Learn More

Answers to frequently asked questions.

WEBSITE

The auction software platform can be installed as the main website on a primary domain (www.yourdomain.com) or it can be installed on a subdomain of an existing website (like at bid.yourdomain.com) and styled for a seamless user experience between the two sites.

Yes. Your new website will provide consistent performance across all devices.

It usually takes 3-4 days to stage a new website and another 2-3 days to modify configuration options to meet your requirements. At this point the website will be ready to go live. If data migration or custom development is needed, then our team will continue to work on the site until all pre-production requirements are met.

The websites we build are fully customizable. From simple branding options like logo and color scheme, to custom static pages, landing pages, layout options, bidding logic, and brand new software functionality – our development team will make whatever changes you need. Just tell us what you want and we will take care of the rest!

Yes. We do offer data migration services to help move customers from other services and software applications.

Yes. If you choose to enable affiliate functionality, then your website can support the sales activities of multiple affiliate auctioneers. Affiliates have access to all of the tools and information they need to manage their own sales, but they do not have access to one another’s data.

Yes. Search engine optimization (SEO) is provided by easy-to-read semantic URLs, dynamically updated sitemaps, metadata, and microdata markup.

This is a configuration option. When the past sales feature is enabled, then users will be able to view an auction archive. Another configuration option will remove price and bid history data from public view once the event has ended.

You do. We do not ever share or sell any data uploaded to or generated by a customer’s website. At no point will we ask you to assign ownership rights to your intellectual property such as logos, trademarks, or website copy. What’s yours is yours.

We provide SSL certificates that can be deployed site-wide. Sensitive credit card data is encrypted, tokenized, securely transferred, and safely stored for PCI compliance. Resilient infrastructure and proactive mitigation plans reduce risk of DDoS attacks.

The auction platform does not include native blogging functionality. If you plan to blog, then you can either install a blogging platform (like WordPress) on a subdomain of your website with the auction platform installed on the primary domain, or vice-versa.

Our two cents: Most auction companies do not have the resources or long-term commitment to creating the kind of high-quality content that blogs require in order to work as an effective inbound marketing strategy. If you visit auctioneer blogs that are still up and running, you’ll usually find a few decent posts early-on, and then they resort to just talking about their upcoming auctions on the blog. Well, if you are just going to talk about your auctions, why not do that on the auction platform where your audience can actually engage with your content in a meaningful way?

Yes. It is possible to run multiple websites that all share a common database. This is a good solution for companies that compete in multiple verticals, or who need separate websites for multiple franchisees, affiliates, partners, or subsidiaries.

Not at all. We offer a private-label option for customers who do not want to display our “Powered by AuctionMethod” attribution link on the bottom of their webpages.

MANAGEMENT

Yes. User access to information and admin controls can be limited based on user roles that have different access privileges.

The software platform supports two types of seller accounts:

Consignors: A powerful consignment management system provides a variety of features for consignors, including the ability to perform data entry, monitor consignments, prevent/track buy-backs, and view payment information.

Affiliates: If you choose to enable affiliate functionality, then your website can support the sales activities of multiple affiliate auctioneers. Affiliates have access to all of the tools and information they need to manage their own sales, but they do not have access to one another’s data.

There are a number of different options, but the primary mechanisms are either web-based data entry or CSV file uploads. Images can be imported from a local device, via FTP, or from Google Drive. Consignors can be given data-entry privileges.

Yes. You can either use our mobile cataloging application for Android devices or a 3rd-party database app like Memento Database or TapForms.

Images can be imported from a local device, via FTP, or from Google Drive. Images are automatically watermarked and web-optimized. They can easily be reordered by dragging-and dropping. QR-code recognition allows for automatic lot assignment.

You can view and download reports with data about items, bidders, consignors, invoices, deposits, commissions, premiums, salespeople earnings, and sales tax. We can also create custom reports to meet your needs.

All reports, including any custom reports we might make for you, can be exported in a file format that is easy to upload into your accounting software.

You can also learn more about the number of people visiting your website and engaging your content with integrated reporting from Google Analytics.

System notifications may be automatically generated or sent by administrators. Notifications are delivered by email and (optionally) by text message.

Administrative users can send templated or freeform notifications to individual users or to a select group of users.

Users can set their notification preferences by choosing which of these notices they wish to receive:

  • Outbid notices
  • Outbid notices during closing period
  • Auction closing alerts
  • Special auction notices

Yes. If you have an account with either MailChimp or Constant Contact, then you can allow users to subscribe to one or more of you mailing lists. Users can manage their subscriptions from their account on the website.

Administrative users can easily generate rich HTML newsletters for email broadcasting.

Websites can be linked to all major social media profiles. Pages are optimized for social media sharing. An embedded widget makes it easy for visitors to share site content with their networks. Websites feature RSS feeds that can be connected to social media management services like Buffer or Hootsuite for automatic posting of new content to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media networks.

BIDDING

Nearly every aspect of the software platform is designed to support timed online auctions. It provides flexibility and control with a variety of settings. Here are a few key options:

  • Stagger closing times with adjustable time increments
  • Prevent sniping with “soft close” extended bidding where the closing period is automatically extended if bids are received near the end.
  • Synchronized extended bidding (aka “group soft close”​­) allows groups of items to close at the same time. If the closing period is extended for any item in the group, then it is extended for all items in the group.
  • Automatic bidding allows users to submit the maximum
    amount that they are willing to pay for an item and the system will automatically place bids on their
    behalf.
  • Setting a reserve amount for an item allows bidding below the amount, but only awards the highest bid if the reserve amount is met.
  • Setting a buy-now amount for an item allows qualified users to purchase an item before the first bid is received.

There are a couple of options for doing this, including hybrid online auctions with live auction clerking and streaming audio/video broadcasting (aka “simulcast”).

Here are key features for live auctions:
  1. Public view. This is where users go to participate.
  2. Edit auction. This is where you (as a logged-in administrator) go to modify auction settings, including terms and conditions. The following form fields are related to conducting live auctions online:
    • Type – In this case, we want a “Hybrid Simulcast” auction type.
    • Audio/Video Feed – If you have more than one A/V feed, then you can choose which feed to use for this auction.
    • Feed Type – Select whether you want to stream audio and video or audio only.
  3. Item List. This is where admin goes to view item stats and edits details. Items can be edited individually or in bulk.
  4. Check in Bidders. This is where admin goes to add bidders to the auction and assign paddle numbers (if the user does not have a permanent paddle number). Admin can look up existing user accounts (by searching last name “Smith” for example). If it is a new customer, admin can create a new account and check the user in.
  5. Watch Auction. This is where the auctioneer goes to watch the clerking process. It’s designed to fit tablets and desktop computers. The auctioneer can keep track of who has the winning bid and what the current asking price is.
  6. Clerk Auction. This is where the auction clerk goes to do their job. General features include:
    • Auto Open Lots – This will automatically open a lot for bidding after selling or passing the previous lot. Otherwise clerk clicks “OPEN” button.
    • Pass – If a suitable bid is not received, “PASS” the lot to close bidding.
    • Start Bid – The starting bid can be assigned during data entry. It can also be modified here before opening a lot. You may also accept a bid that was placed online prior to the live auction (when allowed) and start bidding above that amount.
    • Choice – Select two or more items and choose this option to offer the winning bidder their choice of lots.
    • All One Bid – Select two or more items and choose this option to sell all of the lots together for a single price.
    • Hover over item titles to see image and full description
    • Quickly accept bids from online bidders and submit bids from live audience
    • Use auto increments to establish minimum bids or control increments and increment table manually.
    • Communicate with one or more online bidders using message templates or free form message entry.

Note: The software platform is entirely web-based. To clerk a live auction using our software, and certainly to stream audio/video from a live auction, you will need an internet connection. The clerk may be located off-site, in which case they will usually receive and transmit bid information to the auctioneer via telephone.

Yes. This is also known as a blind auction, where all bidders submit sealed bids without knowing about bids received from other participants. The highest bidder is awarded the winning bid.

Yes. The system includes fixed-price listings where users can shop for items without bidding for them. Items can be sold individually or placed in a storefront with other items. Includes inventory management for items with multiple units.

Yes. The bid status and time left for each auction item is automatically refreshed in all views so that users do not have to refresh their screen to get the latest bid status. This information is updated dynamically in real time.

The registration process can include email and credit card verification. Deposit requirements can be placed on individual items that can be satisfied by credit card holds or other deposits. Participation can be further limited by requiring bidders to be on a ‘white list’ of approved users in order to participate.

Yes. Administrators can retract user bids or reset the bidding process for individual items. Optional notifications can be sent to bidders who are affected by changes. All modifications to the bidding history are logged.

Yes. If you add a user to the website’s blacklist, then they will be logged out immediately and prevented from logging back in.

The registration process flags newly registered users who are suspected of being on your website’s blacklist and notifies administrators. Administrators can see a list of all IP addresses used by a particular user, along with a list of other accounts that have used the same IP address.

You can also keep administrative notes for each user.

A search feature allows visitors to find items by keyword, lot number, or location. Two-tier categorization and flexible filters can also be used to find items of interest. Numerous sorting options are available for results.

Yes. Users can create a watch list by flagging their favorite items. Users can follow and bid on multiple items at once from their watch list.

Yes. Users can choose to view and place bid amounts in alternate currencies. Payments are processed in a single default currency.

Yes. Each auction can be assigned to a local time zone.

Whichever you prefer. Your website can be configured to allow users to create their own usernames or to automatically assign a numerical user ID.

PAYMENTS

The software is integrated with multiple payment solutions for secure online credit card transactions. Credit cards can be used for authenticating users, qualifying bidders with deposits, paying invoice balances, and receiving refunds.

Integrated Gateways:

If you do not already have an account with one of these service providers, please let us know. We will provide advice and connect you with dedicated account representatives who can help you get set up quickly.

Yes. The software features a flexible invoicing system that keeps track of premiums, fees, sales taxes, reseller exemptions, deposits, refunds, and more. Invoice generation, accessibility, sending, and payment can be automated to varying levels.

This is an optional configuration setting. If automatic charging is enabled, then all invoices totalling less than a maximum amount (determined by you) will be charged to the primary credit card profile of the winning bidders just a few minutes after bidding ends.

When the deposit feature is enabled, it allows you to specify a dollar amount that must be authorized as a credit card hold in order to qualify the user to bid.

Yes. Consignor statements are automatically generated and are fully editable by administrators. Depending on consignor account settings, statements may include credit card transaction fees, buy-back fees, no-sale fees, and custom fees. Consignors may also be granted the ability to view current and past statements.

Yes. Each consignor account can be assigned to a dedicated sales representative. Sales commissions are calculated based on the representative’s account settings.

Yes. Sales tax management is built into the software.

Tax rates are assigned at the item-level. You can assign a default tax rate to an auction, which will be applied to all items in the auction unless you specify otherwise. You can specify tax rates while creating or importing new lots and also through batch item-edits. Tax rates are easily modified on invoices as well.

Tax Rate Lookup
Local U.S. sales tax rates can be looked up by auction or item location. Tax rates are broken down based on city, county, district, and state.

Tax Exemptions
Users can apply for reseller and/or dealer status in multiple states or provinces where they qualify for sales tax exemptions. Tax exemptions for qualified users can be applied automatically or manually.

Special Tax Rules
We have the ability to implement special tax rules as required. For example, items within particular categories can be automatically flagged for full or partial exemption. Just talk to us and we will gladly help.

The software includes a large set of options to tailor the commission structure for each consignor. The system offers both flat rate commission and sliding commission scales as well as statement minimums and item-level minimums.

Consignor statements are created after each auction close based on the status of invoices in each auction. The system can handle no-sales and buy-backs in various ways. You can add fees to the statement to charge the consignor for advertising, labor, etc.  The statement details all of the items with a ‘sale’ ‘commission’ ‘net’ format that includes the final payout in the summary.