How do I require credit cards for bidders?
The system does NOT require a bidder to have a credit card on file before placing a bid. However, there are ways to ensure that bidders have a credit card on file before placing any bids. This can ensure that bidders have a payment method on file that can help your organization hold the bidder accountable for their purchases and donations. You also can turn off this requirement for credit cards on the bidder level. Like that big donor who always writes a check for their items and will be offended if you ask them to put a card on file.
Below are 4 ways for your event to ensure all guests have a credit card on file.
If you choose to allow guests to register themselves for a bidder number, you can require credit cards to be entered in at registration. Under Software Settings > Landing Page Content > Login/Register Area, set "Require credit card info?" to Yes.
This will ensure that anyone who completes the registration form and receives a bidder number will also have a card on file.
**You can also choose to push your credit card fees onto your bidders by going to Software Settings > Auction Settings > Payment - Capture CC Fees, USA - 3.63%, Canada - 3.724%. Allow them to opt-out by toggling on the "Allow Guest to Optout of CC Fees?" to Yes.
If you are selling tickets to your event, a ticket purchaser has the option of keeping a card on file for your event. Set this as a requirement under Event Tickets > Ticket Page Settings > General Settings. A ticket purchaser can elect to keep a card on file during their ticket purchase and must have entered guest information for the person whom they want to keep the card on file. Then select this person from the drop-down menu of guests and pay for the tickets by entering a credit card. We cannot keep a card on file for payments not made by credit card, i.e Check, or cash. Once this ticket purchase is complete, a new bidder record will be created and the card attached to that bidder.
Hide Login/Register Area – Access Site Only From The Link Sent in the Welcome Text
Go to Software Settings > Landing Page Content > Login/Register Area, Under the "Event Start" section in grey choose "Hide login/register area" on the "Vertical location on page" drop-down menu.
Also, go to Software Settings > Auction Setting >, Butler Settings, and set "Send Welcome Text at Check-In" to yes. This will make it so no one can log in from your site and no one else can register for your event. Make sure you set the "Require Credit card info" to yes so when they click on the link that is provided in the welcome text it will not let them bypass entering their credit card.
If you choose to import bidders into the system and have Mass Messaging enabled, you can send an email or text to your guests/bidders before the event to inform them of their bidder number and ability to log in to start bidding.
Note that if they cancel their activity on the bidding site, they will be returned to your landing page. They will not be able to log back in if you have your Login/Register area hidden but they can re-click the link you sent to them by text. If you show your Login/Register area and a bidder gets logged out they can log back in by using their Bidder number, phone number, and/or email address.
If any bidders are checked in, created, or given access to the system via Butler, the system will send the welcome text with a link to the bid site and will require a card to be entered to gain entry to the system. Using this method, you can still have a quick and easy method of checking guests in and allow them to enter their credit card to begin bidding. Just ensure that when composing the customized welcome text that you include [u].
Using Card Readers
Another method is to have card readers at your check-in station(s). This physical process can ensure that you capture credit cards for your bidders as they arrive at your event. Keep in mind that it is possible for a bidder to slip past and bypass this process, but they will likely not have a way to access the system (if you have hidden the login). If a bidder obtains their bidder number, they will still not be able to log into the site. However, a volunteer using the butler could help them with a purchase of raffles/wine pulls/etc. They can also participate in bidding on live items or make a donation during an appeal/paddle raise/fund a need. Butler does give the user a warning if a bidder does not have a card on file when they are attempting to add a bid for everything except a donation.