One of the often overlooked benefits of using a digital silent auction platform is the ability to have guests bidding on items both at the event AND from the comfort of their own homes. This means more people can participate, more eyes are on your auction items, and ultimately, more revenue can be raised for your cause!
Here are some additional points to consider when setting up your auction to support remote bidding:
- Accepting digital payment
- Accepting donations
- Selling raffle tickets
- Best practices for onboarding guests
Accepting Digital Payment
The biggest risk with remote bidding is of course ensuring you receive payment for your auction items. Taking physical payment isn’t really an option, and managing e-transfers can quickly become a headache.
Offering auction guests a means to pay with their credit card through the platform significantly streamlines the auction close procedure.
But what if users don’t pay, even with online payment enabled? Deleting a bid because of non-payment is an option, but then the second-place bidder needs to be contacted. It can be a bit of a mess.
How Bid Beacon Makes Online Auction Payments Easy
- Bid Beacon has the option to require pre-authorization of a credit card before bids can be placed (this is currently available when using our Build Your Auction plan and using Stripe’s payment platform, or by using our Ultimate Risk-Free plan).
- When the auction closes, guests will have their credit card automatically charged for their winnings.
This means no chasing down guests for payment, which is a huge reduction of work for the organizers!
Immediate Payment On Donations & Buy Now Items
Accepting donations as part of your auction can be an effective way to raise more for your cause. In addition to auction items, you can also use Bid Beacon to collect donations, as well as sell items at a fixed price (called Buy Now items).
Buy Now items could be a stack of 20 chairs that you want to clear out at a fixed price. Some people might buy 1, others might buy 10, until they’re all gone. Offering items as a “Buy Now” vs. traditional auction model is appealing for many different fundraisers and organizations.
Payments for Online vs. In-Person Auctions
Bid Beacon originally had people make donations or purchase Buy Now items, but reserve payment until the auction ended. This is fine for in-person auctions where people can pay for their items with cash or cheque all at once when the auction ends.
Selling Raffle Tickets Online
Auctioning off items remotely still presents the challenge of getting the items to their respective winners. Raffles are a great alternative that allow you to raise more money with less effort when it comes to fulfillment on the back end.
Raffles can be more than just 50/50 draws. Other raffle ideas include a cash prize, luxurious gift baskets, wine draws, gift cards or certificates, and experience packages like concerts or trips.
While items with well-defined value like gift cards don’t make for great auction items (as they typically raise up to face value), they tend to work better when bundled with other items and raffled off together.
How Bid Beacon Makes Online Raffles Easy
Bid Beacon’s companion product, Raffle Rocket allows organizations to maximize their fundraising potential. Fully integrated, Bid Beacon silent auctions can connect to a raffle and vice versa, so your guests can engage in both easily!
- Raffle prizes can include: 50/50, Cash Prizes, Non-Cash Prizes.
- Raffle Rocket is fully certified in Alberta which means you can draw winners online through the app.
- Raffle Rocket can support up to 5 prizes which can include early bird prizes.
- Use Raffle Rocket anywhere that raffles are allowed.
- Connect your raffle and silent auction together so guests can bid on items and purchase raffle tickets effortlessly!
Easily Onboard Guests in Bid Beacon
The easiest way to get your guests bidding is to invite them via the Bid Beacon platform.
- This sends guests an email with instructions on how to join your auction.
- From the admin dashboard, track the guests you’ve invited to see who has yet to join.
- Have you used Bid Beacon before? If so, easily invite guests from past auctions!
- Your auction will have unique invite link that you can use to promote your auction.
- In addition to sharing your auction link, send out your Access Code as that’s another way guests can join your auction.
- Creating your auction will generate a unique QR code that you can print or share, giving guests a shortcut to enter your auction! This is found within your auction’s dashboard.
- We recommend putting this QR code on any promotional material you share as it’s an easy way for guests to get started in Bid Beacon.
- Every auction item has its own QR code as well! This is a perfect way to promote your high value items and stir up some excitement leading up to, or during your event.
For more detail on the many ways to onboard your guests into an auction, check out our support guide.