A quick overview of what to do when the last auction item closes.
First of all, you might be curious about what happens when the last auction item closes. When the last item in your auction closes, our Auto Checkout system will process all the credit cards for each of your winning bidders (nothing is done with the credit cards of bidders who do not win) for the total of their invoice–that means if they won more than one item, all items will be put into one invoice and their card will be processed for that total. Then they will be emailed a receipt for their purchase, which has an itemized list of their winnings and the total they paid for the items.
It is important to note that Auto Checkout can take some time if you have a lot of items in your auction. As explained above, if a bidder won multiple items, then the items will all be combined into one invoice. So, for that reason, the Auto Checkout process does not start until the final item closes--some of your items might remain open past the scheduled end time if Extended Bidding keeps items open past that scheduled time. Once the last item ends, Auto Checkout is triggered and starts putting items into invoices to be processed. Due to combining items into invoices, it can take almost one hour to process 100 invoices (or roughly 250 items). That said, it's important that you estimate the closing process time frame based on how many items you have in your auction and how many invoices you expect will need to be processed. If you estimate that Auto Checkout might take up to an hour, then you need to plan for that block of time when scheduling the close of your auction (this can be edited in the Auction Event settings) and when scheduling item pickup.
Now you may be wondering what your next steps will be after Auto Checkout finishes processing. At the close of your auction, you will receive an email that explains all of this again, so no need to commit this to memory just yet, we’ll walk you through it again immediately after your auction ends in the email you’ll receive at that time. But to eliminate any surprises, plan to take these actions:
- Log into Your Admin Panel. Go to your Auction Admin Panel and login. Use your Organization Id or Email and your password to login. If you don’t remember your login info, you should have received a welcome email when you signed up that will have your login info in it.
- Ship Items. Once logged in, you will find yourself at your Dashboard. Go to Sales->Orders in the top menu. There you will see a table with all the bidders who have won. Check to see the status of the Order. If the status is Card Declined, that means their card was declined and they need to return to WinningCause.org to pay MANUALLY with a different card. Those with a status of Card Accepted have been paid for in full and will result in an Invoice (Sales->Invoices). Open each Order (not their Invoice at this point) to see their shipping option selections and their shipping address, as well as the items they won. Some might have opted to pick up their items for free. Be sure you don’t give anyone their items without first confirming that they have an Invoice for their items, which indicates they have paid in full. Once you have shipped the items in an Order, or once a bidder has picked up items in their Order, you can create a Shipment to mark the Order as Complete. This will show you which Orders in your list of Orders have been shipped/picked up and which Orders are left to be completed–completed Orders will have a status of Complete and others will still have the status of Card Accepted or Card Declined. To do this:
- Go to Sales->Orders and click on the Order to be completed. In the upper right click on the orange Ship button.
- The resulting page will be a form you can complete and submit–you have the option to add a tracking number if it shipped and the bidder will receive the tracking number in an email once you submit this form. You also have the option to Append Comments and you have the option to Email Copy of Shipment (this will send the aforementioned tracking number to the bidder).
- Click on Submit Shipment.
- Now in your list of Orders (Sales->Orders), you should see that the status of the Order is Complete.
- Follow Up with Unpaid Bidders. For the Orders where you found the status was Card Declined, that means that their card could not be processed. Usually, this means that their invoice total exceeded their card limit. They will be notified by our system that their card was declined and they will be required to log back in to WinningCause.org to checkout MANUALLY with a new card. An email address is listed if you wish to reach out to them and make sure that they follow through.