Frequently asked questions

What is meant by a Cause?

The Cause is the place for information about what purpose the fundraising is for. One or more auctions can take place for the cause. If the cause is a one-off rather than an ongoing one, you can choose for there to be just one auction event attached to it.

What is meant by an Auction?

An Auction is a bidding event to raise funds for a Cause.
The auction can be created by the cause administrator or another person. The auction administrator (person starting the auction) chooses the date and time at which online bidding starts and ends.
See more about How to start an auction, below

What are Promises?

Promises are the auction lots, the items which people will bid on. Promises may be contributed at any time until online bidding ends and the auction administrator can choose who may contribute Promises.
more about Promises
more about Bidding


How to start an auction?

At the top of the page, the 'Create' menu item includes the option to start an auction.
You are then taken through the necessary steps to get your auction online. Various choices available regarding who can participate in the auction and the timing and how the auction concludes.

Can I change the end date of an auction after it is started?

Yes, the auction administrator can change the end date and also change the other auction options during the auction. Please note that it is a good idea to inform participants of changes.

What happens when the auction ends?

At the end of the online bidding -

- the auction administrator receives a summary of all promises, who the highest bidders were and how much was raised.

- payments collected for promises can be logged and participants contacted in one step

- if the auction concludes online (not at a future auction event), then all winning bidders of promises are automatically notified of their winning bid and what the next steps are.

- if the auction concludes at a future auction event, then the auction administrator will use the summary of promises and highest bidders to continue the auction at the event.

Advanced settings

- Transfer admin rights (see the section just below)

- Renumber lots - clicking this will renumber all promises, starting from 1 (the first promise added).

- Sort order - choices for how the list of promises should be sorted on the auction page.

Can I transfer an auction to another person to administer?

Yes, an auction still in progress and which you currently administer can be transferred to one other person, it can also be transferred additional times.
You can optionally transfer the related cause also, if you are the administrator of it.
To start the transfer:- Edit your auction, go to Advanced Settings, then Transfer.


Who can add promises?

The auction administrator can choose for the auction to be -

Open to all - anyone may add a promise, optionally the administrator can choose that they first approve promises before the promise is published on the auction.

Invitation only - only those who received the invitation may contribute a promise.

Admin only - only the administrator can add the promises.

If you wish to contribute a promise but you find that there is a restriction, you will have an option to contact the administrator regarding this.

How is payment for promises arranged?

The cause page (accessible form the auction page) includes this information.

Promise approvals

When promise approval is enabled on your auction, then when someone other than yourself adds a promise, you must approve it before it is included in the auction.

You can get back to the contributor with any query you have and can also decline the promise with a comment. The promise does not appear on your auction until you approve it.

To enable approvals, in Auction Edit, select the option "My approval required for promises contributed by others".
(note the option is only available when you choose for Anyone to add promises or Only those who receive the invitation).

I have won the bidding on a promise, who should I contact regarding fulfilment of it?

You will be emailed confirmation of the promise and who to contact regarding its fulfilment.
On the promise page there is a link to 'Contact' or 'Ask a question', this can be used to make contact regarding this.

Note that the contributor of the promise will be actioned with contacting you as the winning bidder to arrange fulfilment.


Who can place bids on promises?

This depends on whether the auction is open to all.
If the auction administrator has restricted who can participate (such as specifying that only invitees can contribute promises), then you need to use the auction invitation before you can place a bid.
The auction administrator will distribute the auction invitation links to participants as necessary.

Can the winning bidder of a promise be revoked?

The auction administrator has the option to offer the promise to the next highest bidder. However the next highest bidder is not obligated to pay as they had been previously outbid.
Please note that the revoking of the highest bidder is considered an exceptional circumstance and this action can only be performed once per promise.

Bidding increments

To ensure that bidding progresses at sensible increments, rather than tiny steps (such as 0.01), the following rules apply on the next minimum bid for any lot -

- If the current bid is less than 15.00, then minimum next bid is the next whole 0.50 amount, in steps of 0.50

- If the current bid is less than 50.00, then minimum next bid is the next whole 1.00 amount, in steps of 1.00

- If the current bid is less than 100.00, then minimum next bid is the next whole 2.00 amount, in steps of 2.00

- For higher amounts. The same set of rules apply to the order of magnitude x10, x100 and so on.

Examples -

If the current bid is 3.50, then the next minimum bid is 4.00. This is because the next whole 0.50 step is 4.00 after 3.50

if the current bid is 185.00, then the next minimum bid is 190.00. This is because the next whole 10.00 step is 190.00 after 180.00

Is there a bidding total limit?

Yes, the total bidding limit for an auction is shown on the Options page. There is a default limit and there are optional higher limits available on other packages described in the options.
During online bidding a bid may not be placed if the bid would take the total bidding for the auction above it's total bidding limit.

Bid Maximiser

How does the extra bidding time work?

Please click here to see how this works

Why is it good to have Bid Maximiser provide time for participants to respond to a bid (like a live auctioneer would do)?

Online bidders are required to type in their responding bid and click the necessary confirmation when they are outbid. This can take a while especially for smart phone users. If not already viewing the promise then it takes time to find and open the email informing them that they were outbid.
In the closing minutes of an auction, bidders can run out of time to respond to last minute bids without this feature enabled. This limits the funds raised.

How do I get the Bid Maximiser?

- Edit your auction
- On the page which shows Bid Maximiser, select either the one minute or two minute extra time options

How will participants know if bidding time is extended on a promise?

The promise details will show updates about the time remaining to bid, including any extended time.
Anyone looking at the auction page will see the message -
“The auction is taking final bids.”
Participants can easily view which promises have the bidding extension.

What happens to other promises in the auction which do not have a bidding extension?

Bidding will end at the originally scheduled time.

Is there a limit to the number of promises which can have bidding extended?

There is no limit. All promises in the auction could have their bidding extended by Bid Maximiser if they all had last minute bids.

When does bidding finally end on a promise which has bidding extended ?

Bidding ends when there are is no further bid for a period of one minute (two minutes if chosen).

How do promise reminders work?

Anyone looking at the promise details may set a reminder of their chosen duration before the end of scheduled bidding. An email reminder is sent at the set period before the end.

What are all the features of Bid Maximiser?

Please click here to read the feature list

Can I have the other features of Bid Maximiser but without the extra bidding time?

Yes, you have two options -

Option 1. Get Bid Maximiser but disable the extra time to respond -

- Edit your auction
- On the page which shows Bid Maximiser, select either the one minute or two minute extra time options
- Proceed to pay for the feature
- Edit your auction again and go to the page that shows Bid Maximiser again, select "No extra time to respond".
- Proceed to save your auction. You will still have the features of Bid Maximiser but without the extra time to respond.

Option 2 - Edit your auction and select the Full Package - details on the Options page from the main menu.

Auction Catalogue

What is it?

A multi-page document containing a full description of your auction, the cause and all promises (lots). It provides a full overview of what your auction offers for participants to browse in their own time.
It is configurable by the auction administrator, can be printed and / or downloaded.

Where can the catalogue be found?

The link to the Auction Catalogue is found on the auction page. It is below the bidding progress message. Note that the auction must have at least one promise for the catalogue to show.
A sample catalogue is visible to auction administrators only (instead of the full catalogue) if the catalogue is an optional extra and the option is not yet enabled on the auction.

Who can configure the catalogue?

The auction administrator can configure various aspects of the catalogue, such as what information to include.

What format is the catalogue available in?

It is in PDF format, this is a standard format which can be printed, viewed or downloaded and distributed by email. It is also available to view directly in your browser.

Follow-on auctions

A follow-on auction is another auction for the same cause to make use of any repeatable promises.
More about how this works

My Account

Why do I need an account?

An account is necessary so that the auction service and relavant auction administrator can identify you individually as having contributed a promise or placed a bid at an auction.
It also necessary so that you can register causes and start auctions on the service and that you alone can later administer them, edit them and so that others may not.

Can I delete my account?

You can request deletion of your account as follows:-

- Log in
- Click on Manage preferences (towards the top of your home page)
- Type in your password and click Manage preferences
- Click Delete Account (towards the bottom of the page)

Any information which you have added to the site will be removed as well as your user details. This includes any causes that you have registered, auctions that you are an administrator of and promises which you have contributed.
Note that you need to wait a minimum of 72 hours after the ending of any auction which you administer, have placed bid at or have contributed a promise to.
You can request that an auction which you administer be transferred to another person - see the section above "Can I transfer an auction to another person to administer?".
Deletion of your account does not affect your commitment to pay for any promises which you have won the bidding on, as per Terms and Conditions.


Leave feedback / What would be an improvement?


What could you promise for the cause which you you support?...

Here are some great ideas