Fall is a busy time for many of our clients as they move from planning and preparing for the annual auction into getting back into BidStation and PayStation for running it.  Whether this is your first time taking on the auction challenge or you’re a seasoned veteran, take a moment to re-hone your skills by reviewing these tips and downloading the free resources included.

# 1 Make sure your software is up-to-date.

Earlier this year we made changes to BidStation and PayStation that required uninstalling and reinstalling both. Our current versions are BidStation: 1.3.6 and PayStation: 4.1.4. If you try to register your license or use the check for updates tool, you will not be able to and you’ll see an error message instead.
If you are uncertain about your versions, open both apps and you’ll find version numbers on the top left and bottom left.  After you update to the current version, you’ll be able to use the ‘check for updates’ tool to keep your software updated.  As always, you can download the latest versions here.
To read about this update and to watch a video demonstrating how to uninstall and re-install, visit: https://vimeo.com/205723284.
To receive update notifications, follow us on Facebook, Twitter or sign up to our email list.

# 2 Backup BidStation before, during and after your event.

The file size is small, and it’s very quick and easy to make. Build in a practice of making incremental backups of BidStation after milestones such as importing attendees, importing items, checking in guests, entering bids and other bids, etc., and especially make a final backup before you pack up to go home. USB memory keys are perfect for this.

# 3 Backup each PayStation several times throughout the event.

Train your cashiers on this simple and quick process and ask them to perform it occasionally as they check in guests. Ideally, you’re using a USB memory key for each computer that the shadow database is also configured to use. This will save your data, should one of your computers crash (or if a drink is spilled on it).

Here’s a video refresher on making backups: https://goauctionzoom.com/project/backup-restore-sync-data/

# 4 Practice check in, bid entry, and check out.

This is especially important if you are new to this or if you haven’t thought about auctions since last year. It’s a great way to refresh your memory, recall your ideas from what you learned last year and find out if any of your equipment is not in good shape (card readers, computers, network switches, printers, etc. Often practice also brings up questions that you might need some help with. Let us know if you do.

# 5 Use the index card template to check in unregistered guests.

We covered this topic pretty well in a recent blog post so if you haven’t read it, please head over and take a look. This post also includes a free bidder registration card template download kit to help you get going.

# 6 Make your auction event cashless.

Guests tend to buy more when they don’t have to reach into their pockets for cash. You can make your event cashless by preswiping cards at check in (we call this ExpressPay) and then using simple tally sheets to record the purchases with bid numbers. Guests will not need to pull out cash or credit cards and will simply write down bidder numbers for purchases. It might help speed up your check-in to print up ExpressPay signs too. Download a sample tally sheet that you can modify for your own event.

We hope you find these tips to be helpful and recognize that they may only be a starting point to putting together and running a great auction event that engages guests, has no lines and raises the most money for the least cost and effort.  We’re dedicated to great auctions so drop us a line if you need some help with yours.

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