Creating A Marketplace

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

Step 1 - Register and Login

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 a marketplace.

Admins and guests create accounts the exact same way. Go to and Register With Email, or sign in using an existing Facebook, Google, or Apple account (if on iOS).

If on a mobile or tablet device and you want to manage your marketplace, use the following link:

If registering with an email, fill in the following details:

  • Email Address: Used as your log in and for communications about your marketplace.
  • 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 related to the marketplace 
  • Access Code: Leave blank for now. Access codes are a way for guests to register and quickly join your marketplace
  • Click Create Account

Step 2 - Create Marketplace

To start, under Create A Marketplace, click the Create button. Follow the
steps from the setup wizard to set up a basic marketplace. Details provided within the
wizard can be changed later in the Marketplace Dashboard.

Step 3 - Enter Your Details

From your marketplace dashboard, work through each of the tabs on the left side menu.

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 marketplace.

All premium and additional features are included with Bid Beacon Marketplaces.

Bid Beacon's Premium Features

Bid Beacon's Additional Features

Step 4 - Payment Settings

From the Overview screen, click on Payment Settings to set up express banking through Stripe Connect. This is a pretty important step – so much so it has its own guide!

Step 5 - Add Items, Categories & Taxes or fees

You can’t run a marketplace without any items. From the Overview screen, click on Manage Items.

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

Step 6 - Share Your Marketplace

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

On the Overview screen, check out the Share Your Marketplace! section.

  • The Marketplace Details Link is great for linking to buttons on websites, posting to your social media channels, or 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 marketplace after logging in.
  • Click Save QR will download your marketplace’s unique QR code which can then be added to printed materials like programs, digital media, and more.

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.

Step 7 - During the Marketplace

While your marketplace is open, there are many things admins can do to help move things along.

  • Use the Payment/Pickup tab to manage items that have been paid for, and picked up by guests.
  • Use Notifications to create fun messages bringing people back into the app. Perfect if you add new items or have limited-time promotions on certain items
  • View progress and success in your reports with up to date information each time you export them
  • Share item links and promote on social media to maximize your marketplace’s reach

What not to do while your marketplace is open:

  • Don’t mess with the payment settings while the marketplace is ongoing. Some settings like “Require Immediate Payment for Donations and Buy Now Items” can’t be changed once bids are placed
  • Don’t end the marketplace if you’re not truly ready for it to end as marketplaces cannot be reopened once closed
  • Don’t change your organization country or province/state (unless you legit need to!) because that changes the currency of your marketplace
As items sell, admins and guests will receive various notifications:

Step 8 - Managing Payments and Pick Up

As purchases are made, admins can track their own purchases, and the purchases of all guests.

On the  Marketplace Results screen, guests will only see the Your Winnings tab. Admins will have access to view Your Winnings, as well as all items unpaid for (Unpaid), all items that have been paid for but not yet picked up/delivered (Pending Pickup), and then all the items that have been fully paid for and also picked up/delivered (Complete).

Step 9 - Marketplace End

The great thing with Bid Beacon Marketplaces is that they can stay open indefinitely! In your dashboard, you will have an option to Close Marketplace, but this should only ever be done if you absolutely do not need a marketplace anymore.

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