General Bidder instructions
This year, all bidding will be done on-line and will probably feel very different. Follow these instructions carefully to make sure you have registered the bid that you wanted. An on-line auction is a new adventure for all of us. The auction software has some unexpected quirks, and it may take a little patience to learn, but the website will give you instant feedback and additional help if you make a mistake.
Bidding will open at 6:00 pm on Thursday, December 3, and close at 8:00 pm on Saturday, December 5.
In addition to reading these General Bidding Instructions, please read the special instructions for the following categories: Dinners Delivered, Parties and Performances and Events, and Goodies to Eat.
Finding or Obtaining a Paddle Number (Bidder Number)
Note: You do not need a Paddle Number (Bidder Number) to browse the catalog, but you will need one to enter bids. If you have participated in previous TVUUC auctions, the auction program should recognize you and use the Paddle Number you were assigned in the past. To find your Paddle Number, log into the Auction website (as described below), click on My Statement at the top of the screen. Then look for Items Purchased. If you have a Paddle Number, it will be shown here. If you do not have one, you must request a number from the Auction Committee. To avoid delays during the auction, we strongly recommend that you contact auction(at)tvuuc.org to request a Paddle Number before December 3. If you attempt to enter a bid and you do not have a Paddle Number, the website will prompt you to ask for one by e-mail. After you have received your number, you may enter your bid. In the future, the website will use the same Paddle Number when you log in under your name.
- Using your browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Internet Explorer), go to the auction site: http://togetherauction.com/tvuuc (Or find it in the “Give” Pull-Down menu on the TVUUC website.)
- Click on the Login button at the upper right corner of the home screen. This will take you to the following screen:
- To log in, enter your phone number. (using example on the screen.) Use the last four digits of your phone number as your PIN unless you have another PIN. If there is more than one name, click your name, or add it. [You can change your PIN in the Edit Profile Screen if you want. Find this on the My Statement screen.]
- The next screen is the Home Page which gives you four choices in blue rectangles. Click on Catalog. (Or click on Catalog Grid at the top of the page.)
- On the next screen you will see the categories listed at the left. Click on the name of a category to browse items in that category. This takes you to another screen showing all items in that category. (See screenshot below) [Note that Dinners are now listed as Dinners Delivered and will not include in-person events. However, there may be some Parties or other events which will take place via Zoom.] Be sure to read special information for these categories before bidding.
The description of the item should include the number of winning bidders allowed (which will be 1 for most items), the minimum bid, and (if relevant) the date of an event.
|If Item Allows Only One Buyer (Description Lists Qty 1) Instructions Lines 6-13
For instructions on bidding for multiple-buyer items, read this section and also lines 15-17.
- Next to Qty leave this at 1 (if this is a single-buyer item).
- Next to Bid Price ea, write the amount that you wish to bid for this item. Make sure it is higher than the highest bid already made (see previous screen). Also see information below about Pre-set increments.
- Next to Hidden Max Price ea, write the highest price you would be willing to pay if others are bidding on this item.
|IMPORTANT: EXPLANATION OF HIDDEN MAX PRICE
The on-line bidding program allows you to enter two amounts. The first is the bid you are making now (probably the stated minimum bid or slightly more than the last bid made). The second (the Hidden Max Bid) is the highest bid you would be willing to pay. If these amounts are the same, then someone else can outbid you and your bid would no longer be recognized. But if the hidden max is higher, and someone tries to outbid you, your bid will automatically be increased by a pre-set increment, as long as this does not exceed your “Hidden Max Price” In order to outbid you, the other person will need to bid more than your Hidden Max. (Because your Max Price is hidden, the other person will not know what it is. Therefore, she would have to keep on bidding until she exceeds your max and her bid is accepted.)
You are bidding on the Ceramic Dragon. The minimum price bid is $15, and you see that no one has bid on this yet. You write $15 next to Bid Price Ea and $15 next to Hidden Max Price Ea.
If no one else bids, you have bought the dragon for $15. If someone bids $20, your bid is no longer valid, unless you come back and bid again (as you would do when we have an in-person auction.) But if you originally bid $15 next to Bid Price Ea and $30 next to Hidden Max Price Ea, and the next bidder bids $17 (as the pre-set increment is $2), she will be told that someone has automatically outbid her. As she bid $17, your automatic bid would be $19. She can then give up or she can bid again. This could continue until she bids more than $30, and her bid will be accepted. If she does not change her bid, then her bid is saved in the program memory but your automatic bid of $19 is the current one. If she bids $35 (more than your Hidden Max), then your bid is no longer valid and she will pay $35 (or more if outbid).
If you do not want your bid to increase automatically, enter the same amount for Bid Price and Hidden Max, or leave Hidden Max blank.
- Because the Hidden Max amount is hidden, you will not know immediately what the original bidder has given as a “Hidden Max.” But when you enter your bid, you may be told that your bid must be higher.
- Also, the program has pre-set set increments for the bidding increase, based on the price of the item. If the pre-set increment requires a bid which is higher than the amount you have entered, the program will tell you what the minimum bid will be, but it only tells you this after you have tried to enter your bid. So pay close attention to the message you get after you enter your bid so you can go back and enter a higher bid if necessary.
|EXPLANATION OF PRE-SET INCREMENT: The program has been set so that a bid must be increased by a given amount or more. For example, if the last bid was $25, and the pre-set increment is $5, then you must bid at least $30. Higher priced items have larger pre-set increments. The increments have been set as follows:
If the price has been bid up to a higher price bracket, then the required increment will also increase.
13. If you come back later, you can check to see if you have been outbid. If your bid is still the winning bid, it will be listed as “You.” If you have been outbid, it will show “Others” and show what that person has bid. (You will not know who it is.)
If Event Allows More Than One Buyer (Description lists Qty 2 or more) Instruction Lines 14- 17
- Read Instruction Lines 1-13 above.
- If an item (such as a Party) is designed for more than one winning bidder, things are slightly more complicated, and may be confusing until you get used to it. The box below the description will show how many bids have been accepted for this item. Enter the quantity you want to buy next to Qty and price you want to bid for each item or place. (Example: A quantity of 2 with price $15 means you pay $30.) The bidding price must be at least the minimum stated in the description. Enter a Hidden Max Bid if you want to (See explanation above.) Then click on Save.
- This takes you to the next screen which will tell you if your bid is accepted. If it is too low, it will then tell you what your minimum bid would be.
- IMPORTANT: The program will register only one bid per person. If you bid on an item a second time, the new bid will replace and cancel your first one. If you want to have two places in an event, you should make sure your initial bid is for two. For example:
You bid for one place at a party at $10. Later you decide to take a friend. By this time, the minimum bid has increased to $21. If you enter one bid at $21, it will erase your first bid and you still only have one place. But if you enter a bid for two places at $21, you will have two places, but they will both be at $21. If you must add an extra person after your initial bid, we suggest that bid be placed under a different name. (Log out and log in as another person, using that person’s name and paddle number.)
Why was my bid not accepted?
The auction software calculates the minimum bid and winning bidders based on several factors: the amount of the bid, the pre-set increment, the number of places requested, and which bid was placed first. When you try to place your bid, it must still be higher than the unseen bid in the memory.
In addition to this, someone may have placed an acceptable bid, but he has also given a higher “Hidden Max.” (See discussion above). The program will also inform you that you have been outbid and will tell you what you must bid to be accepted.
The software logic can be a little confusing (and mysterious), but in either of the above cases, note that the program will tell you what your minimum bid is, after you have entered your first bid.
Due to the idiosyncrasies of the software system, you may be outbid and your bid is no longer valid. But based on future bids, someone else’s bids may become invalid and yours is again valid, even though you have not bid again! We urge you to check the item shortly before the end of the auction to see which of your bids are valid. Your bid will be listed as “You” under the item description.
If the website tells you there is an “Internal Error,” try returning to the item to see if it shows that your bid was accepted. (This is an unexplained quirk.)
And, again: Once you have entered your bid, you cannot withdraw it!
- If you are having inexplicable problems with the bidding process, try logging out and logging in again.Questions?
We hope these instructions have helped. We know this bidding process is different from most years and may be confusing at first, but the Auction Committee is here to help if you need it. If you have questions before 5:00 on Saturday, December 5, contact the Auction Committee at auction(at)tvuuc.org. After 5:00 on Saturday, join us on the Zoom meeting and put your question in “chat”. A member of the Auction Committee will answer your question, either directly, or (if others have the same question) to the whole group in Zoom.
After the Auction
After the auction closes at 8:00 pm on December 5, you can see which of your bids have been accepted. After you have logged into the Auction website with your phone number and PIN, on any page in the auction website, click on My Statement at the top of the page. This will list all items you will be charged for. The Auction Committee will contact you by email before noon on Sunday, December 6. You will receive a copy of your statement showing items purchased, as well as payment instructions. Payment can be made by phone or on the TVUUC website under the Give Drop-down Menu.
- If you have bought a physical item (other than Food), you can either: Pick up the item at TVUUC at one of the following times:Tuesday, December 8 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm Tuesday, December 15 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Although the church will probably be closed, we will post a note on the front door with a phone number you can call. One of the Auction Volunteers will come to the door and give you your item.
IMPORTANT: Check with the donor before coming, to find out if she/he will be taking the item to the church.
- Make arrangements directly with the Donor of the item to pick up the item or have it delivered to you. For Food Items (Goodies to Eat), click here for separate instructions. For Dinners Delivered, click here for special instructions.
To find out who donated your item:
- Log into the Auction website at http://togetherauction.com/tvuuc .
- Go to the My Statement Screen
- Scroll down to Items Purchased. The Donor’s name will be listed with a phone number. Click on Donor’s name to send an e-mail.
If you need help finding the names of the donor, contact the Auction Committee at Auction(at)tvuuc.org.
Unsold Auction Items
If an item is not sold during the auction, or if there are any unsold places left in an event, you can still bid on it! Starting at 3:00 pm on Sunday, December 6, any unsold items will be available on the auction site. You will be able to purchase them instantly by bidding the minimum price. Your bid will be accepted and no one else can outbid you. Late bids can be entered until Sunday, December 13 at 8:00 pm.