Administrator Tools & Auction Management
In order to operate your online auction you will need a set of tools to manage the lots, their images, users and the sections lots appear in on the site. You will also want to have control over the reserves, opening bids, increments and the descriptions of the sale items.
Take a look at this slideshow we’ve put together to help you see the tools for yourselves:
Our auction management tools provide help for the auctioneer in the following areas:
- Auction management
- Lot management
- Bid management
- User management
- Data export and reporting
- Category management and lot tagging
- Content management of other information on the site
It can be beneficial to market lots as a complete sale. This is quite often because lots have been commissioned or bought for sale as a result of one event.
For example, in the machinery sales sector, a factory may be closing and it makes sense for these items to be sold under one banner. Or there may be a particular theme for the sale and it makes sense for these items to be viewed together.
The auction functionality includes the following features:
- Create or edit an auction
- Add an auction title and description
- Add documents for download
- Specify the start and end date for the auction.
- Add a logo or picture to help attribute the item to a particular sale
- Group manage the lots within the auction as Draft/Published/Archived
- Force users to be registered and approved for the auction before bidding
This provides the means to manage how lots appear on the auction site and how users will bid on those items. This means you can control the information displayed about items and then set the various values that control the bidding mechanism – such as reserves, increments and opening bids.
- Lot title
- Lot description
- Unlimited number of graphics – all auto resized to fit the page layout
- Lot status – Draft/Published/Archived
- Bidding Suspended – suspend bidding at any time
- Overtime bidding period – the period from the end of the auction when bidding will be extended on this lot
- Start Date/End Date
- Bidding Increment
- Opening Bid
- Is the lot a featured lot for the front page?
- Categories and tagging
- Auction assignment – the auction this lot is being sold under, if any
- Has the winner been notified – an automatic email is sent out when the bidding closes
- Has the winner paid for the item – once payment has been made, we record whether the payment was successful or not. This can then be linked in to reporting and releasing of goods to the buyer.
Once bidding is under way, the auctioneer will want to know the position of each lot throughout. This is possible through the absentee bid table, so named because it displays the bidding remotely, to monitor the state of play.
Additionally, we also provide the tools to allow the administrator to track what time the bid was made from the location it was placed.
- Bidder name
- Bid amount
- Whether the bid placed by autobid
- Whether the bid is active – it can be made inactive if made by a rogue bidder
- Lot for which the bid was made
- Bid date and time
- IP Address of the bidder
We provide a fine grain control over users who register for bidding.
Users have to provide a minimum level of information prior to being allowed to bid. They also have to supply a valid email address which is confirmed before becoming active.
Users can be managed using the administrator tools and this includes banning rogue users from bidding. The following information is stored (and this can be customized according your business requirement):
- First name, surname
- Active – have they confirmed their email address
- Set user as site admin
- Set user as banned
- Post Code
- Phone number, mobile phone number
Data Export & Reporting
Access to the data in the system is flexible. It can be accessed through the reporting system. All data is available through a series of filters, search criteria and, if required, custom reporting. This means all data can be viewed on the page or downloaded and analysed in Excel.
Specialist reports, such as a ‘Winning Bidders’ report, have also been developed in the standard release. This allows auctioneers to manage winners at the end of the auction. It is also easy to get hold of information about the bids per lot, lots per auction and bids per user.
Category Management & Tagging
Lots can be divided into categories. This helps bidders easily locate and identify lots they wish to purchase. Lots can also be located by entering search criteria.
Tags can also be assigned to lots and these can help users use related key words to seek out related items for sale.
These categories and tags can be managed using the admin tools.
Content Management of Other Site Information
As well as providing the auction functionality, the auctioneer will also want to present other information to the user. This is usually information about the business, news, information about payments and also help and frequently asked questions.
We have a simple content management system allowing administrators to add and edit general site information. This means you can keep the site information up to date and keep users informed.
For more information on all these tools, please download our online auction software management tools document which will provide some greater detail.