Your Guide to a Successful Digital Silent Auction

Run a Mock Auction

  • Create an auction for free, add some fun items and invite your colleagues
  • Use other tips in this document to help get you set up
  • Run an auction to completion to familiarize yourself with the platform

Create Your Actual Auction

  • Same as the mock auction, except now give it your actual start/end times, name, etc. 
  • You can purchase or apply pre-paid bundles during creation, or later

Seriously Consider Setting a Dynamic End Time

  • This is the second step in the auction setup process, read the text carefully! 
  • Setting a dynamic end time lets you get the most value out of your auction items 
  • As an example, and auction raised $13,000 before normal end time, and an additional $1,500 in a single 5-minute extension!

Don’t Go It Alone If You Don’t Have To

  • Running events are a lot of work, with Bid Beacon add as many admins as you want 
  • Have your admins register with Bid Beacon and join your auction 
  • Find them under ‘Manage Attendees’ and change their role to Admin 
  • Only difference from ‘Owner’ role is that Owners see payment configuration

Add Your Auction Items

  • We recommend adding items on a desktop as its easier to type and copy & paste 
  • After the items are added, log into the app on a phone to take and add pictures 
  • Select from available items types: 
    • Bid Item – your standard auction items where users bid incrementally, and the highest bid wins
    • Blind Bid – guests place their best bid but cannot see other bids. At the end of the auction, or once the item closes, the guest with the highest bid wins 
    • Buy Now – for selling a fixed number of items at a set price (i.e. merchandise) 
    • Donation – for accepting monetary donations 
    • Live Item – promote your live items in app, run a live auction, then enter the winner’s details on the item in Bid Beacon so they can pay through the app

Configure and Test Your Payment Provider!

  • Depending on your auction plan (Ultimate Risk-Free, Build Your Auction), we support various online payment providers. If using our Ultimate Risk-Free plan, you will set up online payments using Express Banking through Stripe Connect. For the Build Your Auction plans, you can have the option to select Stripe, Square or PayPal. For more information, check out our Payment Guide.

Invite Guests To Join

  • Invite guests at any time, they will receive real time updates as you add/edit items 
  • The best onboarding experience is to invite users by email through the app 
  • This sends them an email with instructions, and if they login with the same email, they will already be joined to your auction 
  • Alternatively, share the Invite Page, link available on Auction Info page (‘?’ icon top right on Browse Items page). Or: 
  • You can also tell people to download the app and join with your auctions Invite Code.

Add Your Sponsors

  • If you have sponsor enabled, add them from ‘Manage Sponsors’ in the side menu 
  • Try to use banner style images, and add as many as you like 
  • Add a URL so if users click the banner, it opens the sponsors website 

Drum Up Excitement

  • Inviting users to join your auction before the event is a great way to build excitement 
  • Have a screen where you can display your auction items as a list or slideshow: 
  • Encourage users to use silly display names (you always have their email)

Manage the Auction Close

  • Using the Online Payments add-on allows guests to pay for their items through the app, greatly reducing line ups and headaches when the auction ends 
  • When guests pay, their items are immediately flagged as paid in the admin’s app as well 
  • If guests pay manually, admins can update the status of items as paid 
  • As guests pick up their items, the items are checked off, and moved ta ‘completed’ list

Need Help?

  • Check out our support page, which has several video tutorials showing you how various steps of the silent auction process work: 

Get started with your own
free online silent auction!

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