By utilizing the auction method, the real estate industry is quickly realizing that their listings spend reduced time sitting on the market and reach maximum realized value. No experience with online auctions? No problem! Sharp Auction Engine makes it easy to list, display, and auction your properties on your own customized platform.
Sharp Auction Engine is proud to announce that SAE v2.3 is our “Real Estate Friendly” release! With most of our more important features in this release focused on customization and the user experience, we’ve made it easier than ever to enhance your business’ online presence.
SAE v2.3 also includes oft-requested features such as enhanced bidder registration options, a more robust selection of site customization features, and general display improvements to ensure that you and your bidders have the smoothest experience possible.
Let’s take a look at what’s new.
Auctioneer Language Edits
At Sharp Auction Engine, we understand that one of the most important services we can offer is the ability to customize YOUR site, YOUR way. Auctioneers now have the option to edit certain tabs and buttons through the “Advanced” tab under Custom Terminology Preferences. Below is a list of areas currently editable through the “Advanced” tab:
- Map & Preview
- Terms & Conditions
- Bidder Registration
- Accept Terms & Conditions
By improving your ability to customize your auction house, we hope to show our commitment to helping you build your own unique brand using our platform.
Search Bar Improvements
We’re always looking for new ways to improve our users’ experiences within our platform. One way we’ve tried to accomplish this is by improving search functionality through our platform. Now, it’s easier to quickly find the items you’re looking for. SAE v2.3 incorporates a search bar feature within each listing. No longer will you have to click through pages of items to find one that interests you in a catalog. With this tool, you can search for items in a catalog by name, lot number, group assignment, or even the item description!
The search bar is “all-inclusive”. This means that an item that contains any term used in your search will be included in your search results, regardless of where the search terms were located within the item.
For example, search results for the term “Sofa” will include all items with “Sofa” in the item name, all items groups containing the word “Sofa”, and any items with “Sofa” in the item description.
Add Fields for Create Bidder
We understand that for certain industries, more information about your bidders may be needed even if they meet the minimum requirements to bid. Auctioneers can now input a bidder’s driver’s license number and state into their bidder information page, as well as their tax exempt status.
Hide Email Confirmation on Initial Register Pages
In an effort to keep bidders focused on their account creation, we no longer direct users to the email confirmation step of bidder registration until all other steps are completed. Our reason for doing so are as follows:
- It allows for the user to focus on one task at a time
- It allows more time for the email confirmation to reach the user.
- It prevents users from “confirming” their account without actually completing their registration.
LSAE Supports up to 750 Item Count Listings
Good news for auctioneers who conduct auctions with a large number of items! We have once again improved our overall capability and performance, and we are backing up our claim with a new 750-item per listing guarantee. This means whether your auction has one item or 750, you can rest assured that your software will perform with the same speed and reliability that you have come to expect from SAE thanks to important infrastructure updates.
Does this mean that you can’t have auctions with more than 750 items? Absolutely not! It only means that we cannot guarantee the same level of speed and stability that we can for auctions with 750 or fewer items. We are always up for a challenge, however, and the data we would receive would be beneficial to us as we continue to increase the supported number of items in upcoming releases.
Minor: (aka “Display & Navigation” section)
Each new release comes with numerous updates to improve overall display and navigation. We’ve already covered many of the more significant updates, but continue reading for a look at some of the smaller updates that v2.3 has to offer!
Clarify Changes in how to Edit Lot Numbers
With our Clerk on the Fly® feature, you can now easily edit your items’ lot numbers with a few clicks of a button! To edit the lot numbers of existing items, first navigate to the “Manage Items” page of the catalog in question. From this page, click the small biplane icon under the “Actions” column next to the item you wish to edit. This will open the Clerk on the Fly® interface. Click the “Quick Edit Panel” button to reveal the field where lot numbers can be edited. Previously, a lot number was just that; a number. Now, lot numbers can now include any combination of letters, numbers, and special characters!
Address Requirement Loopholes
We know your time is important, and the last thing we want you to do is to waste it trying to hunt down your bidders! For this release, we have identified (and closed) a few loopholes in our account creation process that would allow a user to create an account and bid without entering all of the necessary information.
In accordance with this, users are now unable to register to bid until they include a street address as part of their account detail.
Internet Purchase Fee: Customization & Clarification
With all of the regulations and specifications in certain auction industries, we understand that an auctioneer may need to include extra fees for their bidders beyond the sales tax, buyer’s premium, etc. Previously, customers with our Marketplace product have been able to add an additional “Internet Purchase Fee” that extended to each house within that marketplace. With this release, we are excited to bring this feature to individual auction houses, no matter the size.
And that’s not all; the internet purchase fee is also customizable which means you have the ability to rename the internet purchase fee to fit the specific industry needs, allowing for less confusion on behalf of the bidder. The internet purchase fee (or whatever you decide to name it) will also appear as a separate line on a bidder’s invoice, so there is no confusion as to which fees are implemented for an auction.
Credit Card Hold Explanation
We know one of the most important aspects of conducting an auction is actually getting paid for it! Nothing can be more frustrating for an auctioneer than to lose money on an item because a bidder is fraudulent or for whatever reason unable to pay at the end of the day. To help alleviate the possibility of this happening, we support adding a “Pre-Authorization Amount” to your auctions. Here is a snippet of something we also encourage for you to add to your auction’s Terms and Conditions.
“As a bidder, your card may be ‘pinged’ with a temporary charge to check that a certain pre-authorization amount (usually between $15 and $100) is present in your account. This is to prevent fraudulent bidders from participating in auctions. This charge will only be a HOLD to verify that you have the set amount in your account – the funds will not actually be deducted from your account, The hold will disappear after the amount has been verified, but the process can take up to 10 business days. THE AMOUNT OF THE HOLD WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE TO USE UNTIL THE HOLD HAS BEEN RELEASED.
For this reason, we highly recommend that you use a Credit Card instead of a Debit Card when registering to bid on an auction. This will prevent the pre-authorization hold from temporarily affecting your finances. You may need to check with your auctioneer to verify the pre-authorization amount they have set.
This hold is separate from any other actual charges you may accrue during bidding. You will still be expected to pay the full amount for any items won on your final invoice, in addition to having the funds temporarily set aside for the pre-authorization amount.”
“Manage Bidder Payments” Button Added to Payments Tab
From the Payments tab, auctioneers can now easily view all payments associated with their bidders. Simply click on the “Manage My Payments” button to view a list of payments both received and due!
Clickable Links in Map & Preview Section
Now, auctioneers have the ability to add HTML links within their listing’s “Map & Preview” details!
Sales Tax Can Now Appear on Item Detail Page
To avoid confusion from both an auctioneer and bidder perspective, auctioneers now have the ability to feature an item’s sales tax percentage on the bidding information panel provided on the item detail page. Users are now able to see an item’s sales tax percentage once registered to bid on that item or catalog, instead of having to wait until they received an invoice.
Have you checked out the newly updated Support page on the SAE website? If you ever need help, there is a number of resources available for you, including video tutorials, an online handbook, and many FAQs and How-To guides.