We recommend that you set up a "Mock Auction" with your Event Committee prior to building your event. 


  • Important to know: Setting up a mock auction will be no different than setting up your real auction, once your mock auction is over you can refund any payments, remove bids, and delete your sample items.
  • If this is your first event with us, we have sample items already set up in your account so you can see what the different item types look like and how to set them up.
  • If you are a "Repeat Client" you will notice that your items and bidders are still in the software from your previous event. Go to Software Settings > Data Management, to archive and save your data.


Once your data is archived, add a few items Under items > Manage Items > "Add Item". Or you can use our Mass Import spreadsheet, located under Items > Manage Items > bottom of the page. The fewer items you add for the mock auction the better, this ensures all bidders get the outbid experience.


Step One: Add your committee members as bidders. There are a few ways to do this:

  1. Register to Bid is a way for guests to register for their own bidder number using the landing page/bid site. They will receive an e-mail and text with their bidder number and bidding link in it. (Email is editable under Software Settings > Landing Page Content > Login/Register Area. Text is editable under Software Settings > Auction Settings > Butler settings, use shortcodes only in the text message located just above the content area of the message.)

  2. You can do a mass download using our spreadsheet found under Bidders>Manage Bidders> bottom of the page.

  3. You can add individual bidders by going to Bidders>Manage Bidders >Add Bidder. 


Step Two: Review your items for closing times/starting bids and bid increments: 

  1. Go to Items > Manage Items and set your closing times up for the time you want your Mock Auction to close.  
    To do a batch update of closing times, toggle All in the "Show Entries" box in the top left of the page, Toggle the top box to include all of the items, or just toggle individual items that you want to be included. Scroll down to the batch update section, click status > Active, click Closing Time. Enter the time and date you want it to close.  Make sure to click update in the bottom right of the page.


Step Three: Open your auction: 

  1. Go to Software Settings > Landing Page Content > Login/Register Area > Open Auction Early? Yes. Your Action is now open!


Step Four: 


  1. Have Mass Messaging? Send out a Mass Message to let your bidders know the event is now open. Go to Bidders > Text Bidders or E-mail Bidders, add a subject, and target all bidders. Say something like:

    [f],
    Bidding is now open for the "XXX Gala" Click the link below to start bidding. [u]


  2. Don't Have Mass messaging? Use personnel e-mail, Facebook, and event website to let your bidders know your auction is open. Say something like:

    Bidding is now open for the "XXX Gala". To start bidding, log into our event landing page! 

  3. You can go to each individual bidder record to send out a text and an email with the bidding site and bidding link in it. 
  4. Go to Software Settings > Auction Settings > Butler Settings to customize your Welcome Text, make sure to include the shortcode [u] so bidders can click on the URL this creates and get to the bidding site.
  5. Go to Bidders > Manage Bidders > Click on a bidder, scroll down and click details and hit Send welcome text/email or send it out using the butler 


Step Five: Have your team sign in and start bidding on a few items:

  1. The fewer items you have for the mock auction the better so everyone can experience getting outbid text messages.
  2. Once you close your items whoever won an item will have a red pay button on the top of their bidding screen if you have your auction set up to allow guests to check out from their phones (found under Software Settings > Auction Settings > Payment) You can also check your winning bidders out by using the butler and typing in your event id as the username and your admin password for the password.


Remove the Mock Auction bids:

  1. You can refund any payments made if you practiced making payments (usually cash or check so it doesn't run your credit card). Go to Event Central > Event Payments > Paid Checkouts. Click on the X and refund this transaction. 
  2. Go to Bidders > Manage Bidders, find the column labeled "Tags" and click on the "Has Bids" tag, here you can remove the bids each bidder placed.
  3. You can now remove any sample items by selecting them, scrolling down to the Batch Update section, click delete, type delete, and click update.



*Make sure to add your merchant under Software Settings > Auction Settings > Payment > Payment Method.


*If you are not using this software or API processing you will not be able to have your guests check out from their phone.