I looked at so many different programs. This one was so good when we went back to a paper-based silent auction, the item descriptions, bid sheets, catalog, and back office capability was so good we renewed the subscription. Of note, the mobile bidding is incredible and easy to use.
The user tile-based interface is intuitive. The dashboard both takes you where you need to go in the program and has updating totals, clocks, and other real-time features and not just static buttons. The back office and forms section for standard and customized bid sheets, item descriptions, table management cards are amazingly easy as they scaled themselves to fit our differing page formats. The post-auction reports are clear and concise. We really needed and appreciated the Excel import feature of all info. Now, the biggest worry you'll have in DIY auction program is customer service. They are in Canada, and they reply via text box and email. Before you click off this review let me tell you Rob and the customer service gang really answer the text box. I know it says hours but they never took more than minutes to answer my many questions. In fact, last year when there was a significant issue during the event, their super quick response saved the day as it was our first year running a mobile bidding platform. In terms of that, the text-based versus app-based system was flawless. Also, uploading item pictures and contributor's logo was super easy and translated across the bid sheet, item description, website, and catalogue. Oh, and let me tell you, the push-the-button catalog function, bid sheet function, item description function was so good, when we went back to a paper bidding system it was worth every bit of the subscription fee.
The tabs across the top of each feature page to customize need visual improvement to be as easy to click on and have a hover function to describe what they do. I'd have them add more to the report section where there could be item sales analysis of what went above and below value and group them to see what items would be good to have next year and which ones didn't work well both at a item and category level. Lastly, there needs to be a "cart" function. Mobile bidders want to highlight the five to ten items they want to bid on during the night. A really nice improvement would be a cart where like on eBay, they don't have to go in and out of pages to re-bid, rather their items are on one screen and they can bid up those items in their cart.
Brad! Love that you shared your exact experience with lots of details, how & whys.
Thanks for the comment "Now, the biggest worry you'll have in DIY auction program is customer service. They are in Canada, and they reply via text box and email. Before you click off this review let me tell you Rob and the customer service gang really answer the text box. I know it says hours but they never took more than minutes to answer my many questions."
... and Brad, you must have spider-man-senses? We are exploring the shopping cart type functions.
Glad to see you used the mobile application too. The immediate outbid notifications really help bids soar.
Hope you crush all your fundraising goals!
Likelihood to recommend: 10/10
Overall, it was great to have this software for the entire organizing process of our hospital gala. We are talking a very elaborate event with about 250 guests, 100+ donors, and over 150 auction items. In the past all of these things got tracked in multiple spread sheets and if anything changed, it would have been a disaster. This year, using Auctria, everything was in one place, very easy to see in detail or at a glance. If guests or meals or seating arrangements changed, it was so easy to do and follow and just to stay on top of it. I realized, that even though I have been using this system for a few month prior to our gala, there are still many functions we have never even touched. I would highly recommend this software and am extremely glad I did decide for this particular software (never used any other one, but wouldn't switch), but also recommend to take the time to read the manual, play around and take time to understand the many many function to utilize it to its best potential.
I enjoyed how intuitive the use of the software was. Anything I wanted to do, was possible with this software. There were a couple times were I would provide my volunteers with a log in and they basically figured it out on their own as it was very easy to use and understand the software. Setting up the website, took a little time, but also once I understood how it worked, not a big deal. Enjoyed that I had all info from guests names, seating arrangements, auction items, donors and supporters and much more all handy in one place. Made the reconciliation at the end very easy. I did use an outside budget for this time, but think in the future I would purely use Auctria for that as well. Now that the event is over, it is great to still be able to see all the guests info and pull all different reports we may want to see. The customer service was great in answering any questions I had ahead of time via email, but unfortunately I was never given a phone number to connect with them on the spot. And as it is most often for me, I usually wait with doing something until it needs o be done now and if I couldn't get an instant answer I had to wait and get back at it later. Not their fault, more my own, but I wished sometimes there would have been a live chat or phone number to call. Even though, usually their replies came within a couple hours or overnight as I am on the west coast.
There isn't much I didn't like. I guess the only thing I didn't understand until we were at the event was that we had the 0.3% charge on Auctria per transaction + the 2.69% on Stripe. The system does show the option to add those fees to the invoice, but we didn't realize it until it was too late. So now we have to cover a pretty large invoice of stripe fees we didn't expect. Anyways, more my fault for not paying attention to ahead of time. But in the future I would certainly add that to the guest check-out or if they want to not pay it, just charge more on our credit card machines then through the system. I also had a couple guests that commented that they weren't able to go back into their registration and make changes to their guest list or meal selection. This must have been a glitch in the system, but wasn't a big deal. For my side, I found it a little confusing with the e-tickets and ticket statements and such, as they weren't fully clear to me what each of them was about and even more so, I thought I had it set up that everyone how registered would receive it automatically. This was only the case for the people that self-registered but not the ones I added manually.
Hi Ute, thank you SO MUCH for the detailed review, it's sure to help others understand the power and simplicity of Auctria. With 250 guests 100+ donors and 150 auction items sounds like a success--happy to read Auctria helped you ditch the spreadsheets!
Yes, Auctria is full of even more features, join our free webinars or watch on playback when it convenient for you to learn more.
Also, we invite you and your auction team to follow Auctria on Facebook & Twitter to get even more tips and auction fundraising advice.
Likelihood to recommend: 10/10
Overall, for having this be the first and only auction software I've ever used, this has been an amazing experience. I loved learning the ins and outs of Auctria, and strongly recommend it for smaller auctions, and if the slight kinks are worked out, strongly recommend it for big auctions. There's a lot of potential with Auctria, and I'm hoping they succeed. I think they will
I loved most everything Auctria has to offer. 1.) The team there is phenomenal. I don't think I've ever gotten such instant quality support on anything so consistently in my ENTIRE life. Literally, when I send a support email, I expect a reply back in maybe a day or two. Auctria responds in less than 3 hours, sometimes in literally HALF an hour. amazing. 2.) Even without all my nonsense questions, the guides that Auctria has are very detailed and I could relatively easily figure everything out myself – which I mostly did, but it's nice having the Auctria team to ask questions to. Especially since they're so accessible! 3.) Their features to capture donor information is second to none. My favorite thing about Auctria is how they made the capture of information BEFORE the event so simple and easy. The only thing that sucks was having to input "guest" information at the event, but Auctria tied every guest to the purchaser, so even then, they covered bases by allowing us to know who to contact if we needed something from someone. 4.) From silent auctions, to online, to even live, Auctria literally covers everything so well and seamlessly. 5.) Checking out final bids is so easy. no chasing down people for cc information – with maybe one or two who for some reason chose not to register their card.
1.) Auctria's only con that I found so far was with it's app and online bidding. I didn't find online bidding so seamless, when someone needs either an email address/bidding number and a password in order to log in. As I was testing the app, I found befuddled on why someone needed a password, and found that some people weren't able to make a password, effectively not allowing them to bid online. I rectified this with having online kiosks, but we definitely lost some money because of this. We might not use Auctria next year because of this which saddens me. Making the online bidding process simpler though would make my team change their minds I'm sure.
Thanks for sharing your auction story. Happy to read Auctria surpassed your expectation for support help. Thanks for sharing the simplicity you found with the program.
Regarding the mobile app and access- bidders can be sent or given an access code to sign into the app or website without needing to set up a password. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share more information and more details.
Thanks for being our cheerleader and hope all your fundraising goals are surpassed.
Likelihood to recommend: 10/10
Accurate accounting of the major fundraiser (other than our annual operating fund campaign) for our church. Also ability to maintain and manage accounts receivable (we don't take payment on the night of our auction). Help in recruiting volunteers for the auction - volunteer data entry is easier to come by when the data entry can be done remotely and is easy to learn. Our church is just a medium-sized one (350 members) and we cannot afford to spend thousands to have someone come in and run our yearly auctions. A yearly cost of less than what we pay is far less than the value we receive for this software. Our auctions have reached thousands od dollars in income the past two years. We are very excited about that. My ONLY concern is that should Auctria go out of business that we would lose all our data. THAT would be awful. I would hope and pray that we would be offered CSV files of all our data before it "disappeared."
Multi-user, retention of data by auction, emailing of invoices and donation receipts, and the ability to copy data from one auction to the next. Exceptional customer support and response. Our church uses this software so our auction's donors and bidders are mostly the same people. We auction items that have multiple winners (gourmet dinners, themed parties, etc. ). A few emails back and forth was all it took to get the software to handle this accurately. I searched quite a long while for a replacement for our ancient software (that was a multi-user nightmare) and I hit the jackpot when finding Charity Auction Organizer. I am a retired programmer/analyst and this software was easy to learn, has excellent Help, and the personalized support we needed. Taking awhile to get used to the newest version with Auctria, but we'll get there. Have used this product for four of our church's auctions and one other non-profit auction. We'll be using it again November 2018.
Auctria was built for groups like yours!
Auctria is not going anywhere. Even if you stop using Auctria the data is yours to access.
We pride ourselves on full features and great value.
To ease your mind Auctria does have export features under Import/Export -> Export and any report on the screen can be exported as a PDF/XLS/CSV file using the 'Actions' menu at the bottom of the page.
Likelihood to recommend: 10/10
Overall, Auctria helped run our auction smoother. Now that I have used it once, using it in the future will be a lot easier. The price is unbeatable for what you get.
The software is very easy to use. Check in and check out was easy for people to pick up.
I didn't like that checkout didn't include what the items where. Check out people had to go to the bidder profile and then to checkout. There is a lot of features which is wonderful but it would have been nice to have someone consult us before so we knew what features we needed and others that we didn't. The software is not very user friendly to individuals that have visual difficulties. When you invert the colors, it is very hard to see buttons.
Thank Molly for using Auctria for fundraising with Clarity Clinic of SW Wisconsin, LTD. Happy to read that you find check in and checkout easy.
Please reach to our support team for help using any features. Email: email@example.com or in-app messaging. We truly want you to have the best auction fundraising experience possible.
Regarding checkout and items is a bit upsetting, this is the core of the platform streamlining donor-item-bidding-checkout. During checkout all items, donations, for sale purchases are on the checkout screens as well as bidder statements. By default bidder Bidder statements will show all the activity: items won, purchases, donations and payments from bidders.
Bidder statements can be further modified to include or exclude: item description, item value, & tax deductible status.
Thanks for taking the time to leave these details so we can help. Hope all your future bids soar!
Likelihood to recommend: 8/10
Bronze Edition: $89.95/year
Silver Edition: $129.95/year
Gold Edition: $229.95/year
Platinum Edition: $349.95/year