions. The costs entered on this page apply to each item and can be changed for individual items. You can also offer a combined shipping discount to winners of multiple items.
When shipping options are changed after items have been purchased, the updated options will only be applied to unpaid invoices and may change the invoice total amount due. If necessary, you can change the total shipping cost on an invoice.
Once set up, winning bidders can select their preferred shipping option on their invoice. The system will calculate the shipping cost and add it to the invoice total. They are then prompted to enter a shipping address (unless In-Person Pickup is selected). Once entered, you can view this information on the winning bidder's invoice by clicking the Invoice link on the Sales Summary page.
You can view items in our Demo Auction to see how shipping options are displayed. Also, if you purchase a Buy Now item, you'll be able to experience shipping options on an invoice.
Each auction item has shipping options with two shipping cost amounts - Cost and With Another Item. The Cost amount is the primary shipping cost and the With Another Item amount is the discounted shipping cost. The total shipping cost is calculated for each shipping option on an invoice as follows. The Cost amount will only be use for one item, the item with the highest Cost amount. All other items on an invoice will use the With Another Item amount. This allows you to take advantage of a combined shipping discount, when available.
Here are examples of how the total shipping cost is calculated.
- Cost - $5.00
- With Another Item - $3.00
- Cost - $4.00
- With Another Item - $1.50
Invoice A: 1 Teddy Bear + 1 Monkey Shirt
- The total shipping cost will be $6.50. The highest primary shipping cost of the 2 items is applied (Teddy Bear - $5.00). The discounted shipping cost is applied for the other item (Monkey Shirt - $1.50).
- $5.00 + $1.50 = $6.50
Invoice B: 3 Monkey Shirts
- The total shipping cost will be $7.00. The highest primary shipping cost is only applied for 1 item (Monkey Shirt - $4.00). The discounted shipping cost is applied for the other 2 items (Monkey Shirt - $1.50).
- $4.00 + $1.50 + $1.50 = $7.00
With a quantity purchase, each item purchased is included in the total shipping cost calculation. For example, let's say there is a single Monkey Shirts item with an available quantity of 10. If a bidder purchases a quantity of 3 Monkey Shirts, the shipping cost will be calculated as explained in the Invoice B example.
When entering shipping option costs, you have two fields to enter for each shipping option - Cost and With Another Item. The Cost field is the primary shipping cost and the With Another Item field is the discounted shipping cost. The With Another Item shipping cost will only be used when more than one item is paid for on a single invoice. Please see How is the total shipping cost calculated? to get a complete understanding of which shipping cost is used when calculating shipping costs for an invoice.
If you don't want to offer a discounted shipping cost, enter the same amount in both fields.
If the default shipping costs set on the Shipping Settings page are not correct for an item, you can set item specific shipping costs when adding or editing the item. Simply click the edit icon next to a shipping option to change the shipping costs for that option. The new shipping costs entered will apply only to that item.
Shipping options are created on the Shipping Settings page and apply to every item in the auction. Shipping options can be anything you choose but most often are entered as countries or states/provinces/regions. The shipping options cannot be changed for a specific item because they apply to all items within an auction. This allows winning bidders of multiple items to choose a single shipping option for their entire invoice.
Once an item is sold, you can no longer edit it to change the shipping costs. Instead, you can change the total shipping cost for the invoice. To do this, view the Sales Summary page and click the appropriate Invoice link. Then click the Update Shipping Cost link found directly under the shipping options. This link is only available to auction administrators when the invoice has not been paid.
Once the total shipping cost has been changed on an invoice, the winning bidder will not be able to choose a shipping option, but they will be able to enter a shipping address. You will have the option of reverting back to the original shipping options by clicking the Revert Shipping Cost link.
Shipping Options is an optional setting which auction administrators can choose to forgo. If the auction items don't display Shipping Options, you should look at the Pickup/Shipping Instructions to determine how to receive items. You can also contact the auction administrator to ask if shipping is available.
You can enter your shipping address once you've won an item in an auction which offers shipping options. When you win an item, you receive a winning bidder notification with a link to your My Items invoice page. You can also view your My Items page by logging into your account, clicking the Account menu option, then clicking the My Items Won link.
Once you choose a shipping option which requires shipping, you will see a link for entering your shipping address. Clicking this link will take you to a form for entering a new address or choosing a previously entered address. When you are done, your shipping address will be displayed on your invoice.
Shipping addresses can only be collected if the auction offers shipping options and the winning bidder has selected a shipping option other than In-Person Pickup. After a winning bidder enters their shipping address, you can view it on their invoice page. This makes it easy to know which items should be shipped together and where to ship them. You can view all invoices for a bidder by viewing the Sales Summary page and clicking the Invoice link next to an item they won. Each paid invoice contains the items won, the amount paid, the selected shipping option, and the shipping address (if necessary).
Transition To Live Event
The Transition To Live Event feature allows you to start your silent auction online for pre-event bidding and effortlessly transition to bid sheets at a live event. Once all bidding is complete, you can enter the final sales information into the online auction. Please see the Transition To Live Event section on the Pricing page for more information.
Auctions with the Transition To Live Event feature send leading bidder notifications when the online portion of the silent auction ends. The email notification informs leading bidders that bidding will continue at the live event and includes the Live Event Information provided on the Live Event Settings page. Winning bidder notifications are also sent for online-only items which sold.
Online auction participants who cannot attend the live event have the option of entering Proxy Bids, which you can choose to honor during live event bidding. Once the online auction ends, auction administrators can view maximum proxy bid amounts on the Sales Summary page and in the Sales Summary download. During the live event, you can continue bidding, up to the maximum proxy bid amounts, by writing bids on the bid sheets. If you don't want to allow proxy bidding, you can turn this option off in the Advanced Settings section of the Edit Auction page.
The Sales Summary page and Sales Summary download display every auction item including leading bid information like bid amounts and bidder information. The download is in an easy-to-use format for spreadsheet applications like Microsoft Excel. Take a peek at the sample Sales Summary download from our demo auction.
You can download and print bid sheets for all auction items at any time. This is available as a single PDF file on the Live Event Settings page or individually on the auction item pages. It's best to wait until the online auction has ended before downloading the final bid sheets to make sure they include the highest online bid amounts. Take a peek at the sample bid sheets PDF from our demo auction.
When choosing the end date and time for your online auction, we recommend giving yourself enough time for transitioning to the live event. The printable bid sheets are the easiest way to handle this transition, however, it still takes time to print out bid sheets and arrange them on bidding tables at the live event. It's common to end the online auction a few hours to a day before the start of the live event.
Yes! With the Transition To Live Event feature, auction administrators have the ability to enter 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, click edit next to an 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. It's important to enter their email address so they can be notified about winning items. After entering the final sales information, the Sales Summary will update to show the new selling price and winning bidder. The previous leading bidder will receive an outbid notification and the winning bidder will receive a winning bidder notification.
Oh, and if you've set up the optional Payment Collection feature, winning bidders can pay for their items online. This allows you to manage the entire auction process all the way through closing out the live event and collecting payments. It's that easy!
Yes! With the Transition To Live Event feature, you'll see an option when adding or editing items to allow only bidding at the live event. This prevents bidding on the item during the online auction. All item information you enter, including the starting bid and/or buy now price, are displayed in the online auction and on the bid sheet.
If you would like smaller bid or display sheets, you can use Adobe Acrobat to print two sheets per piece of paper. To do this, you should first download and save the bid or display sheets PDF file. Open the PDF file using Adobe Acrobat and then follow our detailed instructions. If for any reason these instructions are not accurate for your version of Adobe, you can reference Adobe's instructions for printing multiple pages per sheet. You may also find that your printer properties/options may offer similar capabilities.
- File > Print
- Page Sizing & Handling: Multiple
- Pages per sheet: 2
- Page order: Horizontal
- Print on both sides of paper: No
- Orientation: Portrait
- Scale to Fit: Fill Entire Paper
To edit a donor's information, click the Manage Donors link found in the Admin Controls menu. Find the donor you wish to edit and click the Edit link displayed next to them. Your saved changes will be visible on all auction items the donor is displayed on across all auctions for the organization, including auctions which have ended.
There are two options for removing a donor.
Deleting a donor completely removes them from the system and all auction items they are displayed on across all auctions for the organization, including auctions which have ended. To delete a donor, click the Manage Donors link in the Admin Controls menu, then click the Delete link for the donor you wish to delete. If you're deleting an active donor and they are displayed on items, you'll be presented with the option of replacing them with another donor. This is useful if you need to combine two donors into a single donor.
Archiving a donor removes them from the donor list, but they will remain on all auction items they are displayed on across all auctions for the organization. No data will be removed from the system. The donor will simply be moved to the Archived Donor List page and will not appear in the donor selection list when adding or editing items. To archive a donor, click the Manage Donors link in the Admin Controls menu, then click the Archive link for the donor you wish to archive.
When deleting an active donor which is displayed on items or sponsorships, you'll be presented with the option of replacing them with another donor. The selected donor will replace the donor you're deleting on all items and sponsorships they are displayed on across all auctions for the organization, including auctions which have ended.
- Donor A is displayed on items 1, 2, 3
- Donor B is displayed on items 4, 5, 6
- Donor A is displayed on items 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
- Donor B is permanently deleted from the system
Archived donors can be restored so they appear on the Donor List page and in the donor selection list when adding or editing items. To recover an archived donor, view the Archived Donor List page by clicking the Manage Donors link in the Admin Controls menu followed by clicking the Archived Donors link. Then click the Restore link for the archived donor you wish to restore. The donor will be moved to the Donor List page which can be viewed by clicking View Active Donors.
If you don't see an Archived Donors link at the top of the Donor List page, the organization has no archived donors.
Great! We love receiving suggestions for improving 32auctions. You can send us your ideas using the Feedback form, preferably with as many details as you can provide.
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.
We do! You can view them on the Testimonials page.
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 receive revenue from advertisements on our site. This revenue helps offset expenses, allowing us to offer this free service with reasonably-priced optional features.
We invite you to explore this further by discovering a little About Us and hearing from auction administrators and participants.