If you are in the auction/fundraising arena in any capacity, then you have probably come across the term "mobile bidding." And if you are new to this field, then maybe you don't really know all that much about it...
I'm really emphasizing that yet because I hope in about 5 minutes, you'll no longer be able to say this. That's because I'm about to answer that burning question so that you have a clearer idea of this important concept.
What Is Mobile Bidding?
Mobile bidding is a paperless process used by organizations to collect auction bids from guests through the donor's mobile devices (phones - no matter the brand or age of the device, tablets, etc.) This can be done without the guest ever having to download an app.
(Because who wants to download an app that they may never use again?)
The whole thing is very easy to learn and use. (It's just like online shopping, which, like I talked about in an earlier post, your guests are probably already doing no matter their age, gender, or other factors.) And that means that no matter what your typical donor base looks like, your guests can probably appreciate the benefits of mobile bidding.
There are actually two main ways to use this type of service.
How to Use Mobile Bidding on a Web-Enabled Device
Any device that has web-access (smart phones, tablets, etc.) can be used to access a donation page online. Your guests simply register and are sent a link to a site where they can start bidding.
There are some really cool features that this type of bidding offers.
- Guests can set up there account so that the service bids for them. The software will increase their bids at the smallest possible increments when someone outbids the guest. This goes on until the guest wins or until the maximum they are willing to bid is reached.
- Guests can see item (or experience) descriptions and pictures without needing to be right beside the package - this means they don't need to stay huddled around the bidding table.
- Guests can pre-authorize credit cards so that at the end of the night when they are tired and drowsy and just want to go home with the great swag they just won, they don't need to stand in a long line waiting to check-out.
How to Use Mobile Bidding on a Non-Web-Enabled Device
But didn't I say that you could use mobile bidding no matter what mobile device you have?
Why, yes, I did. And that is why there is also a way to use these services without having a smart or web-enabled device.
This is where texting comes in to the story:
If a device can text, it can bid. Because you bid through texting.
And you get some of the same features as above.
- Super easy check-in, check-out, and pre-authorization are all still there.
- Guests can still set up notifications so that they get alerts when they have been outbid.
- They still don't have to download an app.
How to Use Mobile Bidding on a Non-Web-Enabled, Non-Texting Device
Ummm...does that exist?
I think if you have one of these, you are actually carrying around a portable landline.
And if you are carrying around a portable landline, then you don't technically have a mobile device. So technically, you can't really mobile bid from a non-mobile technology.
However, if you do have guests with some kind of non-web, non-texting device, then there is a solution:
You, your volunteers, and even an on-site team from the service providing your mobile bid tech (fingers crossed this means GiveSmart to you!!!) can bid on tablets you have at your disposal.
And that means literally everyone can participate.
The Real Reason to Use Mobile Bid Technology
Mobile bidding makes the entire process - from browsing, bidding, and paying - much easier for everyone.
Guests can bid from anywhere (like, you can have an auction in Utah, and I could bid from China - so like, pretty much literally, anywhere), and then pay directly from their device.
With paper-based auctions, people end up standing around that one item they really want, hoping they don't have to get in a fight over it - because they will win at whatever cost (or maybe that's just the competitive nature in me and your guests won't feel quite so strongly.)
When you get mobile bidding, your guests can wander around, mingling, enjoying the night, and maybe, just maybe, spotting a few other things they want to bid big bucks on.
Want to learn more about how GiveSmart can help you with it?