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Manage auction times Print Article


The Setup > Auction Control page is used to set the timeframes that your packages will be active for previewing, bidding and purchasing. These timeframes apply to the Giving Center and mobile bidding devices.

Please click on links below to jump to sections:
      How to...
      Enable the silent auction countdown
      Advanced Configuration
      Staggered End Times
      Frequently Asked Questions


The end time for Silent Auction, Donation, Fixed Price, and Live Auction packages is set to 11:59pm on the day of your event by default. To change, click in the End fields and select a new end date and and a new time.

As you create new packages, they will inherit the end time of their corresponding package type. Any changes made to Auction Control end times will be automatically inherited by all packages unless their end times have been set individually on the Package Edit page using override auction times.

To end an auction type immediately, click the corresponding Stop Now button and click Save. Packages of that auction type that do not have overridden times will be ended.

Tip! Run the Package Times report to review package end times and quickly verify that your packages are set up correctly.


Once you’ve made a firm decision on when to end your silent auction, check Show on Mobile Bidding Devices to display a countdown to the silent auction end time on mobile bidding devices.


Tip! If you want the silent auction countdown to be displayed on your scoreboards slides as well, go to Setup > Scoreboard and check Show Countdown Clock in the Other Settings section of the General Settings tab.


Editing Packages by Category

You can set the end times of an entire set of packages according to their category. Go to Packages > Manage Packages and click the Categories link. Select your categories, click Multi-Edit, check Set Override Auction Times checkbox, and set the Package End as desired.

Changing Package Start Times

Although we do not recommend staggering the start times of packages, we will edit start times for you. Please contact BidPal Support if you want to customize the start time of any package.

Re-Opening your Silent Auction

In the event that your silent auction is closed by mistake, you can re-open it. To do so, go to Setup > Auction Control and click Re-Open Silent Auction. Set your new end time and click Confirm.

Tip! Once your silent auction end time passes, winners are automatically assigned and notified of their winnings via the My Bill screen. Re-opening the silent auction will revert all winners of packages that are not using override times. Be sure to clearly communicate the repercussions to your guests if you need to re-open your silent auction.


In traditional paper auctions, organizations frequently 'staggered' their end times by category to give them time to figure out who the winner of each package was.  With electronic bidding, staggered end times are unnecessary and hurt your proceeds:

  • Because all bidding is electronic, you know who the Silent Auction winners are the instant the auction closes, no need to close each section.
  • Your event is a fundraiser, and you should avoid anything that prevents all guests from bidding on all items for as long as possible.  Don't prevent people from contributing money to your event!

If there is a reason that you need to do staggered end times, they must be done in a specific way:

The default Silent Auction close time under Setup > Auction Control must be the latest time that any package is closing. Once this time passes, guests will not be able to see or bid on any Silent items; that is why this must be the time of the latest item available.

Any packages closing before this must have their override Auction Times set to end early under Packages > Manage Packages > and then edit the package and choose the Visibility tab to override Auction Times and set a specific end time.

Note: You can use the multi-edit function to change package times!

Double-check your package end times under Reports > View Reports > Items & Packages > Package Times

Note: Once set, you will not be able to easily change all these override times during the event, so we recommend you set them in advance and stick to that schedule.

You can only have one Silent Auction countdown clock at your event; currently, there is no way to count down to each staggered end time. The clock will count down to your final auction close.

Since guests will not see the end time for each package on their device, you may follow these steps to clearly indicate when packages are ending:

Name your categories so they show the chronological order:  "Ends at 09:00 - Dining," "Ends at 09:30 - Entertainment," "Ends at 10:00 - Super Silent")

In the Description for each package, list when the package will be closing so guests are always aware.

As an example:  If 90 of your packages are closing at 9:00 PM and 10 are open until 9:30 PM, the Silent Auction Close time is 9:30pm.  You should override the Visibility > Auction Times of the other 90 packages so they will shut down at 9:00 PM automatically.  This is the only correct way to successfully use staggered end times.   


When my Silent Auction ends, do I have to do anything to trigger the assignment of winners?

Nope. When the silent auction end time arrives, all of your silent packages will be assigned to the highest bidders and the My Bill screen will display on all mobile bidding devices.

How do I override an individual Package’s End Time?

Navigate to the Package Edit > Visibility tab and check Override. Set the Package End Time as desired and save. 

I’ve overridden a lot of package times, but my timeline has changed and now I want to set all times to match my Auction Control times. Can I do that?

Absolutely. Go to Packages > Manage Packages and check all packages that apply (use Select All if you want to apply the same change to all packages). Then, click Multi-Edit, check Set Override Auction Times, check Disable Existing Override Times and confirm.

I’ve overridden end times for a subset of my packages, but my timeline has changed and now I want to reset the end times for this subset of packages. Can I do that?

Yep. Go to Packages > Manage Packages and check all packages that apply. Then, click Multi-Edit, check Set Override Auction Times, set the Package End as desired and confirm.

I don’t want to allow bidding on my packages in the Giving Center, but I want my supporters to be able to preview them. How do I do that?

Go to Packages > Manage Packages and check all packages that apply (use Select All if you want to apply the same change to all packages). Then, click Multi-Edit, check Set Enable Online Bidding, make sure Enable Online Bidding is unchecked, and confirm.

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