How the Auction Event Module Works

 

Event Module

AuctionAnything.com offers an Event Module which provides the administrator with the ability to group auction listings by sales event. A sales event typically contains any number of listings which start and close together and run over a specific period of time (e.g. a week). An event consists the following attributes:

  • Title
  • Start Date
  • End Date
  • Registration Status (used only with Event Registration option – see below)
  • Registration Instructions Link (optional)
  • Currency Setting

 

Why use Events?

An auction event may have specific requirements and may only appeal to certain bidders. Events may also overlap with each other, but need to be tracked individually. The Event Module allows the admin to handle these circumstances more effectively. It also provides the following benefits:

  • Allow searching/browsing by event.
  • Display event overview via dedicated home page module
  • Assigned specific terms and conditions to each event.
  • Invoice and account for events independently.
  • Report on events individually.
  • Track registrants on an event basis and market to them accordingly.

 

Event Registration

In conjunction with the standard Event Module, the Event Registration option may also be used to extend the event management functionality. This feature requires members of the auction web site to specifically “register” for each event. Event registration entails agreeing to the terms and conditions associated with the respective sale. Note that the member’s “master” account information is still used to log-in and bid for all sales events.

In addition, the Event Registration function contains a Registration Status control which is set by the auction administrator when the event is created. This option determines when and if a bidder will be allowed to participate. The following settings are available.

  1. All event registrants immediately set to “approved”.
  2. All event registrants immediately set to “Pending”.

Note that option 2 requires the administrator to review and approve/deny each account. Once reviewed, an e-mail is sent to the member letting them know their bidding status for the associated event.

 

Conclusion

The Event Module can be a useful feature for certain online auction projects. Please carefully consider the benefits of using this option. AuctionAnything.com will be happy to help you determine whether this feature is right for your online auction web site.

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Selecting the Best Payment Collection Method for Your Online Auction

 

One of the most interesting things about providing auction-based, e-commerce solutions over the last 20 years is seeing the variety of applications for which the software can be used. AuctionAnything.com services a wide range of client types with different payment collection requirements. We have clients selling low volume, high ticket items like salvageable steel, and others selling high volume, lower ticket products in a liquidation model. The diversity of requests has led AuctionAnything.com to develop a flexible invoicing and payment collection system which can be used by all types of businesses.

 

Invoicing System

The invoicing system is included with every auction solution regardless of which payment collection method is selected (if any). Therefore, if a business does not collect payments online, they can still utilize the invoice feature. For those that wish to leverage the power of the auction invoicing system, there are four basic approaches.

  1. Annotate Invoice Payment Status Only
  2. Record Payments with Details
  3. PayPal (online)
  4. Credit Card Module (online)

 

Annotate Payment Status Only

Some operations simply want to mark an invoice as “paid”, “partially paid” or “not paid”. This can easily be performed for invoices one-at-a-time or in bulk and is the simplest use of the system. In this case, payment details are omitted and a simple, invoice status indicator is used.

 

Record Payments

Looking for a little more information? If so, consider entering the amount, date and payment method when recording payments. Although still not an automated approach, this option opens up a whole new section of the system – the Payment Center. Once payment data is provided there are a number of reports which can be used. The Payment Center provides insight to a number of areas such as:

  • Top Buyers
  • Payments by Method
  • Payments by Year/Month/Day

 

PayPal

AuctionAnything.com offers a customer-driven (i.e. pseudo checkout), PayPal payment option for clients who are looking for a lower cost, automated, online payment solution. Highlights include:

  • NO AuctionAnything.com client set-up fee (PayPal fees apply).
  • Customers do not need to be PayPal members.
  • Payments automatically recorded in auction invoicing system when processed by PayPal.
  • Customers can pay securely using variety of methods (bank, credit card, debit card or PayPal balance).
  • No customer credit card profile required to bid.

 

Credit Card Module

The credit card module allows clients to use their own merchant account to collect payments from their customers and is the quickest, most automated solution. Highlights include:

  • Members required to create a credit card profile in order to bid.
  • Batch credit card processing provides faster payment collection.
  • Admin driven payment function virtually eliminates non-payment.
  • Process single payments for customers who wish to use multiple credit cards or payment methods.
  • Ability to easily process refunds/credits.

 

AuctionAnything.com provides payment collection options for a variety of online auction applications. In addition, the built-in invoicing system can be used by all clients, even if an online payment option is not utilized.

 

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Privacy Options for Your Online Auction Web Site

 

AuctionAnything.com provides three privacy levels which may be used to customize the operation of your online auction web site.

 

Private System

A private system (i.e. auction web site) is one in which the visitors must have an account and log-in to view any of the listings. This is a top-level feature, and may be used independently of the other privacy settings. Use this option if you ONLY want registered users to view items. All other visitors to the auction web site will not be able to view listings.

 

Private Registration

The registration process may be open to the general public (the default operation), or restricted based on the following options:

  • E-mail Restricted
    Users may register only if their e-mail address matches an admin specified domain (e.g. anyone@AuctionAnything.com). Multiple domains may be listed. The option is recommended for private, corporate auctions where all users have a company e-mail address.
  • Password Restricted
    Users may register only if they know the “master” registration password set by the site administrator. This password may be disseminated via e-mail, or regular mail, external of the auction system. This option is recommend for private auctions
  • Pending Registrations
    Although this option allows the general public to register for the auction, it allows the administrator to review the new user account before activating it. Once activated, the member is notified via e-mail that he/she is allowed to bid.

 

Private Bidding & Viewing

Listings may be specified as “private” when entered into the auction system. Such listings can be bid on only by registrants who belong to the Approved Bidder List associated with the listing. Optionally, the system can be configured so that private listings are completely “hidden” from users who are not on the respective Approved Bidder Lists.

  • Open Viewing
    The Open Viewing option allows all users to access private listings. This includes viewing items in the search/browse results as well as accessing the item bid form. However, a notice will be provided on the bid form alerting the bidder that he/she is not approved to bid on the item.
  • Restricted Viewing
    The Restricted Viewing option completely removes private listings from the view of users who are not approved to view/bid on them. This feature is used in conjunction with the Private System option since only members will be able to see items based on the admin’s discretion.
    NOTE: This feature is not standard and may incur additional costs.

 

Creating Member Access Groups

Access Groups are used to provide multiple members with the ability to access and bid on specific listings. The admin may create Access Groups via the Member Center and quickly assign multiple members to a designated group. Members may also be easily removed from a group, or belong to multiple groups if desired.

 

Assigning Access Groups to Listings

Once Access Groups are created, they may be assigned to multiple listings via the Auction Center. This process allows all the members who belong to an Access Group to bid on the listings associated with the same Access Group. Therefore, tens, hundreds or thousands of users can be restricted to bid on any number of listings.

 

Summary

AuctionAnything.com provides a number of privacy options and system configurations with our online auction software. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d enjoy learning about your web-based, auction project and how we can deliver a solution which exceeds your expectations.

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New Member Center Changes Everything

 

The new Member Center is a welcomed and extremely useful addition to the Admin Management Console. It not only retains the functionality provided in the former Member Locator, but offers a number of new features which are designed to help save time and streamline many administrative tasks. In addition, the Member Center delivers insight into customer data not previously available. Interactive charts and graphs are now included to provide attractive and professional looking data presentation.

 

The Quick Search utility is specifically designed to make locating customers as quick and easy as possible. The admininistrator simply needs to start typing any portion of the customer’s last name, company name or Username in the search field to retrieve related matches via the auto-suggest feature. Then, by selecting the desired user from the list, the associated Member Details modal window will open. Not only is this a simple task, but the existing page content conveniently remains visible in the background. Also note that the search form is positioned in the header of the page and therefore always immediately available.

Member Quick Search

Member Quick Search

 

Member Details Modal

The Member Details “drill down” modal contains a wealth of customer information and even includes some handy editing features. In addition to being triggered directly by the Quick Search feature, it can also be opened by clicking on the customer’s account number (or name) in any section of the Admin Console. Complete user information is now only a click away! The Member Detail modal uses tabs to organize the following user information:

  • Profile (with editing functions)
  • Preferences (with editing functions)
  • Info (log-in, bidding and purchase summary activity)
  • Invoices
  • Credit Card (profile and batch processing history)
  • Notes (new feature)
  • Audit (various account changes)
Member Details Modal

Member Details Modal

 

Graphing and Charting

One of the coolest new features included in the Member Center is the graphing and charting display of data. This interactive approach allows AuctionAnything.com to present insight into customer activity in a visibly appealing manner. For example, the Most Active Bidders bar graph under the “View” tab enables the administrator to click on the customer name and drill down further into the user’s bidding and buyer activity through use of the Member Details utility. In addition, the Member Totals by Day bar graph under the Totals tab links directly to the associated list of registrants provided within the Search tab.

Member Registration Summary

Member Registration Summary

 

Search and Reports

Similar to the Auction and Payment Centers, the Member Center includes a revamped search feature and the ability to save searches in the Custom report section under the Reports tab. The Reports area also includes Preset member reports for fast access to data such as users “registered today”. As with all search functions, data may also be exported via MS Excel. In addition, the Display option offers the ability to control which data fields are presented on the page.

 

Summary

AuctionAnything.com continues to focus on drastically improving the auction administrative experience. The addition of the Member Center represents a significant update to the online auction software. The Quick Search feature, Member Details option and interactive graph integration all add substantial new utility to the Member Center and lend to the overall improvement of the Admin Management Console. Managing your online auction web site has never been easier!

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Updated Report Center Now Available

AuctionAnything.com is excited to introduce the latest software update to the Admin Management Console, the Report Center. The Report Center features two recently developed reports and several updates to existing reports. In addition, reports are delivered in a more useful and better integrated format which contains new “drill down” capabilities. Current clients are encouraged to utilize the cross-reference directory at the bottom of the Report Center – Home tab to locate reports formerly listed under the Reports menu on the auction web site.

 

Creating/Saving Reports within Centers

As previously discussed, the enhanced Admin Console is based on the concept of top level “Centers” which focus on content paramount to managing the auction process (i.e. Auctions, Images, Reports, Payments etc). Many centers, such as the Auction and Payment Centers, inherently contain Search and Reports tabs to provide basic reporting functionality.

Saving Report Within Center

Saving Report Within Center

The Reports tab within a Center typically consists of preset reports AND custom, “saved” reports. The custom reports section enables administrators to use the improved Search function to locate and save information as desired (i.e formerly My Reports). Therefore, in the Auction Center for example, custom auction reports may now be created and saved directly within the center and not from within the Report Center.

 

Report Center Contents

The Report Center focuses on providing activity reports which deliver additional insight into the performance of the auction. These reports extend past the basic functionality contained within Center reporting as mentioned above. The following reports are provided:

  • Summary (Enhanced!) – bidding, sales and registration activity summary over a user-specified, listing closing date range
  • Details (New!) – drill down, bidder activity details based on “Total Bidders” from Summary report
  • Limited Time Offer (LTO) – performance details for fixed-priced, LTO listings
  • Dutch (Enhanced!) – performance details for multiple quantity Dutch listings
  • Bidder – most active bidders
  • Item – most popular items
  • By Category (Enhanced!) – sales performance by listing category
  • By Donor/Consignor (New!) – sales performance by donor/consignor
  • Invites – customer e-mail invitation data report
  • Data Feed – special reporting tool (see below)

 

New Reports

There are two brand new reports:

  1. Details (Bidder)
    The Details tab contains bidder information related to the “Total Bidders” component of the Activity Summary. The administrator can run a report directly, or drill down into detailed bidder activity using the associated “View Report” button from within the Summary tab. The Details section shows how many items a bidder is bidding on, whether he/she is the winning or losing, and if the customer is a new or existing bidder/winner. For more information, additional drill down functionality is provided for listing specific details for each bidder.
  2. By Donor/Consignor
    For those clients using the Donor/Consignor module, this report provides real-time sales performance information. The number of listings available, percentage sold, total sales amounts and sales-to-list values are included.

 

Details Report

New Details Report

 

What about Statistics “reports”?

Statistical data, formerly included in the “Statistics” section of the Report menu, is contained directly within the applicable Center. For example, Reports > Statistics > Listings information is now located within the Auction Center under the Totals tab (note that most Centers have a Totals tab). Data is summarized By Year, By Month and By Day with drill down functionality to display the detailed listing information under the Search tab. In this particular case, auction data can be filtered by listing type and/or bid status and summarized by entered on, starting on or closing on date. Please use the cross-reference directory to locate specific Statistics reports.

Statistics Report

Auction Listings Statistics Report

 

What are Data Feeds?

The Data Feed function enables AuctionAnything.com to efficiently deliver client-specific reports via a web interface. Although there are many web-based reports included in the hosted auction service, there may be occasion where custom reports are required by a client. In such cases, AuctionAnything.com can program specific database queries and deliver the exportable results, leveraging our API (Application Programming Interface), via a special, “report creator” interface within the auction program. If your application requires custom reporting not included with the product, please contact your account representative for a quote.

 

Listing and Customer “Drill Downs”

Immediate access to additional information is a core focus of the improved Admin Console. The Summary section contains several “View Report” buttons which allow the administrator to “drill down” into the related data. These options furnish direct access to additional information within the Details, LTO and Dutch tabs. In addition, any tab which contains lot number and/or customer names offers “drill down” capabilities into those areas too. Clicking on a name or lot number opens a modal window for the respective member or listing. This common technique provides the ability to quickly access a host of information without leaving the associated report, thus saving time and promoting a much more efficient management experience.

Customer Drill Down

Customer Drill Down

 

Summary

AuctionAnything.com has enhanced the reporting capabilities of the auction system and updated the interface to deliver better organized and easier to consume reports. The new Report Center is another step in expanding the capabilities Administrator Management Console. If needed, custom reports can be delivered via a web-based interface for clients who require advanced reporting capability. For those clients with programming capability, AuctionAnything.com also offers API options.

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