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Setting up an Auction
How to create and configure your auction
How to create and configure your auction

Add an auction to your campaign, then configure your dates, billing method, and more.

Sunny avatar
Written by Sunny
Updated over a week ago

About auctions ๐ŸŽ

Raise more for your mission by adding an auction to your campaign! Your supporters can browse categories or search to find the perfect items to bid on. Once registered to bid, supporters will also see items they've saved or bid on, as well as a link to edit their settings. Auctions are also optimized for mobile, so your supporters can seamlessly participate on the go, or at live events!

Add an auction โž•

Auctions can be used with both Page and Event campaigns โ€“ you cannot add an auction to a Form campaign.

  • In your dashboard, click on the Page or Event campaign you'd like to add the auction to. Click on the Auction tab located at the top of the campaign manager.

  • Click the Add Auction button.

After an auction has been added to your campaign, you'll be redirected to a new Auction Settings menu where you can configure the details of your auction.

Configure an auction โš™๏ธ

Date & Time ๐Ÿ“†

Set a date and time for bidding to open and close. Your auction will be live and viewable as soon as you create it, but items will not be available to bid on until this window begins.

Incorrect timezone displaying? The timezone of your auction will match the timezone setting for your account. You can change this in your Account tab, under the About section.

Publish auction ๐Ÿ‘€

Toggle this option to choose whether or not you'd like to publish your auction.

  • When enabled, your auction will be publicly viewable from your campaign. Two tabs will appear at the top of your main campaign page โ€“ย Overview and Auction.

  • When disabled, your auction will not be displayed on your campaign, and no tabs will be displayed at the top of your main campaign page.

Bidding & Payments ๐Ÿ’ณ

Bidding method ๐Ÿงฎ

  • Standard bidding (default) โ€“ Bidders place one bid at a time, per item. If they are outbid, they receive a notification and must return to place a higher bid manually.

    • Ideal for in-person auctions, or longer auctions where bidders have time to return and rebid manually.

  • Automatic bidding โ€“ Bidders set a maximum bid amount on an item. If other bids are placed, our system will automatically increase their bid until they are either the highest bidder, or their max bid had been exceeded. If they are outbid (max bid exceeded by someone else), they receive a notification and can return to increase their max bid.

    • Perfect for online-only auctions or high-attendance in-person events.

Looking for popcorn bidding? ๐Ÿฟ Popcorn bidding (or dynamic bidding), is a way of giving outbid bidders opportunities to rebid on a slightly extended timeframe with each bid. This is not currently an option, however please take a look at the feature request to add popcorn bidding, and add a vote if this is something you'd like to see in the future!

Invoicing โฐ

This option defines when a payment request or automated charge is initiated.

  • Immediately request โ€“ Bidder will either be auto-charged or emailed a payment request as soon as the bidding on an item concludes. If a bidder wins multiple items, they are auto-charged or invoiced separately.

  • When the auction closes โ€“ Bidder will either be auto-charged or emailed a single payment request (invoiced) for any items won when the entire auction is over.

Auto-Charge Payment Method ๐Ÿ’ธ

The auto-charge option dictates whether or not the payment is automatically charged, or if a request is sent instead. Toggle this option on or off.

  • Auto-charge on โ€“ Winning bids are charged automatically to the bidder's payment method on file. Confirmation is sent in two separate emails: a notification of items won, followed by a transaction receipt. Auto-charge transactions will incur a 5% platform fee in addition to the 2.9% + $0.30 processing fee.

  • Auto-charge off โ€“ Winning bidders receive a payment request (invoice) via email and will need to complete the payment by clicking the Pay for Items button in the email.

There is a 5% platform fee on all auto-charge transactions. The 5% platform fee is also charged when Tips are disabled on the campaign, or when manually triggering a payment via the Winning Bids tab.

Registration ๐Ÿ“

Once you create an auction it will be immediately visible and bidders can register to bid and preview your items. They won't be able to submit bids until the start date and time you have set. Auction items will display as Coming Soon in the meantime!

Pricing for auctions ๐Ÿ’ด

Like all Givebutter features, auctions is free thanks to optional tips we receive from donors. If you'd prefer to disable tips, enable Auto-Charge, or manually charge winners via the dashboard, a 5% platform fee applies instead. Smooth as butter. ๐Ÿงˆ
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When a bidder registers for your auction, they have the option to cover transaction and platform fees for you. Bidders who have elected to cover fees when registering for your auction will be charged for the item plus applicable fees. If a bidder does not elect to cover fees, they will only be charged for the item. Auto-charged winners cannot be required to cover fees.
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There is a credit card processing fee of 2.9% + 30 cents on all winning bid transactions and a platform fee of either 0% or 5%.

By default, your bidders will be sent an invoice upon winning an item. Invoices paid through Givebutter will have a 0% platform fee when tips are enabled, and a 5% platform fee if tips are disabled.
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You may opt to charge your bidderโ€™s credit cards on file either manually through the dashboard or automatically using our โ€œauto-chargeโ€ feature. In both cases, a 5% platform fee will apply.

Requiring fees from auction participants ๐Ÿค‘

To require auction participants to cover fees, keep auto-charge off and turn on "require fees". Even if a donor opts not to cover fees when registering, fees will still be required for them when checking out. It is not currently possible to require fees when auto-charge is on.

Auction FAQ ๐Ÿค”

Can you embed an auction on an external website using Widgets?

Not at this time โ€“ participants will need to access the auction via your Givebutter link, on desktop or mobile. It is not possible to embed an auction on your own site at this time. Please see the feature request for embeddable auctions!

Is is possible to preview an auction before publishing?

Not currently. You will need to publish your auction before you can preview it. Please note that you can publish items but make them Private โ€“ย Private items will not be shown on the public page.


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