Version 2.0.0 Release Notes

Version 2.0.0 Release Notes

Sharp Auction Engine V. 2.0 has been a long time coming, but with all the new developments and features that it brings, we know you’ll find it was worth the wait.

We’re excited and proud for you to meet 2.0, a true private label product bursting at the seams with the features you love, supported by the best technology available.

 

Let’s take a look at what’s new.

 

 

Upgraded and Enhanced Infrastructure

 

We’ve dedicated ourselves over the past six months to developing a new infrastructure, complete with a complex network of applications working together to create and maintain your auction house. We won’t go into specifics, but know that as an SAE auctioneer, you will benefit from our commitment to always bringing you the newest and most advanced online auction technology in the industry.

 

Our newest updates were initially motivated by a trend that we began noticing online among other online auction providers. Due to the use of shared servers, auctioneers were being forced to deal with the effects of large uploads or heavy site traffic from other auctioneers. We saw entire sites slow down, and even crash, just from one auctioneer’s overuse of system resources.

 

Should your site slow down just because another auctioneer decides to upload thousands of photos at once? We don’t think so. Thanks to the implementation of dedicated servers, this will never be a problem for you. Rest assured that your site will never be negatively affected by another auctioneer’s activities. Each auctioneer is now supported by their own dedicated resources, so you can be confident that you can accomplish exactly what you need to, when you need to.

 

In fact, with the release of SAE V. 2.0, we are ensuring that your site supports 300-item catalogs and performs with near real-time dynamic updates within 5 seconds of less.

 

New Basic and Pro Plans

 

To make way for our shiny new infrastructure, we have officially retired our Cadet, Captain, and Colonel plans and simplified those into two new plans: Basic and Pro. Determining which plan is best for you will depend on the amount of visitors to your site at one time, but both plans offer all the features that you love. Conduct an unlimited number of auctions from anywhere, anytime with no contracts or setup fees for either plan.

 

Initially, we recommend that all auctioneers start off with the Basic Plan, which now comes with a 30 day free trial. The Basic Plan is perfect for a small auction house with 25 or less active bidders at one time. With the Basic Plan, you pay only $180 per month.

 

We wish to clarify that the number of bidders is not the total number of bidders, or even the number of bidders active on your site at one time, but rather the total number of bidders simultaneously bidding. You may have 500 total bidders, but as long as you don’t have more than 25 bidders placing bids at the exact same time, the Basic Plan should work great for you.

 

If you do have more than 25 concurrent bidders, the Pro Plan will work best for you. Choose this plan if your business has a large or growing pool of customers; the price per month will be based on the number of active bidders your online auction house will need to support. With the Pro Plan, you’ll receive all of the features that come with the Basic Plan, but you will receive the added benefits of additional dedicated resources to cover your existing bidder base.

 

With our new House Analytics and business intelligence statistics, you can easily monitor your active bidders. With this information, you can track bidder trends and activities, and you can adjust your plan as needed. You will be able to monitor any overages, so there will be no surprise charges at the end of the month.

 

It’s all really quite simple. New customers can either sign up today for the Basic Plan, or contact an SAE representative at (256)261-3159 or help@sharpauctionengine.com in order to start with or upgrade to the Pro Plan. After that you just pay your monthly plan premium at the start of each month.

 

For existing SAE auctioneers, you will be migrated over on the new Basic Plan to start with, but grandfathered in at the same rate you are currently paying per month. If at any time you would like to review or change your current plan, you can visit the Account tab in House Settings. If you have questions or would like to discuss your plan options, contact us at help@sharpauctionengine.com. Migrations have already begun for existing SAE auctioneers, so if you are ready to make the switch yourself, go ahead and give us a call at (256)261-3159 to schedule it!

 

If you would like more information on the new plans, check out our new side-by-side comparison and, better yet, sign up for your 30 day free trial today!

 

Marketplace

 

Do you have a network of bidders and a group of auctioneers within the same industry? Would you like to manage your own marketplace? With Sharp Auction Engine enterprise and marketplace solutions, it’s your market and your rules.

 

For those larger companies with multiple auctioneers or for groups of auctioneers within the same industry, a marketplace may be the ideal option. We have been working closely with partners over the past six months to develop such an option.

 

As the Marketplace owner, you will establish and control the overall setup, including the branding, configuration, terms, categories, payment options, and more. It’s your market and your rules! Each auctioneer can sell under their own house, yet under your terms.

 

Your auctioneers can sign up and conduct their own auctions that will display on your marketplace and will be available for your bidders to bid on. This is a great way for many auctioneers within the same company or industry to join together with shared bidders to create a new option for bidders to bid on many different auctions in one location.

 

Are you interested in an enterprise or Marketplace solution? Contact us at help@sharpauctionengine.com to find out what we can do for you.

 

Private Label

 

2.0 may have been months-in-the-making, but the evolution of SAE into a true private label product goes much farther back. Everything we have learned and all of the feedback we have received since we launched more than three years ago has led us to this point.

 

We are happy to announce that the transition to becoming a true private label product is complete with the release of 2.0. SAE is officially your auctions, your brand, and your bidders!

 

We’ve taken many steps along the way. Here are some of the most important ones:

 

  • Forked bidder databases

 

Your bidders are your bidders and no one else’s. If a bidder creates a bidder account for your auctions, that account is good for only your auctions.

 

  • Customizable Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy

 

Previously, new bidders who signed up were required to accept the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy for Sharp Auction Engine. With the new private label change, however, auctioneers can now set their own site-wide Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy. These can be edited at any time by visiting the Terms & Conditions tab in House Settings. Bidders will only be required to accept your Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy before they can complete registration and begin placing bids.

 

Not sure what to put for your Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy? No worries. We provide each new auction house with a free default Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy. You can edit or replace these at any time in House Settings, as mentioned above.

 

Please note that whenever changes are made to either the site-wide Terms and Conditions or Privacy Policy, bidders will be notified that changes were made, and they will be required to re-accept.

 

  • Unbranded bidder emails

 

Your plan with SAE includes an extensive array of automated emails that keep both you and your bidders updated on site activities, but that’s nothing new. What’s new is that all SAE branding has been removed from all bidder emails. Your bidders will see no mentions of Sharp Auction Engine. Even the sender is shown as “Auction Support” so that it remains neutral and unbranded.

 

  • Mailing list signup removal

 

In the past, we have provided new bidders with an option to sign up for the Sharp Auction Engine mailing list when creating accounts. This has been removed for 2.0.

 

Consignors and Settlement Reports

 

One of the most common requests that we have received is to add consignors and settlement reports, so we are happy to say that this feature is now available for SAE auctioneers.

 

We have added a new “Consignors” tab in House Settings where you can add, edit, and delete consignors. This tab resembles and functions similarly to the “Users” tab. For each new consignor, you can establish a default rate of commission.

 

Once your consignors have been added, when creating new items you have the option to select a specific consignor to associate with each item using the new Consignor Details module on the Item Manager. Using a helpful typeahead tool, you can easily select from your list of consignors. The default rate of commission will populate when the consignor is selected, but this can be changed per item if needed.

 

If you are creating items using the Bulk Import Template, you can also easily select consignors for your items. New fields have been added to the Bulk Import Template to make this easy and seamless. One tool we have incorporated to make this feature easier to use when bulk importing is the Consignor Code. You can assign a specific Consignor Code to each consignor, and you can simply enter this code on the Bulk Import Template. Keep in mind when bulk importing that the consignor must exist within the system before you can use the Consignor Code on the Bulk Import Template.

 

Once you have created your items and assigned your consignors, you can track commissions using the new Consignor Settlement Report. Unlike previous reports this one is unique in that auctioneers will need to be able to run the report to show all consignors or an individual consignor. When selecting the report, there are three different actions to choose from: View, CSV, or PDF. When you select an action, a modal will pop up to confirm whether you would like to show the report for all consignors on the report or an individual consignor.

 

Please note that consignors are currently only available for two auction methods: “Online Only” and “Online + On-site Event.” This feature is not currently available for “On-site Event” or “For Sale” listings, but we will consider adding this option to these auction methods in the future.

 

Allow & Block Lists

 

Another popular feature request has been to develop an auto-approve/auto-deny option, and, again, we have delivered. SAE V. 2.0 comes with the new Allow and Block Lists. Auctioneers now have the ability to add specific bidders to their Allow Lists, and those bidders will be auto-approved for all listings. Similarly, auctioneers can add specific bidders to their Block Lists, and those bidders will be auto-denied for all listings.

 

Auctioneers can add bidders to the Allow or Block List in different ways. First, on the Bidders tab in House Settings, there is an option to add bidders to the Allow or Block List as well as an option to remove a bidder from the lists. This same option is also on the newly updated bidder profile pages. On the Bidders tab, there is also a new filter that allows auctioneers to show only bidders who are on either the Allow or Block List. In addition to the filters, we’ve also added two easy-to-find buttons to both the Bidders tab and to bidder profiles that link directly to the filtered results for the Allow or Block List.

 

Please be aware of the following additional details when utilizing this new feature:

 

  • The bidder will still need to accept Terms and Conditions per auction, yet they would always be auto approved after accepting.

 

  • The bidders are not notified in any way that they have been added to the Allow or Block List. However, they will be notified that they have been either approved or denied to bid for specific listings. For bidders on the Block List, they will be advised the following when attempting to accept the Terms & Conditions for a listing: “The auctioneer has declined to accept your request to bid.”

 

  • Bidders on your Allow List will not be charged a pre-authorization amount for listings that require preauthorization. Those bidders will simply be auto-approved.

 

  • Adding a bidder to the Allow List will automatically approve him for all listings, regardless of whether he or she was previously denied or was pending approval to bid on a listing. Similarly, adding a bidder to the Block List will automatically deny him for all listings, regardless of whether he or she was previously approved or was pending approval to bid on a listing.

 

  • Changing a bidder from Allow List to Block List auto-denies the bidder for all listings; changing a bidder from Block List to Allow List auto-approves the bidder for all listings.

 

Customizable Categories

 

In the past, we have provided all auctioneers with a set list of categories. These categories were broad so as to work for many different types of auctioneers. However, due to requests we received, we have changed this to allow for complete category customization.

 

If you are not familiar with how categories work with Sharp Auction Engine, auctioneers have the option to assign one or more categories to each new listing. Bidders can then filter the listings to display specific categories. Additionally, the categories are searchable within the system and with SEO they improve visibility in search engines.

 

For new auctioneers, creating your categories should be one of the first things you do when setting up and customizing your house. Existing auctioneers’ categories will not be affected, although they can now take advantage of the new feature and customize their existing categories.

 

To accommodate this new feature, we have added a new Categories tab in House Settings. Simply visit this tab to edit, delete, and add categories. Assigning categories to listings will remain the same as before; just assign categories in the Basic Details module on the Catalog and Item Managers when creating new listings. Any unused categories will not be displayed to bidders; they will only see categories that are currently assigned to existing items when filtering.

 

View Maxbids

 

By default, all maxbids are private; only the bidder can see his or her maxbids. However, due to several requests received from auctioneers, we have created a new feature that allows auctioneers to monitor bidders’ maxbids. By default, auctioneers still will not see maxbids, but you can visit the Advanced tab in House Settings to enable this feature.

 

This is an important feature to many auctioneers because it allows them to proactively monitor their auction activity. If a bidder places a blatantly erroneous maxbid, an auctioneer can proactively reach out to the bidder to correct this.

 

If you are going to use this feature, we recommend adding information to your site-wide Terms and Conditions to notify your bidders that their maxbids will be accessible to you in order to ensure transparency.

 

To actually view the maxbids, simply visit the Manage Items page, where we have added a new column that displays maxbids along with a total maxbids amount at the top right. Additionally, view the Bids tab in House Settings or click “Manage Bids” on any listing or item.

 

Please note that if a bidder does wish to change his or her maxbid on an item, all he or she needs to do is place another maxbid. If a bidder places a new maxbid on an item, it automatically overrides any existing maxbids he or she may have previously placed on the item.

 

Auction House Analytics

 

We have long touted an integration with Google Analytics to allow auctioneers to easily track their auction house activity and traffic, but now we’ve taken this even further by building our own built-in auction house analytics. On the Auctioneer Dashboard, auctioneers will now see a button titled “View House Analytics.” Clicking this button will take the auctioneer to a new page that shows a variety of information, including graphs, to display the number of active users, item and catalog views, and more.

 

This feature is particularly helpful in monitoring site traffic to ensure that your current plan supports your current bidder activity.

 

Clicking “Publish” Saves All Changes

 

The Catalog and Item Managers are comprised of several modules that contain varying customization options. For example, there is an Accounting module with the option to set the tax rate and buyer’s fee. Each one of these modules has an associated “Save” button. Previously, in order to save an individual module’s changes, you had to click that specific “Save” button. Now, however, due to a 2.0 enhancement, these buttons are now “Save All” buttons, meaning that whenever you click the “Save All” button on any one of the modules, all of the changes on all of the modules are saved. The same applies whenever you click to “Publish” a catalog or item, all of the changes to the various modules are automatically saved. You can think of “Publish” now as a “Save All” button, as well.

 

Bulk Importing Updates

 

Bulk Importing is an important tool that allows auctioneers to upload many items at once using a simple downloadable spreadsheet. We’ve made this tool even more helpful for 2.0. Now, if you need to make updates to items that you have already created with the Bulk Import template, you can simply make the changes on the template and re-run it. The Bulk Import template will update existing items with matching lot numbers. This update has many benefits. For example, if you create the items first before running a Bulk Import template, running the template will not create duplicate items. Instead, it will update the existing items with matching lot numbers.

 

Overall, this will save auctioneers a lot of time. No longer will you have to edit items one at a time.

 

Emails

 

As previously mentioned, your Sharp Auction Engine plan includes a series of automated emails that go out to you and your bidders with updates on site activity. We are constantly adding new emails for each new release, and V. 2.0 includes multiple new emails. See below for a breakdown:

 

  • “Your auction house is under construction.”

 

This new email is a one-time email that will only apply to newly registered auctioneers. When a new auctioneer signs up, we will send this email to notify him or her that the auction house is being created. Once the auction house has been created, an additional “Getting Started” email will be sent with the auction house url and steps to complete to set up and customize your new auction house.

 

Please note that creating a new auction house typically takes less than one hour, but it can take up to 24 hours.

 

  • “You are the highest bidder.”

 

When a bidder becomes the highest bidder on an item, he or she will now receive an email confirming the high bid and encouraging him or her to place a maxbid on the item. This new email goes hand-in-hand with the existing “outbid” email, which notifies a bidder when he or she has been outbid.

 

  • “Your question has been answered.”

 

With our Questions feature, if a bidder has a question on an item, he or she can ask that question directly on the Item Detail page. The auctioneer can then answer the question, and it will be displayed publicly to other bidders. This can prevent bidders from asking the same question multiple times.

 

In the past, we implemented an email that goes to the auctioneer when a question has been asked. Now, we have added a new email to notify the bidder when his or her question has been answered. This email includes the question and answer within the email, and it provides a link for easy access for the bidder to place bids on the item.

 

  • “You have been approved to bid.”

 

This new email is sent to the bidder when he or she has been approved to bid on a listing that requires either manual approval or preauthorization. Since these listings do not provide automatic approval, we send an email so that the bidder has easy access to revisit the listing to begin placing bids.

 

  • “Bidding Approval Receipt”

 

Per request, we have implemented a helpful new email that serves as a bidder’s “receipt.” Whenever a bidder is approved to bid on an auction, whether that approval is automatic, manual, or due to preauthorization, the bidder receives this email to confirm the approval. The auctioneer also receives this email via cc. This email contains helpful contact information for both the auctioneer and the bidder in case there are any questions regarding the auction, and it provides a copy of the Terms & Conditions that were accepted as well as any amounts that were preauthorized.

 

Extended Bidder Profiles

 

Know more about your bidders and their activities with new extended bidder profiles. Clicking on a bidder’s username now takes you to an enhanced “bidder profile” page. Previously, only very limited information was displayed on this page, but now a vast amount of information is shown including the bidder’s contact information (first and last name, address, phone number, email address) and additional information relating to the bidder’s activity (last sign in, approved listings, registered date, number of bids, last four digits of credit card on file, etc.). Finally, there is an option on the bidder profile to add or remove the bidder to or from the Allow or Block lists.

 

This extended bidder profile is only available for the auctioneer. If another bidder clicks on a username, he or she will receive extremely limited information.

 

Listing and Item Sorting

 

Auctioneers can now change the default sorting for listings on the front page of their auction house. Visit the Additional Display Options module in the Theme tab in House Settings to choose whether to sort by “Ending At” or “Starting At.”

 

Similarly, auctioneers can also change the default sorting for items within catalogs. For the Item Detail page, auctioneers can now choose to sort by “Ending At,” “Lot Number,” or “Item Order Number.” Regardless of which option is chosen, bidders will still be able to change the sorting themselves.

 

Hide Absolute vs. Reserve Details

 

Another popular feature request we have received is the ability to hide whether a catalog or item is absolute or reserve. When creating a new listing, auctioneers are asked to choose whether or not it is an absolute or reserve auction. Previously, whichever option was chosen was displayed to bidders, but now auctioneers can choose whether or not this is publicly displayed or whether it is hidden.

 

You can visit the Advanced tab in House Settings to set a default, and then change this on a per listing basis with the Catalog and Item Managers.

 

Additionally, we have updated the hover hint/help text for “Starting Value” on the Item Detail page to make it clear that if there is a starting value for an item, that item will be considered a reserve item, regardless of what is chosen for the catalog: “Also known as a starting bid or opening bid, the starting value is the minimum amount for the first bid on the item. If there is no starting value, the first bid will be determined by the bid increments selected for the item. Please note that if there is a starting value for an item, that item will be considered a reserve item rather than absolute.”

 

Hide # of Registered Bidders

 

Similar to hiding the absolute vs. reserve details, we have added a new option to hide the number of registered bidders. Previously, this was displayed on the Catalog and Item Detail pages for all auctions. Now, auctioneers can go to the Advanced tab in House Settings and click to disable this feature.

 

Improved Bidders Tab and Registered Bidders Report
We have made some improvements to the Bidders tab in House Settings as well as the related Registered Bidders Report.

 

To view all registered bidders for an auction house, regardless of whether the bidder has fully completed registration or accepted T&Cs for a listing, the auctioneer can go to the Bidders tab in House Settings.

 

The house Registered Bidders report now has the same behavior as the house Bidders tab: both locations now display all registered bidders, regardless of whether the bidders have fully completed registration or accepted T&Cs for a listing.

 

Numeric and Non-numeric Lot Numbers

 

Auctioneers can use either numeric (1, 2, 3) or non-numeric (A, B, C) lot numbers when creating items. Additionally, auctioneers can use any combination, such as A1, AA, 2B, etc. When filling out a Bulk Import Template, there is a lot number column where this information can be entered. Auctioneers can also edit lot numbers for existing items on the Manage Items page. To edit the lot number, just click on the number (or non-number) in the Lot Number column. If you choose a lot number that is already in use you will see an error message advising you that the lot number is already in use and instructing you to choose another. Lastly, if needed, symbols are also allowed, such as #, @, !, ?, etc.

 

For step-by-step instructions on how to use this feature, check out this helpful support article on How to Edit Lot Numbers.

 

PayPal Debug Tool

 

Setting up PayPal Express payments for your auction house is easy, but in case something does goes wrong along the way, we have implemented a new tool for auctioneers to use to troubleshoot any problems. This new debug tool displays any error messages received from PayPal Express so you can make any necessary adjustments, such as updating your API keys or other information. Bidders will now see the exact error coming from PayPal along with options to ‘Go back” or “Get help.” If a bidder clicks the “Get help” button, he or she will be connected to the email address on file for the auction house to make it easy for the bidder to reach out to the auctioneer for assistance.

 

New “Advanced” Tab in House Settings

 

The House Settings tab previously titled “Settings” has been cleaned up and revamped into a new “Advanced” tab. See below for specifics on changes to this tab:

 

  • We consolidated the SSL request links and information to the Account tab only; we removed this duplicate information from the new “Advanced” tab. Now if you wish to request an SSL for a custom vanity domain, you can make that request by visiting the Account tab.
  • SAE Directory Settings have also been removed from the new Advanced tab. Since SAE provides a private label product, your auctions will display on your site and only on your site.
  • The tax settings that were previously in the “Settings” tab have now been appropriately moved to the Invoice Settings page.
  • The new Advanced tab includes new options such as the option to view maxbids, set defaults for displaying absolute vs. reserve details and the number of registered bidders, etc.

 

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

 

Search Engine Optimization is an important tool for auctioneers to attract new bidders to their auctions, so we are always looking for ways to improve your SEO. 2.0 brings many minor enhancements and updates to SEO. One of these enhancements is the addition of photo descriptions. You can now add descriptions to your photos to help improve your SEO ratings. To add descriptions, click the option to Edit the photo and there is a field to enter the description.

 

Additionally, we have made an update to custom page titles. SAE allows auctioneers to add a custom page title to their auction site by filling in the “Instance HTML Title” field on the Theme tab. When bidders find your auction front page in search engine results, this is the title they will see. However, if you wish to leave this section blank, that’s okay because we have implemented a new change that will automatically make your page title reflect the name of your auction house if the “Instance HTML Title” field is blank.

 

Simplified Stripe Setup

 

Setting up Stripe to accept credit card payments is a simple process, but now it is even easier! When enabling Stripe for your auction house, you are required to provide your live and secret keys. To avoid any confusion, we have rearranged and retitled these fields within our system to perfectly match Stripe. Additionally, we have added help text to further make it clear which key goes in which field.

 

Shipping Default

 

There are four different options for shipping when it comes to items: Shipping is available, Free shipping, No shipping (pick up only), and No shipping (Hide all shipping text). We have made a change so that the default for all newly created items is now “No shipping (Hide all shipping text).”

 

Image Support for WYSIWYG Editors

 

SAE uses WYSIWYG editors in a number of different places throughout the software, including on the Catalog and Item Managers for descriptions. These editors are already simple and powerful, providing a wide array of formatting options to auctioneers. Now, by request, however, we have added the ability to add images with the WYSIWYG editors.

 

When adding an image with the WYSIWYG editor, you will need to provide a url for the image. If you do not already have a url for the image, simply upload the photo to the house level in your Photo Manager to generate a url.

 

Required Invoice Due Dates

 

When you generate invoices, a modal pops up asking you to select an invoice due date. In the past, there has been a way to get around this which has led to some confusion. Invoices cannot be sent to winning bidders unless there are due dates. To simplify the process and to avoid any further confusion, we have made the due dates required; an invoice cannot be generated without a due date.

 

Video & Audio Player Embedding

 

With 2.0, SAE offers the ability to embed HTML5 media players in any auction listing. This has been a highly requested feature by tech savvy auctioneers.

 

Our audio and video players provide a clean and mobile-friendly interface and integrate seamlessly into your auction listings. This is the perfect tool to increase the perceived value of your listings, allowing you to give them character and highlight certain features for your bidders. Have a special story to tell about a certain item? Embed a video in the item’s page! Want to show off a property listing? Record an aerial drone video! Want to demonstrate the sound quality of an old phonograph? Post an audio file with it! These types of highlights have been shown to sell and increase bids on items. HTML5 embedding is also an important step in our efforts to provide live streaming for webcasted simulcast auctions.

 

For now, this feature is required to be enabled by SAE staff. Contact us at help@sharpauctionengine.com to request this feature for your auctions.

 

Cosmetic

 

We are always working to improve the overall look and usability of our product, and SAE V. 2.0 has dozens of enhancements and cosmetic updates to prove it. Below are some of the most important:

 

  • We previously introduced item group names, a feature that allows auctioneers to group certain items together so that they can be displayed and closed together with the staggered endings feature. With 2.0, we have made an update to display these group names on the items on the Catalog Detail page for both grid view and list view.

 

  • Many people ask us, “What’s the photo upload size limit?” Those same people are often surprised to hear that SAE auctioneers can upload photos up to 25 megabytes. To make it clear to all of our users, we have added help text to the top of the upload screen that prominently displays this information.

 

  • Your auctions are mobile responsive, meaning that the display responds to the specific size of the screen that they are being viewed on, whether that is a smartphone or tablet or computer. To make sure that they are displayed correctly on these different devices, we have made some updates to list and grid view for both catalogs and items. We have added character limits for catalog and item titles and descriptions to ensure that lengthy text does not offset your display. This does not mean that you cannot enter titles and descriptions longer than the limit; it just means that anything you enter in excess of the limit will be truncated. To assist you with this update, help text has been added and updated to the modal that pops up when creating new listings: “For optimal display, please limit the listing name to 48 characters or less.”

 

  • Custom html pages previously displayed a “Last Updated” date at the bottom of the page. Due to requests, we have removed this date for an overall cleaner display.

 

  • Since the Bulk Import Template can now be saved as either a .csv or as an Excel file, we have updated the help text for the bulk import process to make this option clear.

 

  • For quick and easy access to approve pending bidders for manual approval listings, we have added hyperlinks to the Bidders module on the Catalog/Item Managers.

 

  • Your auction easily integrates with Google Analytics; all you have to do is enter your Google Analytics tracking ID. To make this option more accessible, we have moved it from the Theme tab to the Marketing tab in House Settings.

 

  • When bidders have not completed registration, they cannot place bids. When this happens, we notify the bidders to “Please complete your registration.” To make it easier for bidders to complete their registration, we have made this sentence into a link that conveniently takes the bidder to the remaining steps of registration that need to be completed. Once completed, the bidder can begin placing bids.

 

  • The Catalog Detail page description tab title has been updated to say “Description” instead of saying the title of the catalog. This is now parallel to what is shown for the Item Detail page description tab, and it sets the right expectations for the bidder as to what to find in this tab.

 

  • For easier access to the Catalog Manager, we have added a new button to the top right corner of the Manage Items page that says “Manage my catalog.” This provides an alternative to navigating using the existing breadcrumbs.

 

  • Our newly implemented photo viewer for items has been updated to display the full photo, and thumbnail icons have been updated per request.

 

  • Also per auctioneer request, we have added lot numbers to invoices in a new column located at the far left of the invoice preceding the item name column.

 

  • Timestamps are now more dynamic. For example, in the Bid History tab for items, each bid is listed along with the time since it was placed, such as “5 minutes ago.” This time now updates in near real-time and is never outdated.

 

  • To satisfy another auctioneer request, we have updated the format of displayed times. Previously, times were displayed in the following format: 10:00am. Now, times are displayed in the format: 10:00 AM.

 

  • The “Closed” auction tab on the auction front page has been updated to say ‘Closed / Sold” since this also includes “Sold” listings.

 

  • The Manage Winners page previously sorted winners by bid amount. For 2.0, the default sorting has been updated to sort by lot number by default. Additionally, by default the Manage Winners page will now display 50 items at once (instead of 20) along with the option to show 100, 200, or even 400 items at a time. This makes using the Auto Declare option even more powerful than before, and it keep auctioneers from having to navigate between multiple pages; all the items are easily seen on one page.

 

  • Similarly, by default the Manage Invoices page will now display 50 items at once along with the option to show 100, 200, or even 400 items at a time.

 

  • We have cleaned up and reorganized the bidder registration page and extended the size of the “Email address” field.

 

  • The Bidders tab now includes a button that directly links to the Registered Bidders Report. Often, auctioneers may visit the Bidders tab to view and manage bidders for the auction house. For ease of access, the new button links to the Registered Bidders Report so that auctioneers can easily print and download the bidder information.

 

  • We have updated the help text for Starting Value (“Also known as a starting bid or opening bid, the starting value is the minimum amount for the first bid on the item. If there is no starting value, the first bid will be determined by the bid increments selected for the item.”) and Reserve (“The reserve is the minimum price that a seller is willing to accept for a property being sold in auction. In a reserve auction, the seller retains the right to accept or decline any and all bids, or to withdraw the property at any time prior to completion of the sale. The reserve is confidential and is not displayed to bidders.”) on the Item Manager. Additionally, we have updated the help text for Starting Value to make it clear that if there is a starting value for an item, that item will be considered a reserve item, regardless of what is chosen for the catalog: “Also known as a starting bid or opening bid, the starting value is the minimum amount for the first bid on the item. If there is no starting value, the first bid will be determined by the bid increments selected for the item. Please note that if there is a starting value for an item, that item will be considered a reserve item rather than absolute.”

 

  • Per request, we have enhanced the display for sold/closed listings so that most recently closed listings are shown first.

 

  • We have added an error message to invoices when a bidder tries to make a credit card payment when there is no credit card on file. The system now specifically advises the bidder that there is no credit card on file in addition to linking the bidder to the Bidder Dashboard, where he or she can easily add a credit card.

 

  • In order to avoid any pixelation, you must always use high-resolution images for the front page carousel. We have added help text to the Carousel section in the Theme tab to assist auctioneers in choosing images that will work best: “For optimal display, please use a picture larger than 800 x 600. If minimal size requirement is not met pictures contained in the carousel may appear distorted.”

 

  • We have also added help text to the Bidder Payments tab regarding credit cards. If a bidder wishes to update or replace an existing card, all he or she has to do is add a new card. The help text now makes it clear to the bidder.

 

  • A minor enhancement has been implemented for Safari to improve viewing item images on mobile. Previously, there was an issue where attempting to view the full photo zoomed the page rather than just the photo, but we have made adjustments to resolve this behavior.

 

  • We have updated much of the language throughout the site to ensure professionalism and consistency. Some examples include changing “log in / log out” to “sign in / sign out,” “user name” to “username,” and “e-mail” to “email address.”

 

  • SAE utilizes a color coding system to denote the different statuses of listings, and this has been extended to the Manage items page. These colors are as follows: geen – published/ready, yellow – draft, red – closed, blue – archived.

 

  • The bid module on the Item Detail page has been revamped with updated text, organization, and spacing.

 

Support

 

Finally, let’s take a look at some important updates to the SAE Support Policy.

 

All Basic and Pro customers receive free 24/7 email support and 9-5 CST phone support with our product. Whether you have an IT department or whether you are handling the software yourself, we know that technology isn’t always as simple as it seems. We also understand how a frequently asked question forum doesn’t always solve your problem. Please feel free to contact our dedicated support team anytime you need help.

 

SAE now offers the following support resources:

 

  • Training For New Customers: All new customers start off with an account manager that will guide you through your entire first auction, from creation to payment. We can also offer a longer training period for those who need extra hand holding for a small extra fee. SAE also provides quarterly in-house training workshops that are free to attend by any customer, new or old. On-site training for you and your team is available for $750 a day plus travel accommodations. Contact carolyn@sharpauctionengine.comfor questions.

 

  • Phone Support: 9 am to 5 pm central time. 5 days a week. Call our office main line: (256)261-3159.

 

 

 

 

  • Social Media Channels: We’re here all the time. Stop by and say hi.
    Facebook: facebook.com/SharpAuctionEngine
    Twitter: @AuctionEngine
    Snapchat: sae_software
    Instagram: sharpauctionengine

 

 

Busy Schedule? You can also schedule one on one support at a time that works best for you. After hours are available with a respectable advanced notice. Schedule your time with a product specialist to have a personal consultation on how SAE can work best for your company.

 

Now that we have addressed changes to the SAE Support Policy, let’s check out a couple of additional support updates.

 

You may notice some slight changes to the overall look and feel of the SAE Support Portal. We have upgraded our Support Portal and updated all corresponding links within the system, but you and your bidders still have the same access to the Support Portal, which provides many new How Tos, FAQ, and video tutorials.

 

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. With 2.0, however, the Support Portal will now be even more helpful for bidders thanks to many new bidder-focused solutions.

 

With our transition to become a true private label product, we no longer directly provide support for bidders. This is why we have made efforts to add more bidder-focused resources, including new videos to our YouTube channel that offer guidance from the bidder point of view. These could be used for guidance while creating your own branded bidder tutorials or they could even be embedded on a custom page within your SAE platform.

 

Please be advised that the floating Support tab has been removed, and any bidder support links that previously went to help@sharpauctionengine.com are now directed to the auction house email address on file. Additionally, messages that come from Auction Support to bidders, such as the message that advises the bidder that he or she has a new invoice, now shows up as coming from the auction house and if a bidder replies, the reply goes to the auctioneer instead of to SAE.

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