We have all heard the horror stories about long checkout lines. We lived those before we created Handbid so we remember how the pain and stress felt. The obvious thing to do is to automate the creation of invoices and payments with an automated system. But there is more to it than that.
I have seen so many auction managers that are thrilled with the fact that Handbid automatically generates invoices at the end of an event in a matter of seconds. But, then they fail to organize the checkout and fulfillment process and thus create a backup at the checkout line.
Tips to improve checkout and payment at your silent auction:
- Capture credit cards at the door or allow people to enter those cards from their phone. Handbid allows you to do either of these so that the card is on file and the checkout process is easier.
- Use an integrated payment system. We really encourage our customers to use our integrated payment system. This is not because we make money on the fees. Because we really don't. Instead, we offer it as a convenience to you and your bidders. While you may save a few dollars using another system, the checkout/payment process can really slow down because you have to capture their credit card and personal information again. If you use an integrated CC system, all of that information is already in Handbid.
- Organize your items so that they are easier to retrieve. If you skip this step, you may have a bidder who has verified their invoice and paid but when you send a runner off to collect the items - they can‚Äôt be readily found! Don‚Äôt let the process break down here. Here are some fulfillment tips you can use to mitigate this scenario.
- Organize your items by groups and number them that way (e.g. 100s - 300s are gift certificates, 400s are big items, 500s are an item and a certificate, etc.) There just needs to be an organized and systematic way that volunteers know where to look to grab an item. It gets hectic at the end - you can reduce that by being ahead of the game.
- Encourage your guests to pay from their device. Hopefully the mobile bidding system you select supports this. With Handbid, at the end of the auction, receipts will generate and users will be shown their invoice on the phone. If they have a Card on file, they can pay their invoice immediately. Any paid invoice will be marked as PAID IN FULL. Just have these guests show their PAID IN FULL invoice to a staff member or volunteer to collect their items.
- Have a cash/check line. If you are using a separate CC system, think about having a cash/check only line. Handbid will allow you to record a cash/check payment and this would be much faster than having a customer wait behind someone trying to pay by CC.
Have a great idea of your own to help with Checkout? Post it below in the comments section and we will share it with everyone.
Have a question or comment about some of our ideas here? Please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can try to answer it for you.