Sharp Auction Engine V. 1.1.7 is our most ambitious release to date. We’re moving forward at unprecedented speeds with extensive updates and innovative new features, such as credit card preauthorization and improved catalog creation. This release has been long-coming, and we’ve worked hard to ensure that it brings features that are user-friendly and stable. We can’t wait for you to check it out!
Let’s take a look at what’s new.
Listing Model – Improved Catalog and Item Creation
The implementation of our new listing model is a major change for SAE. Catalog and item creation is the foundation of our software, and this new change simplifies and streamlines that process.
Auctioneers have many different needs when it comes to catalog and item creation, depending on the type of auction they are conducting. One auction may have hundreds of items while another may have only one. Now whenever you create a new auction (or “listing”), you will choose whether or not the listing is a catalog or an item. If you are an estate sale auctioneer and have many items up for auction, for example, you will create a catalog. If you are a real estate auctioneer and have only one item, such as a home or a property), you will create an item.
You will still provide the same type of information for each listing (basic details, bidding rules, terms and conditions, etc.), but the overall process is now more streamlined and user-friendly. Whether you have a “For Sale” single item or an “Online Only” catalog with many items, our software will guide you through the listing’s creation.
Bidder Approval & Credit Card Preauthorization
In the past with SAE, auctioneers have been given two options for bidder approval: automatic approval and manual approval. In addition to those two options, we now offer bidder approval by credit card preauthorization. You want to ensure that your online bidders actually have the funds to participate, and with this new feature, you can do just that.
This means that when you create a listing, you can choose whether or not bidders are required to have a credit card on file, and you can select a specific dollar amount to be preauthorized on that bidder’s credit card.
To accomplish this, we have extended our integration with Stripe, who we previously integrated with for automated payments. If you wish to enable credit card preauthorization for your auction house, you will first need to create a Stripe account. Luckily, Stripe has one of the simplest signup processes you will find. Registration takes under a minute, and its user interface is well-organized and user-friendly. For more information about Stripe and to create your account, visit stripe.com.
Once your Stripe account is set up, you can visit the new Payments tab in your Auction House Settings to connect your Stripe account and enable credit card preauthorization. From this page, you can also designate a dollar amount as your default credit card preauthorization amount. Each new listing you create will automatically require preauthorization for that designated amount, but you have the option to change it from one listing to another.
For bidders, adding credit card information is simple. If you have the credit card preauthorization feature enabled for your auction house, whenever bidders create new accounts, they will automatically be prompted to provide their credit card information. However, this step is optional, so bidders can skip this step is desired. Bidders can update their credit card information at any time by visiting their Bidder Dashboards and clicking on the Payments tab.
This new feature, in conjunction with the new listing model, allows you to set different bidder approval rules for different items in an auction. For example, if you are auctioning an estate that includes a home, you can set the catalog to automatic approval but require credit card preauthorization for the home. Bidders could automatically start bidding on the items within the catalog, but they would have to be preauthorized via credit card before being able to bid on the home.
While other online auction softwares provide a similar feature, ours takes it one step further. Instead of authorizing a bidder’s credit card when he or she first creates an account, we authorize the bidder’s credit card for each auction he or she registers for. We empower the auctioneer to set the rules for preauthorization. Our flexibility considers that not all auctions require such qualifications, and we are authorizing the card closer to the time the transaction may happen. Hopefully this means the bidder truly has the funds to pay at the time of his catalog registration.
Demo.bid – Test Drive Our Product Today!
We always invite those who are interested in SAE to test drive our product by using one of our demo auction houses. For V. 1.1.7, we have enhanced our demos to make them more accessible and to better showcase the different types of auctions you can create with our software.
Check out our software and and test out our newest release by going to demo.bid, where you can choose the specific demo you would like to try: real estate, construction equipment, or estate sales. You will also have the option to contact an SAE team member for more information or to set up a guided demo.
You can also reach these demos by visiting our homepage at sharpauctionengine.com and clicking on the Demo link in the top navigation menu.
User Permissions (Clerks & Sellers)
With our last release, V. 1.1.6, we introduced the Users tab, a centralized location in your Auction House Settings where you can add, edit, and remove users for your auction house.
Each type of user (auctioneer, clerk, and seller) has different access and capabilities within the system. For V. 1.1.7, we enhanced and further defined these permissions.
For auctioneers, you will see no changes. Auctioneers have full access to the online auction house. They can create, edit, and publish catalogs and fully access and edit Auction House Settings.
Clerks work closely with auctioneers, and thus have similar access with one main exception: clerks cannot publish listings. The auctioneer must sign in to review and publish the listings.
Sellers are different, however. They can only create “For Sale” listings. They can publish, edit, and delete these types of listings only. They also do not have access to the Auction House Settings. This type of user is great for additional staff members who help sell assets using the traditional “For Sale” method, such as real estate agents.
It often takes a team to oversee an auction house, and we want to make sure that your team is fully equipped with the access needed to successfully carry out all of your online needs.
“For Sale” Listings – Expiration Date & Front-page Filter
Previously, users were required to manually close “For Sale” listings when they no longer wished for them to be displayed. Now we have added a new field to “For Sale” listings that allows users to designate an expiration date. Enter an expiration date, and the listing will close on that date. Keep in mind, however, that you still have the option to manually close the listing if it sells before the expiration date, and you can always extend the listing if desired.
Furthermore, we have added the option to filter by the “For Sale” auction type on your front-page. This allows bidders to easily view all of your “For Sale” listings.
Custom Theme Options
For V. 1.1.7, we have once again enhanced our custom theme options. With SAE, you can fully customize your website with custom colors, images, themes, and more. These options are now more expansive and intuitive thanks to new enhancements.
Specifically, we have improved the way that custom font colors are displayed on your website. We have added a new option to allow you to select separate font colors for your navigation and footer menus, and we have changes to ensure that the Sign In modal, the Terms and Conditions modal, and others are not negatively affected by the changes you make for your font colors. You now also have the option to use different font colors for you catalog and item descriptions.
We will continue to enhance our theme options in the future because we strongly believe that your website should be fully customizable so that it can fully reflect your brand.
In addition to the above changes, we’ve added a ton of new solutions to our Support Portal for V. 1.1.7.
Whether you are an auctioneer or a bidder, the SAE Support Portal is a great resource for learning more about our product and finding answers to your questions. Just visit support.sharpauctionengine.com to get started!