Online Pre-bidding vs Online Bidding
Auctria supports two similar but distinct ways of handling online bidding:
- Full online auctions
- Silent auction Pre-bidding
With full online auction all of the bidding for an item happens on Auctria, either via the auction web site, text bidding or kiosk mode. There is no paper bid sheet involved.
With online pre-bidding the initial bidding happens on Auctria (either via the auction web site or text bidding) but then before the actual event online bidding is closed for the item and the highest online bid becomes the starting bid at the auction itself.
Which should I use?
The process for deciding whether you should use a pre-bidding or online bidding is straight forward. Ask yourself, do I want the final part of the bidding process to happen on a paper bid sheet during the event? If so, then set up the the items as silent auction items and enable pre-bidding.
If you want the bidding for the item to be totally managed by the system (which may include Kiosk Mode bidding) then set-up the items as online items.
What about live auctions?
Pre-bidding is only primarily used for silent auction items. We do not recommend it for live auctions, though you can enable it. Usually with a live auction, the auctioneer wants to be able to control the flow of the bidding process and being that items are given an initial high starting bid, the online pre-bidding would interfere with this.
Differences between pre-bidding and online bidding
The following table highlights the differences between the pre-bidding and online bidding
|What items are included?||Any silent or live item with the 'allow pre-bidding' option checked. This is default for items when they are created.||Items with a type of online|
|Is there a bid sheet||Yes – a bid sheet can be generated and will show the high bid from online pre-bidding as the starting row||No|
|How is the item won?||Bidding happens online prior to the event and then a paper bid sheet is generated. Bidding then finishes in the traditional way.||All the bidding happens online, either via the auction web site, kiosk mode or text bidding.|
|Is Proxy Bidding allowed?||No, proxy bidding isn't allowed because there is no way to move the proxy bid from online to the paper bid sheet.If we move the bid as shown then the winning paper bid could be lower than the proxy bid amount.However, if we move the full proxy bid amount onto the bid sheet then it isn't a proxy bid since the full amount was used even though nobody bid against the original bidder.||Yes|
|When is online bidding allowed?||During the time between the online bidding start and end times.||During the time between the online bidding start and end times|
|Is the winner notified automatically?||No: when the online bidding period ends nothing happens other than the system stops accepting online bids for the item||Yes, when the online bidding period ends, unless you turn off the option to send winning item emails under Website → Online Bidding|
|Is a Buy-It-Now price supported?||Yes, though a bid sheet is still generated for the item||Yes|
|Are items with multiple winners supported?||Yes (though not recommended for items that are not fixed price, since it is hard to generate an accurate bid sheet)||Yes|
|Do I have to manually close the bidding?||It depends.If a bid is placed during the silent auction, then this would be recorded as a winning bid when you enter the silent auction results. The default when doing this is to close the item to further bids. If no more bids are placed during the silent auction, then the highest online bid is the winner, but the bidding must be closed to indicate this. See Opening and Closing Bidding for more details||No|
|Is Kiosk Mode supported?||No||Yes, a kiosk mode website can be used for online bidding|
|Is text bidding supported?||Yes – during the online bidding period||Yes|
Switching from Online Bidding to Pre-Bidding
If you set up an event with online items when you intended for the bidding to be finished at the event on a bid sheet then you can change the item type from Online to Silent to convert it to pre-bidding. This can be done en-masse from the item list page, see Mass Changes for more details.
The one area this can cause a problem with is proxy bids. If proxies bids were enabled for the online item (the default) and a bidder placed a proxy bid then you won't know the high bid on the item. If you attempt to record a silent bid at the end of the event and it is below the proxy bid amount then the silent bid will be discarded and the proxy bid will be bumped up to the level of the silent bid.
In order to remove the proxy bid you would need to delete the bid on the item's activity tab so you can then record the winning silent bid. However, this may cause some confusion for the online bidder, since they had previous bid at least that amount.