Countdown To Auction Checklist

Soon After Purchasing ReadySetAuction

In the Admin Tab

  • Add and invite your auction staff members and volunteers (Admin > Event Staff). Don’t forget to send them the Event Access Code (Admin > Event Settings > Event Details) so they can complete the registration process!
  • Assign or transfer the Admin role to yourself or another registered staff member (Admin > Event Staff > Actions on staff members) if needed.
  • Contact ReadySetAuction’s merchant account partners to set up a ReadySetAuction- compatible merchant account. If you have already established a merchant account, contact your provider to confirm it is still active.
  • Enable your merchant account in ReadySetAuction (Admin > Organization Settings > Merchant Account). Test it using a $5 monetary donation (@Event > Record Sales > Monetary Pledges) for all card payment types your merchant account accepts.
  • Select the payment methods your organization is able to accept (Admin > Event Settings > Payment Methods). Your merchant account is configured for specific payment cards; contact your merchant account provider with any questions.
  • Enter the Admin Code (Admin > Event Settings > Event Details), a secret pin you’ll provide to trusted cashiers during the event. This is needed to retract wins of biddable items during checkout. If left blank, only the Administrator may do this.
  • Confirm the email address listed on the Admin > Organization Settings > Organization Details page is how visitors to your Event Website can contact you.
  • Establish your Event Website settings, including website address, the level of access (public, by request or private), and what is offered through the website, such as admission tickets, sponsorships, and cash donations. Don’t forget to enable the website when finished (Admin > Event Settings > Event Details).

In the Setup Tab

  • Enter your event goals, information on meal choices, tables, venue details and capacity, and policies regarding payments, item pick-up, and refunds.
  • Review the package and bidding defaults and make any changes needed.
  • Establish admission ticket types and sponsorship levels your event will offer.
  • Customize your event website with a banner image, intro message and closing message (Setup > Event Website). For instructions on how to add your sponsors’ logos, read the Help Center FAQ: “How to Recognize Sponsors in the eCatalog.”
  • Customize your Event Showcase by choosing a theme, transition style and the number of seconds each slide will display (Setup > Event Showcase).
  • In the Weeks Leading Up To Your Event

In the Items Tab

  • Create categories so you can organize your packages (Items > Categories).
  • Record donations (Items > Donations > Add Donation).
  • Create attractive packages by grouping items together, and assign them to categories (Items > Packages > Add Package).
  • Work with your auctioneer/ emcee to arrange the order of your packages and the timing of your Special Appeal/Fund-A-Need (Items > Packages > Arrange).

In the Patrons Tab

  • Before you email and print solicitation communications referencing prior events’ donations, review your Patron list and merge duplicate Patrons. ***IMPORTANT*** Once two records are merged, it cannot be undone. The duplicate patron’s donation history from a prior event will be discarded permanently once the record has been merged with another patron, and the discarded record is removed.
  • Customize solicitation email/letter language (Patrons > Communications > Solicitations) and send invitations and correspondence (Patrons > Donors > Actions), (Patrons > Printed Materials > Donor Materials > Prospect Solicitation Letters).
  • Record any ticket sales purchased directly (not online), along with RSVPs of the ticket buyers’ guests (Patrons > RSVPs). When recording RSVPs, enter table assignments and meal selections.
  • Record just the RSVPs for guests of sponsors (sponsorships are first purchased in Items > Donations) and guests of other guests, enter their meal choices and assign them to tables.
  • Wed couples to the same bidder number (Patrons > Bidders). Do this by clicking bidder’s names, then the “Change” link next to the Bidder number. Choose “Using,” then select the bidder’s partner/spouse. ***IMPORTANT*** If selling tickets online, check the PayReady™ report (Reports > Activity Reports) to determine which member of the couple should own the bidder number. The person whose credit card is on file should “own” the bidder number, and the other member of the couple should be set to “using” his/her partner’s bidder number.
  • Print copies of the eBidder Tips Sheet (Patrons > Printed Materials > Bidder Materials).

Best Practices

  • Assign volunteers to assist with check-in, bid recording and checkout at your event.
  • Gather supplies including: pens, markers, printer paper, card stock, clear tape, duct tape, battery-operated calculators, flashlights, NCR receipt books (as back up).

Before Your eCatalog Access Period Opens (45 days)

In the Home Tab

  • Review your event website (Home > Preview Event Website).

In the Admin Tab

  • Decide if you want bidder auto-activation ‘on’ or ‘off’ (Admin > Event Settings > Event Details). If auto-activation is ‘off,’ you and your committee must manually activate bidders after they’ve registered.
  • Decide whether you will offer the self-payment option (Admin > Event Settings > Payment Methods).

In the Items Tab

  • Review the open and close times of your packages. (Items > Packages > Manage, then click the “Open” table heading to order the packages by open time. Repeat with the “Close” table heading). If necessary, adjust times using the “Actions on selected packages” menu at the bottom of the package list. ***IMPORTANT*** Once a package has opened and received a bid, you can only change its close time by visiting that package’s “Update Package” page.
  • Confirm the bidding style you assigned each package: eBidding vs. ePrebidding vs. Traditional. See the Help Center for more information on differences in each bidding style. ***IMPORTANT*** The Bidding Style of a package cannot be changed once the package has received a bid.
  • Enable Overtime eBidding on some packages. ***IMPORTANT*** The Overtime Bidding setting can’t be changed once the package has received a bid.

In the Patrons Tab

  • Customize the bidder invitation (Patrons > Communications > Invitations), then invite bidders to set up bidding accounts (Patrons > Bidders, choose “Invite All” from “Actions on bidders” menu). If access to your event website is public, send the link via email, as well as a link on your organization’s website.
  • Set the starting bidder number OR renumber the bidders if needed (Patrons > Bidders > Manage Actions on bidders OR Patrons > Bidders > Manage, then click on bidder’s name to access the “Update Bidder” page). ***IMPORTANT*** Once eBidding opens, you only may renumber bidders one at a time and only from within each bidder’s “Update Bidder” page.

In the Reports Tab

  • In addition to on-screen and emailed outbid notifications, you can have bidders receive outbid notifications by text. Use the Text Messaging feature included with the Complete package. Registration at event check-in can also be handled by text with this feature.

Two Weeks Prior to Your Event Date

In the Items Tab

  • Once ePrebidding has closed, print bid/purchase sheets for those packages (Items>Printed Materials). Hint: Print to a PDF file, then select which pages to print.
  • Print bid/purchase sheets, display sheets and gift certificates (Items > Printed Materials).

In the Patrons Tab

  • Customize the bidder invitation (Patrons > Communications > Invitations), and invite bidders who have not yet created accounts (Patrons > Bidders > Manage Actions on bidders > Invite All (if not yet invited)).
  • Activate registered bidders if you had auto-activation set to off. (Patrons > Bidders > Manage Actions on bidders > Activate Selected).
  • Print bidder paddles (Patrons > Printed Materials > Bidder Materials). Even if you are not planning a traditional auction, you need these in case of connectivity issues.

In the Reports Tab

  • Finalize table assignments (Reports > Activity Reports > Seating and Meals).

Best Practices

  • Request a Training Site from the ReadySetAuction support team. The training site will be available for 15 days.
  • Train your event-night volunteers/staff. The system won’t allow volunteers/staff members to share accounts, so be sure all staff members have registered.
  • At the venue, set up and test your computers, printers and Internet connection. Log into the ReadySetAuction Control Center and visit pages to check response times.
  • Download, review and make copies of the Check In Guide, available in the Help Center.

Technology Tips

  • Assign a staff member to be in charge of the technology for your event, i.e., assessing the Internet connection at the venue, setting up the Event Showcase displays, tablets, computers and printers.

Day of Event

In the Admin Tab

  • Provide event-night volunteers/staff with the Admin Auth Code (Admin > Event Settings > Event Details) to allow them to remove biddable packages from invoices during checkout.
  • If you are using Shared Bidding Stations, check all three boxes on the Admin > Event Settings > Bidding Stations page, check all three boxes. Don’t forget to save!
  • Set up computers with monitors (computer monitor, television, projection system) for displaying the Showcase slideshow (Admin > Event Settings > Showcase Displays).

In the Items Tab

  • Prepare for the worst-case scenario! In the unlikely event of a power failure or loss of Internet connectivity, print Bid/Purchase Sheets (Items > Printed Materials > Bid/Purchase Sheets) for all packages.

In the Patrons Tab

  • Be ready for anything! If there is internet trouble or other unforeseen circumstance that might affect connectivity, be sure to have Bidder Payment Slips (Patrons > Printed Materials > Bidder Materials) already printed and on hand.
  • Re-invite bidders who have not yet set up an account. Here’s how:
    • (Patrons > Bidders > Manage) - Filter the list by: “Invited” = yes, and “Account”= none. Add a checkmark to all records on page 1 of the filtered list. Choose “Invite Selected” from the “Actions on Bidders” menu. Repeat for each page of the filtered list.
    • Re-invite bidders whose invitations may have expired using Patrons > Bidders > Manage Actions on Bidders menu > Re-invite Expired.
    • Invite bidders who have not yet set up an account (Patrons > Bidders > Manage). Select “Invite All (who are not yet invited)” from Actions on Bidders).

In the Reports Tab

  • Have a back-up plan in place! If your venue experiences a power failure or a problem with internet connectivity, make sure you have the following printed materials available for reference:
    • Seating and Meals report, listing bidder numbers (Reports > Activity Reports)
    • All Bidders report (Reports > Data Exchange)

Best Practices

  • Set up computers for check-in, bid recording and checkout. Include copy of the Check-In Guide alongside each computer.
  • Set up Shared Bidding Stations around the venue and at Check-In tables (see Check In Guide available in Help Center).
  • Run a final test transaction: How to Run A Test Credit Card Transaction.
  • Arrange your packages with display sheets on the display tables; use the Packaging Status Report as a quick reference (Reports > Activity Reports > Packaging Status).

Event Check-In and During the Event

In the Items Tab

  • Extend closing times of eBidding packages that haven’t received any bids, or reopen packages for eBidding if they closed without any bids.

In the Patrons Tab

  • Send welcome email to registered and activated bidders, i.e. those who have already created an account (Patrons > Bidders > Manage Actions on bidders >
  • Send Welcome Email to All Confirmed/Activated).

In the @Event Tab

  • Check in guests and capture credit card information (@Event > Check In Bidders).
  • Record silent and live auction traditional winning bids, fund-a-need donations, raffle tickets, monetary donations, and other purchases (@Event > Record Sales).

Best Practices

  • Monitor packages that haven’t received bids (Reports > Activity Reports > Bidding Activity by Package). Your auctioneer or emcee can highlight them if needed.
  • Encourage bidders to use filters to view packages with the fewest bids, and remind them they they can view all of their “Favorites” on their mobile devices.

As the Event Draws to a Close

In the Admin Tab

  • Decide whether you want to conduct a post-event online auction ‘fire sale.’ If so, use the eCatalog window up to 45 days after your event, or purchase additional extensions in two-week increments (Admin > Purchase Services).

In the @Event Tab

  • Print invoices for bidders (@Event > Create Invoices > All Invoices). Each invoice shows what the bidder won, purchased, and how much money is owed. If the bidder’s credit card is on file, “Card on File” will appear in the upper left corner of the invoice.
  • For guests paying by cash or check, have staff on hand to help them check out (@Event > Check Out Bidders), then hand them their winnings/ purchases.

Best Practices

  • Staple each bidder’s invoice to a shopping bag and have volunteers fill the bag with what each bidder has won.
  • If the invoice on the bag indicates that a credit card is on file, there is no need for that bidder to stop to check out - just hand the bag over with a smile!

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