Admin Auction Guide

A step-by-step guide on how to create an auction in Bid Beacon.

Step 1 - Register and Log In

Admin access to Bid Beacon is only available on a web browser from any device (phone, tablet, computer).

The downloadable app is great for guests but can not be used to access the Admin Dashboard or create an auction.

Admins and guests create accounts the exact same way. Go to and click Create an Account.

Fill in:

  • Email Address: Used as your login credentials and for communications about your auctions.
  • Password: Can be changed later if you forgot or mistyped
  • First Name: Your first name
  • Last Name: Your last name
  • Display Name: Can be a version of your name, or something more unique
  • Mobile Phone Number: Optional, if used, you will receive text message notifications.  
  • Auction Access Code: Leave blank for now
  • Click Create Account
Note: If you would like to set up or manage your auction from a personal device such as your phone or tablet, you will need to open up a web browser from your device and use the following URL: This link should only be used by admins. Don’t share this link to your guests.

Step 2 - Create Auction

If it’s your first time on our dashboard, you can view the Bid Beacon Intro video for a quick overview on both the guest and admin experience in the app.

To start building an auction click the Create Auction button. Follow the
steps from the setup wizard to create your auction. Details provided within the
wizard can be changed later in the Auction Dashboard.

Step 3 - Set Up Auction

From your auction dashboard, work through each of the setup screens on the left.

Quick Actions take you to pages you’ll frequent more often but all screens have important info you need to fill out to get the most out of your auction.

Step 4 - Payment Settings

From the Overview screen, click on Payment Settings to configure how guests will pay. This is a pretty important step – so we’ve created its own guide!

You may need a treasurer’s help to complete payment setup. Review our guide on adding administrators and share the payment guide with your treasurer.

Step 5 - Add Items, Categories, and Manages Taxes & Fees

You can’t host a silent auction without any items. From the Overview screen, click on Manage Items.

From here, we can manage existing or create new items, categories and add taxes or fees to items if necessary. 

Step 6 - Share Your Auction

In addition to directly inviting your supporters and network to join, be sure to share and promote your auction in a variety of ways.

On the Overview screen, check out the Share your Auction! section.

  • The Auction Details Link is great for buttons on your website, posting to your social media channels, and adding to emails.  
  • If your guests are familiar with the Bid Beacon app, sharing the Access Code is another way for them to quickly join your auction after logging in.
  • Click Save QR to download your auction’s unique QR code which can be added to marketing materials like programs, posters on golf carts. digital media, or placed around your venue.

A few tips and tricks we’ve seen:

  • Each item has its own link that can be shared by clicking the Link icon next to the Chat Bubble and Heart icons. Sharing these links on social media will generate a detailed preview of the item and its image.
  • Invite guests from your last Bid Beacon event from the Manage Guests screen.
  • Use Custom Notifications to promote new items, ongoing promotions, and more, all throughout the app.
  • Maximize your fundraising potential by pairing your silent auction with a raffle. Bid Beacon can be integrated with Raffle Rocket so auction guests can purchase raffle tickets, and raffle guests can bid on auction items. A perfect way to cross promote your events and fundraise more successfully.

Step 7 - During the Auction

There are many things admins and volunteers can do to help move things along while the auction is ongoing.

  • Use Bid For Guest to place bids on behalf of a guest who does not have access to a mobile device, or who may be having trouble using our system.
  • Use Notifications to create fun messages that bring people back into the app. If you add new items while the auction is live, a notification will popup in-app to notify your guests.
  • View progress and success from the Reports tab with up to date information each time you export them.
  • Share item links and promote on social media, present on a big screen or any other means to spark excitement and increase bidding activity.
What not to do during the auction:
  • Don’t mess with the payment settings during the auction, some settings can’t be changed once bids are placed.
  • Don’t end the auction if you’re not truly ready for it to end as an auction cannot be reopened once closed.
  • Don’t change your organization’s country or province/state (unless you need to!) because that changes the currency of your auction
  • Don’t forget if you’ve set Item Reserves on items to confirm before the auction ends that you are still OK with it. If the bid is “close enough”, you can remove the reserve before the auction ends and a winner will be declared.

Step 8 - Auction End

When the auction ends, Bid Beacon will automatically close all bids, declare winners based on the highest bids, and then send out personalized emails to each guest.

Admins will have access to the Auction Results screen at any time which can be accessed from the Payment/Pickup tab in the dashboard.  For most auctions, all items will close at the end of the auction and then be paid for and picked up. 

In a past update, we made it so items that close before the auction end date can be fully processed (paid by guest and marked picked up by the admin). 

For this reason, admins are now able to track payments and manage pick up of items at any point in the auction. Keep in mind that this is only applicable if you have items that close before the auction’s end date.

On the Auction Results screen, guests and admins will both see the Your Winnings tab. Next to this tab, admins will have access to unique Unpaid, Pending Pickup and Complete tabs to track and manage items as guests pay and pick up their items.

If your auction accepts payment through Stripe Connect, platform and payment processing fees are taken off each transaction immediately. For auctions using Alternate Payments (regular Stripe, Square, PayPal, offline payments), Bid Beacon will charge the credit card that was used to subscribe to CommuniBee for the platform fees incurred during the auction. If platform fees are not paid in full, the auction host will be restricted from creating future auctions until their outstanding balance is settled.