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We recommend that you play with our auction program a little, which you can do for free in the test mode, and then read the following, as our tips will be most helpful to those who have familiarized themselves with the software. It includes basic suggestions of how to optimize your use of this site, and also tips on how to best use the more sophisticated options we offer. Please note that if you only wish to use the most basic aspects of the software, the system is quite self-explanatory.

GENERAL MISCELLANEOUS

  • You MUST enable cookies and JavaScript in your browser settings.
  • If you do not confirm your registration within 48 hours after receiving a temporary password, your record will be deleted.
  • Check the junk mail folder on your computer if you do not see the message from us with your temporary password. We send it immediately after your registration.
  • You can always return to the main page of this site by clicking on the logo at the top of any page.
  • You do not need to recreate an item description for similar or identical products. If the rules allow, you will have a copy button for this.
  • Check out the page "My Account". You will find a number of options there that may be useful for you.
  • Bids must be in whole US dollars; no cents are accepted. Please use only digits, no commas or periods.
  • Most web browsers allow you to use the Enter/Return key on your keyboard to submit information without clicking on the Submit button on the screen.
  • When typing in the user name, the alias, or the item code for the auction, you can use lower case letters and ignore the hyphen character ( - ). For example, to find item ABC‑123 at the auction, you can type abc123. The server will find the correct record for you.

AUCTIONS - TIPS FOR PARTICIPANTS

  • It is strongly advised that you register for auctions and submit items in advance.
  • Please note the meaning of the terms "alias" and "nickname." An alias serves as a seller identification code (e.g. ABC ). It appears on each item that the seller brings to the auction and should be followed by the item number (e.g. ABC-1 ). Once established, a seller’s alias remains the same from auction to auction. A nickname is an identification of the buyer at auctions where bidder numbers are not used (for instance, at mini auctions). A nickname is assigned by the organizer at the moment of purchase, and must be the same for the entire process of the auction. The record of nicknames is deleted at the same time as auction records are deleted.
  • If the organizer of an auction permits, you may have the opportunity to be registered for this particular auction right before it starts. However, your options as a seller will be limited.
  • Please do not forget to pick up your bidder number from the organizers before the auction starts, if it is required.
  • After the auction ends, do not forget to check out with the organizers, unless it is not expected. You may need to pay for your purchases right away.
  • When bidding, hold your bidder number up high. If you win, hold it up again to allow the auctioneer to see and register it. You will save a lot of time for yourself and for others by doing so.

AUCTIONS - TIPS FOR ORGANIZERS

  • Each auction must be created by someone called the administrator, who creates an account and registers the auction. An administrator can purchase auction credits at any time and use them for any auction which he creates.
  • Register your auction and inform your participants about the auction name, auction ID, date, place, time, and what is expected from participants well in advance.
  • For mini auctions, you do not necessarily need bidder numbers. You can choose to use nicknames for bidders. You do not even need to inform bidders about their nicknames. Just be careful to remember/write down the nicknames. Also, see the comment below about checking out the participants without bidder numbers, especially if they sold their items on the auction, too.
  • Strongly advise participants to register for your auction in advance. Both sellers and buyers have to register if the auction requires bidder numbers.
  • Participants will have to check-in before the auction to receive their bidder numbers. Use the "Participant Registration" button for this.
  • Only sellers have to register if bidder numbers are not required.
  • If you so choose, you can register the seller and his items right before the auction starts. This registration will be valid only for this particular auction, and the seller will not be able to reach his records on the internet. No images will be allowed for this registration.
  • To speed up the auction process, you may wish to select the option “Pre-Define the Order In Which Items Will Be Auctioned“ when creating your auction, and use two computers for auctioning items. Use the first computer to make sure that an item has been registered for auctioning and to place it in line. Use the second computer to run the auction itself. It is important that the auctioneer receives items in the order defined by the first computer.
  • When checking participants out, and a participant both sold and purchased items at an auction that did not require bidder numbers, FILL OUT BOTH THE ALIAS AND THE NICKNAME FIELDS (or the nickname and the user name fields in some cases). Generally speaking, requiring bidder numbers will make your role as auction administrator easier in the beginning, but you may find the nickname option for mini auctions handy after you get some experience with this software.
  • Do NOT use the 'Combine Multiple Nicknames' button unless you understand how it works.
  • Before you create and run your real auction, we strongly recommend creating a test auction to play with. After you understand your options as an administrator and run your test auction, you will feel confident in the real life situation. So, do not hesitate to create a few user accounts and play with them as the administrator, the sellers, and the buyers. Please do not hesitate to send us questions. You will help not only yourself but also others, because we will try to learn from your questions and improve the website.

AUCTION STEP-BY-STEP - TIPS FOR ORGANIZERS

  1. You can use as many computers as you deem necessary to run an auction. All of them must be connected to the internet.
  2. Register an auction administrator as a user of this website. It can be a fictitious person. The only real information must be the email address. For registration, use the "Register" button on the main page. You have to do it once. The same administrator account can be used to create any number of auctions at the same time or at different times. In this way, you will protect your personal account that you could use as a seller or bidder. The administrator account can be simultaneously used by several people from different computers to run your auction.
  3. Register your auction. Click on the "Create New Auction" button.
  4. Inform your participants about the auction name, auction ID, date, place, time, and what is expected from participants. It is good practice to provide a contact email address and/or phone number to answer participants' questions. You can find a draft of a memo for participants here.
  5. Decide how many computers you need to run your auction and who will be responsible for each of them. You may need only one computer for a small auction. For larger auctions, several computers will make the process much smoother and less stressful. For example, an auction with 100 to 200 participants and up to 1000 items may require about 6 computers or more. Two or more computers to register and check out participants, two computers for the auction (one to place items in line and one to auction items), one computer to sell quick sale items, and one or more computers for concession sales. After the end of the auction a necessary number of computers should be used to check out participants. Please remember that all computers can be run independently while completing different tasks.
  6. To check-in participants before the start of the auction, use the "Participant Registration" button in the Management Area. Encourage participants who did not register in advance at MyGroupAuction.com to do so next time.
  7. To start the auction, use the "Start Auction" button in the Management Area. You will need to input the item code (unless you use a predefined order of items) and later the final price and the bidder number or the nickname to finalize the sale.
  8. To sell quick sale items, use the "Quick Sale" button in the Management Area. It can be done independently from the main auction process on a separate computer.
  9. If you want to sell concession-type items like T-shirts, souvenirs, pizza, etc., use the CONCESSIONS button in the Management Area.
  10. Check-out the bidders after the auction ends. Use the "Check Out Participants" button. If the auction does not require bidder numbers, be sure BEFORE collecting payments to insert both the alias and the nickname for the participant if he both sold and bought items.
  11. After the auction ends, you can use the button "Close Auction" to prevent new participants from signing-up or any participant from submitting new items. The auction records will still be available for you and the auction participants.
  12. If you did not pay sellers while checking them out right after the auction ended, use the button "Settle Accounts" when sending checks to sellers.
  13. The other options are of secondary importance and are hopefully more or less self-explanatory.
  14. Please remember that auction records will not be kept on the server indefinitely. Pay attention to the date on which auction records will be deleted from the server. If you wish to keep these records, create a PDF file and save it on your own computer.

COMMON SENSE NOTES FOR ORGANIZERS OF AUCTIONS

Please remember that the computer only does what it is programmed to do. If you override warnings or do not make decisions according to the dictates of common sense, the limitations imposed on the program will not negate the consequences of your decisions.

To use a real-live example, the computer does not allow the registration of the same auction participant twice (or more) if he already registered on-line in advance. However, if the organizer registers the same person several times using different (or even the same) names under “temporary registration,” then one participant can be issued several different bidder numbers for the same auction. As a result, he can easily check-out using only one bidder number – and thus only pay for purchases made with that number – leaving the club to deal with the financial consequences of purchases made under his other bidder numbers. No software will be able to prevent unwanted situations like this one.

For those of you, who believe this warning is superfluous, please accept our apologies. As for the rest of us, please remember that humans tend to make decisions that computers are unable to predict. Please think twice before overriding the rules by which the computer is governed.

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