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The Green Gala Silent Auction: A How-To for Online Bidding

The silent auction is an important component of our annual Green Gala; it helps us meet our fundraising goals and—bonus!—lets us highlight products and services from some of our favorite local businesses. This year, we’re trying something different. Instead of setting the auction up the traditional way, with paper bid sheets, we’re hosting it all online through ClickBid. Hosting the auction online is beneficial for a few reasons:

  • It streamlines the whole silent auction process, from cataloging items, to bidding, to close-out.
  • It opens the auction up to folks who can’t be physically present at the event—you can literally bid while lounging on your couch in your pj’s (although it’s totally worth putting down the remote for the night to join us at the event, we promise you won’t regret it! Pre-sale tickets are available ‘till midnight on 8/24/16 at Green-Gala.com).
  • It helps us cut down even more on paper waste produced by this event, and to stay true to the “green” part of the gala.

You can register and start bidding anytime starting now through 9:00 PM EDT on August 25, 2016.

If you’re new to the world of online bidding, don’t fear, we’ve got you covered with our 3-step process to registering, bidding, and purchasing your silent auction items.

First things first, you can use ClickBid from any desktop or laptop computer, smart phone, or tablet. It does not require you to download a new application, simply enter this URL: http://greengala.cbo.io into your preferred Internet browser to access the auction. You will, however, need a data or internet connection.

Step 1: Register Your Account

Once you arrive on the home page for the auction (again, that URL is http://greengala.cbo.io), click on the green “Register Today” button. This will take you to a simple registration form, which requires your name, address, phone number, email address, and a password. It also asks if you would like to enable text alerts; activating text alerts will allow ClickBid to send you text notifications when someone outbids you on an item. Complete the registration form, then click the green “Submit” button.

Next, you’ll receive a welcome email from ClickBid, which will provide important information about the event, the silent auction, and your bidder number. You will need your bidder number and password (which you set up when you filled out the registration form) in order to participate in the auction.

Step 2: Browse the Catalog & Start Bidding

To log into the bidding system, go to the mobile bidding site (http://greengala.cbo.io) and enter your bidder number where prompted and select the green “Go” button. The next screen will display your name and will request your password. After you enter your password, click the green “Login” button.

The easiest way to browse the catalog of items, and to start bidding, is to click the blue “Browse Categories” bar, which appears on the home page of the mobile bidding site. After you select “Browse Categories”, select “All Items” to see all of the silent auction items. From the catalog you have three options for each item:

  1. Details: Select to read a description of the item.
  2. Bid: Select to place a bid.
  3. Watch: Select to monitor bidding activity on an item.

How to place a bid:

Click “Bid”
You then have three options:

  • Fast Bid: Select this option to quickly place a bid of the minimum required amount. This option is automatically set to the next highest bid amount (so, for example, if the opening minimum bid is $25 and there are no existing bids yet on this item, the Fast Bid option will be $25. If there is already one existing bid on the item for $25 and the minimum raise increment for the item is $10, the Fast Bid option will be $35).

If you select the Fast Bid option, you will be asked if you’re sure you want to place the bid, choose “Yes” to proceed or “Cancel” to decline.

  • Bid/Set Max: Select this option to place a bid on an amount that is higher than the minimum requirement. Once you select the dollar amount of your choice, you will be asked if you want to move the current required minimum bid amount to that dollar amount (“Bid This Amount”), or if you want to let the system to bid for you up to that dollar amount (“Set Max Bid”)

If you choose “Bid This Amount”, your bid will become the leading bid on the selected item for the dollar amount you selected (so, if you chose $85, the new leading bid on this item will become $85).

If you choose Set Max Bid, your bid will become the leading bid on the selected item for next minimum raise amount (so, if the leading bid is currently $35, and the minimum raise is $10, you will now have the leading bid at $45). If another bidder outbids you, the system will automatically outbid that bidder on your behalf (so, if another bidder raises the leading bid to $55, the system will outbid him/her for you by raising the leading bid to $65). This will happen up to the max bid amount you selected (so, if you selected $85 as the max bid, the system will stop automatically bidding for you if/when the leading bid becomes $85).

  • Buy Now: Select this option to buy the item for the listed dollar amount. This will automatically close bidding for the item. You will win the item for the buy now price.

You can monitor your items/bids by selecting the “My Bids” option at any time.

Step 3: Check-out/Purchasing your Items

The silent auction will close at 9:00 PM EDT on August 25, 2016.

How to know if you won an item(s):

  • Go to the "My Bids" page on the mobile bidding site. Your winning bids will be displayed here.
  • If you are present at the Green Gala, go to the designated silent auction table and a volunteer will be able to tell you if you are a winner of any item(s).
  • If you’re not present at the Green Gala when the auction closes and you’re not sure if you won an item, don’t worry, a Friends of Grand Rapids Parks staff member will be in touch the following week to notify you and to arrange for payment and pick-up of your item(s).

How to pay for your item(s):

  • Credit Card: You have two options for paying with a credit card:
  1. Pay with a credit card through ClickBid. To do this, log into the mobile bidding site using your bidder number and password. At the top of the page, you will see a notification which reads “Please take a moment to securely add your credit card to your profile.” Select the “Tap here” option and complete the form. After the auction closes, from the My Bids page, you will have the option to close out/purchase any item(s) you won.
  2. Pay with a credit card through Square. A volunteer or Friends of Grand Rapids Parks staff member will assist you with this option, whether at the event, or in the week following the event.
  • Check: Please make checks payable to Friends of Grand Rapids Parks
  • Cash

How to retrieve your item(s):

  • At the event: If you are present at the event, visit the designated Green Gala silent auction station. A volunteer will assist you by confirming and/or receiving payment and will give you your item(s).
  • Post-event: If you are not present at the event, a Friends of Grand Rapids Parks staff member will contact you in the week following the event to arrange payment (if you have not already paid through ClickBid) and pick-up of your item(s).

Happy Bidding!

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