Silent Auction Pro Reviews

Silent Auction Pro

Live auction event management for nonprofits

4.8/5 (278 reviews)
Jennifer H.

Great Support and good for small non profit

Used Other for 1+ year
Reviewed on 2019/04/19
Review Source: Capterra

I would love to see the other side of the database developed - the expense side. I would like to be able to run true reports revenue verses expenses. I wish Silent Auction Pro would have additional fields that could be labeled however the customer needed them - similar to creating different types of tickets but for other needs related to auction items. Lastly, I have only one complaint about the cost. I understand and accept the cost and 2% for auction items, however, it doesn't seems fair to have the charity pays 2% of the cost of a consignment item (ie. trip, autographed album cover) that cost $1000's of dollars. The charity ends up paying silent auction pro most of the profit they make on the item if they only make a couple of hundred of dollars over the consignment price. I believe the 2% should be on what the charity makes net on the auction not gross.

Pros

This is great software for silent auctions and generally a good value for a small non profit. They have amazing customer support with almost immediate response and the help section is fantastic. The on-line program for auction items is a tremendous feature. This gave us the opportunity to market our auction items in advance of the event and create a buzz. We love the ability to be able to pull up past donations and have the fields autofill - that saved a lot of work the second year we used the software. We also love the scheduled communications. We scheduled an e-mail 2 days prior to the event to go to all attendees with information on parking, dress, etc., as well as an e-mail 2 days after the event thanking people for attending. Lastly, we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the e-mail/text notification for auction winners. So many people have commented on how much they appreciate this feature.

Cons

I will say there were a few quirks with ticket purchasing. We had 2 couples buy tickets and have receipts but they were not in the software anywhere. This happened last year as well. Silent Auction has yet to find out why this happened, but overall the ticketing system works well. Since this quirk happened the first year we had a "back up" plan if it happened to anyone this year and how we would handle it. I wish the site was more clear about security of the site and that the credit cards are going through the paypal system, not our computers. Some people get funny about buying items on-line and we have had a few of these instances/complaints. I also wish it was more clear when someone was buying multiple tickets that the first ticket was going to the buyer - and if the buyer was buying tickets for someone else they could change this in the system if they were not attending or already purchased their ticket. I wish there was a way to modify the bid sheet layout. I think the site could easily become more user friendly by creating buttons for some commonly used things - such as create a donor, create a donation - instead of links buried down in the page. So many of the links look similar and can get confusing for people that are not using the software on a regular basis.

Response from Silent Auction Pro

Thank you Jennifer for the review. I wanted to add a few comments. On the missing tickets - The issue you encountered was caused by Apple's iOS 12.2 release on the iPhone for customers who were using PayPal as their processor. I don't know why but that release broke some basic functionality in Safari that we used as part of the online ticket purchase flow. We did quickly find a work around and have fixed the problem but that's the reason it happened. We did figure it out quickly and fix it.

Regarding the security comment - we do provide a link to credit card security and the guest must acknowledge that link before they purchase tickets. Unfortunately in my experience people don't read so they probably just miss that.

Regarding the first ticket being assigned to the buyer - The page does clearly show that the first ticket goes to the buyer but again, people don't read. We are also planning on allowing the first ticket to go to a guest.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

9.0/10
Lara K.

Excellent Choice

Used Daily for 1-5 months
Reviewed on 2017/10/07
Review Source: Capterra

Helped us run our best auction to date, with virtually no line at checkout, even though we had almost doubled our attendees from the prior year.

Pros

This is terrific software, especially for a smaller nonprofit. What sold the software to us is that when I inquired about it online on a Saturday, I got an immediate phone call from the owner of the company and software developer. This was very typical of all interaction with this company throughout our use of the software - we got immediate responses from support when we had questions, they understand that auctions happen on weekends and support needs to be available then, and when we found a few quirks in the software they were repaired immediately, often by the developer personally. We previously used Greater Giving and BidPal; all three have features that I like and don't like, but overall SilentAuctionPro is by far the best value for the price. The a la carte pricing is a huge benefit for nonprofits like ours that cannot use all features (i.e. online bidding). Overall, from last year to this year (BidPal to SilentAuctionPro), we went from about 100 to 195 attendees, and from our worst checkout ever to our best. The instruction files, help menus, videos, etc were by the far the best of any nonprofit software we have used. We were invoiced after the auction for the software, which could be of great benefit for a nonprofit just starting out with their first auction.

Cons

I would love to be able to have a website where people can enter their own donations and have them populate as donation items in the system. There were a few quirks like the system not liking quote marks and ampersands. I would like for there to be a bit more explanation on the page about the security of registering your card as many of my guests weren't comfortable doing so at the time of ticket purchase. It would also be great to have more customization options for the ticket sales page. Because of the way we run our auction, I would very much prefer to be able to assign bidder #s to a household rather than to an individual, but this would have been fine if we had noticed it earlier and planned accordingly. I would also like to be able to customize a bit more on the receipts, include ticket descriptions, etc. I would have set up our fixed price items differently than we were advised to as I don't think it was the best option for our auction and was a bit of a hiccup, but in fairness it was something we didn't get to in advance and did on the fly, so it would have been avoidable with a little planning. Although the reports are generally pretty great, I did have to piece together a few to get to what I needed which could be a pain for someone with less Excel experience. Really minor, but because we can't use online bidding, I print our bidsheets on carbonless paper. Would very much prefer that the half sheet option printed as a 2up because I ended up reformatting them in Adob

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Amy A.

Silent Auction Pro helped us manage over 400 auction items at our event.

Reviewed on 2017/04/15
Review Source: Capterra

Silent Auction Pro allows us to manage a high volume of donators, donations, auction items, bidders, etc. Customer support is great, they are always available to answer my questions timely. Loved the phone call the day before the event to share the 800 number. Love that we can email receipts to winners. Love that we can notify winners via email or text once a table is processed. Like that you can have multiple users at same time, especially at event day, doing data input, checking in bidders, checking out winners.

Pros

Silent Auction Pro allows us to manage a high volume of donators, donations, auction items, bidders, etc. Customer support is great, they are always available to answer my questions timely. Loved the phone call the day before the event to share the 800 number. Love that we can email receipts to winners. Love that we can notify winners via email or text once a table is processed. Like that you can have multiple users at same time, especially at event day, doing data input, checking in bidders, checking out winners.

Cons

1) Certain characters are not liked by the program (inch symbol, & symbol), especially when exporting to excel. 2) Bid sheet area to write in bids is too crowded, would like options to modify bid sheet layout, not sure if we can or not but would like opportunity to export bid sheets to a file and add "NO BIDS" on back side of page 3) Price went up from last year, both module cost and %. 4) Would like more options to print vs export and when exporting to design what fields and sort order, especially on sold items 5) Dont like that when you create duplicate items that they are linked and then if one is not sold it cannot be deleted without deleting them both 6) When you update an auction item, you go back to the donation, update, then update auction item. It does not always take the updated title from the donation as the new title of the auction item. Cannot figure out why. 7) would like the name on the bid sheets to be larger font, as we had two bidders get the wrong cards and not know that it was not their name at the top 8) Would like bidders to write more clearly :) (I know, out our your control) 9) Would like a quicker way to see what auction items have no bids at the end of the event instead of scrolling through the page

Response from Silent Auction Pro

#1 Ampersands have special meaning in HTML and are therefore prohibited in some fields. Using in. instead of double quotes would be guaranteed to work.
#4 The Write Letters feature of the AuctionPromoter provides a lot of flexibility w.r.t. creating custom reports.
#5 Delete duplicated items using the bulk delete option at the bottom of the Edit Auction Items page.
#6 Auction item titles are DIFFERNT than the donation titles. Auction item titles are seeded with the donation title(s) when you first create auction items. From there on if you want to change the auction item title you have to do it on the auction item, not on the donation.
#8 Me too! Go to mobile bidding and you won't have that problem!
#9 With the AuctionPromoter you can project a leader board that shows all items with no bids. With mobile bidding there is also a special category that shows all items with no bids.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

9.0/10
Charisse B.

Tremendous system for making charity auction easier to set up

Used Daily for 1+ year
Reviewed on 2017/05/06
Review Source: Capterra

Set up and run the event solely from volunteer committee without having to contract with other services for ticketing or check in/out. Handle high volume auction and attendee counts with smaller committee.

Pros

Donation entry was intuitive and loved that we could pull up items donated before so that we didn't have to retype everything. Demo environment allowed us to get committee members up to speed quickly and also allowed us to practice on some creative set up to meet our auction needs. Ticketing feature offered a variety of ticket options, some only displaying with a promo code, and love the addition of the asking for the email address for a ticket purchasers' guests - made it simple to reach all attendees with the marketing tools. Allowing the ticket purchasers to select the meal, or any other item we programmed made the table/catering coordination easy. Marketing features to promote the event to our attendees as well as help them feel connected to the event that was a couple months away. We set up an online auction the week before our event and people loved it! The online auction was open to the public so it allowed parents to share with friends and family that weren't planning on attending. We posted the event auction items on the online auction as previews to entice bidders to attend to get a chance at the rest of the silent and live items. Reporting is good, check in/out is all on one page, the system performance is great. Loved working in system even from our smart phone browser to check on things, make changes etc. any time, any where. Customer support was outstanding!

Cons

Special characters aren't allowed in donation title so we had to change once they got loaded as an auction item. Special characters in the description like " for inch threw off the formatting of the data export to excel. Reporting is good, but would have liked a few more reports or the ability to create ad hoc reports. We found one report provided this item, but another report provided this item so we had to export to excel and do look up functions which is tedious to do each time. Would like more options for formatting of bid sheets, and also would like to see some additional options with displaying, leveraging the "Donation Tag" feature which is critical for us as our teams need to be identified. Would like filters on lists as well.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Alan H.

Silent Auction Pro - Good, but with some significant reservations

Used Daily for 6-12 months
Reviewed on 2016/11/09
Review Source: Capterra

Southern Gateway Chorus used Silent Auction Pro (SAP) to manage our Gateway Gala for 2016, our major fund-raiser of the year. We found much to like about it, but also a few things that could stand improvement.

The best thing about SAP is its people and the support they provide. They were right on top of everything. I never waited more than an hour for an answer to a support question. SAP also provides a very nice flow for managing donors and donations, and turning them into auction items.

We were also impressed with the ease of checking guests in and out and providing them with paddles and invoices. Data entry for auction results is also well-thought-out, and quick and easy (with the exception of the Fund-a-need auction type - more below).

Less useful is SAP's process for managing prospective guests. SAP conflates donors and guests as "Contacts". This means that if a person is both a guest and a donor, there is potential for duplication. SAP has a process for managing duplicates, but the outcome of the choices that you make in that process are not always very clear.

Southern Gateway sells many of the tickets to our event through person-to-person contact. We did not find a good way to handle these sales in SAP. We wound up having our list of guests imported, and then using SAP to assign bidder numbers to them.

SAP also does not deal well with groups of people (such as couples) who want to register using one credit card and bidder number. Its documentation, and its support personnel, stress the need to have each person have his or own contact record, phone number, email address etc. This is unnecessarily cumbersome.

One kind of auction, which SAP calls "Fund-a-need", is not very well handled. It requires that you create multiple phony "donations", and then turn them into phony "auction items". Data entry for these auctions is cumbersome and error-prone. We wound up with a number of duplicate entries, which had to be manually resolved. This should be an easy software fix.

Finally, SAP requires that you create a merchant account with Vantiv if you want to accept credit cards, and another account with American Express if you want to accept their cards. This process is not simple. You are also required to use card readers that you rent from SAP. Southern Gateway has a preexisting merchant account, and card readers, from Square. It would have been much easier if we could simply have used that account.

Pros

Capturing information about donors and donations
Creating auction items from donations
Checking guests in and out, and providing them with invoices
Bid entry (except for Fund-a-need)

Cons

Handling reservations and guests, especially couples and other groups
Formatting bid sheets - very little control over this format
Handling creation and bid entry for fund-a-need
Requirement to create a merchant account with Vantiv

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

7.0/10
Stephanie D.

Silent Auction Pro Thought of Everything!

Reviewed on 2016/05/10
Review Source: Capterra

Overall, I am extremely pleased with this software. I was totally immersed in it, learning every possible feature and application, to ensure that we got the maximum use.
Pro's:
1. The Help section is extremely well documented, and the customer support is amazing. The You Tube videos were very helpful for training both me and my volunteers. Any time of the day or night when I sent an email, I had an immediate response.
2. The options available were extremely comprehensive and knowledgeable about the mechanics of a benefit fundraiser. I cannot think of anything that I wanted to do that I couldn't do. From donor setup, to bidding styles (purchase of ticket parties for Teacher Experiences, to Silent Auction bidding, setting different minimum bids etc) to performance tracking, exporting info, everything was there.
3. The buzz that we created with the auction was definitely a boost to our event. We doubled our attendance vs. last year, just by starting the auction 4 weeks before the event, and creating excitement about the items that we offered early.
4. I am now set up for next year, with over 50% of the input work established already (donors, pictures and logos, bidders, etc). Next year should be a lot easier!
5. Auction Day section is powerful and easy to use - The check in was easy, online bidding was easy, and checkout was VERY easy, especially for those who had already registered their credit cards online. I could just click "auto process" for a batch of auction items, and with a click of the button, 20 people were checked out at once. Then I just looked up the auction number, passed out the gift envelopes or baskets, and done!

"Be Awares" - I won't say Con's!
1. The upfront setup in the first year takes some time. Start early, and I strongly encourage you to read all of the "Help" sections before you start. Even then, tread carefully as you craft your setup, and re-read some of the Help sections. I ended up re-doing a few of my entries as I thought about the structure, and crafted it for maximum efficiency and reporting.
2. Engage team members to do their own data entry as they gather donations. This will save you a lot in data entry time, especially if you have a lot of auction items, and especially in the first year.
3. Train your "auction assistants" well, before event day. This includes check in, auction bidding assistance, and check out, but is especially true for Check in.
Overall, very pleased!

Response from Silent Auction Pro

Thank you Stephanie for your detailed review. I'm sure potential customers will find this very helpful! On the "be awares". As you point out, our system is very comprehensive. We encourage people to play around in the demo group sandbox to help learn the system while not affecting the data in your own group. We're also happy to coach users on the best practices via email or a phone call. As you pointed out there are a bunch of great tutorial videos too!

Thanks again for the great review!

Jim

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Cindy J.

A Software that DEFINITELY Helps you Raise More Money

Used Daily for 1-5 months
Reviewed on 2017/03/24
Review Source: Capterra

This was our first use of this software and we were very satisfied with the results we achieved the night of our event. The software is relatively easy to use - the modules are marked but you do need to take you time to make sure you are on the right page. The customer support was fantastic. Every time I had a problem or a question they were there to answer it. They were able to go into my site, analyze my problem and help me solve it.

I did not use the registration part of the software since I purchased it too late to really get the benefit of that part of the program. However, I was able to push my guests to the site to register their credit card prior to our event. On the day of our event as our guests checked in we had a few banks of computers with people manning so that if our guests had difficulties they were there to assist. (I would recommend that for anyone using the program.)

During the event, we were able to showcase our fundraising live as it happened. This aspect definitely helped generate more bidding and involvement of our guests.

Pros

This was our first use of this software and we were very satisfied with the results we achieved the night of our event. The software is relatively easy to use - the modules are marked but you do need to take you time to make sure you are on the right page. The customer support was fantastic. Every time I had a problem or a question they were there to answer it. They were able to go into my site, analyze my problem and help me solve it.

I did not use the registration part of the software since I purchased it too late to really get the benefit of that part of the program. However, I was able to push my guests to the site to register their credit card prior to our event. On the day of our event as our guests checked in we had a few banks of computers with people manning so that if our guests had difficulties they were there to assist. (I would recommend that for anyone using the program.)

During the event, we were able to showcase our fundraising live as it happened. This aspect definitely helped generate more bidding and involvement of our guests.

Cons

The modules could be designed to be easier to differentiate.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Celia A.

Saved Us Time, Trouble And Confusion!

Reviewed on 2016/06/18
Review Source: Capterra

Before finding Silent Auction Pro, we were doing everything by hand. It took up a lot of everyone's time and led to a lot of frustration. After a very stressful night of having people waiting for us to hand calculate their winning bids and asking us every five minutes if we were ready, we decided there must be a better way to do this. A fundraiser should be fun! It has fun in the name! So I found Silent Auction Pro. It made such a difference to not have all of those people waiting for us to give them their winning items and invoices. And, checking out was quick. I highly recommend for events like silent auctions.

Pros

You can enter your donations one time and duplicate them if you have more than one or if you are repeating the same items the next year, you can see where your volunteers are in the process of getting their donations and they can mark their status, you can bundle lower value items together to make a larger basket and it is easy to do, the check in and check out at our event was fast! And, I was able to enjoy the actual event for the first time.

Cons

Not really a con, but a suggestion if you use this software: have a designated person in charge of using the software and train everyone to enter the information consistently. I think their best practices was helpful'it saves time to make sure you take that step so you don't have to edit a bunch of things later.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Emily D.

Auction software - JUST PERFECT FOR US!

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2016/12/21
Review Source: Capterra

Three years ago was the first time we used SilentAuctionPro. And we used it again for this year's event. SAP handled our 450+ donations with five users, 200 auction items, online bidding by 225+ guests and the raffle ticket feature.

We were able to train our volunteers on the AuctionDay features, and questions were quickly answered by the support staff via phone or email!

The extensive help section allowed users to familiarize themselves with the various features, too.

Tips for future users: start on soliciting donation early & use SAP to keep track of it all!

We plan to use it again for our next silent auction event in two years.

Great program, Silent Auction Pro. Leaps & bounds better than the days of paper bidding!

Pros

Add donor, add donation item, save! The extras are great:logos & pictures for displays, the communication tool saved us & we were able to message our bidders with auction highlights.

Cons

After our 2nd event, the system usage seemed more intuitive. We didn't realize how many features we could have used that first time! Would love the system to accept AmEx, not just Visa/MasterCard.

Response from Silent Auction Pro

Hi Emily - thank you for the review! FYI - You can accept AmEx, you just need to set up an AmEx account and give that number to Vantiv. Once it is set up just check the "Merchant Accepts AmEx" checkbox on the "Configure Merchant Account" page and AmEx will show up in the credit card select lists.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Amy J.

Silent Auction Pro is the BEST value available with amazing customer support!

Used Daily for 1-5 months
Reviewed on 2016/10/19
Review Source: Capterra

As a nonprofit consultant, I have worked with a variety of nonprofit organizations on their gala auctions. I recommended Silent Auction Pro to a nonprofit pre-school for their gala. We utilized all of the features offered by SAP, including a live and silent auction, the mobile feature and the event planning features with a very user friendly table assignment function. The product is very responsive and intuitive, and helped this organization raise over $79,000 above sponsorships and ticket sales the night of the gala!

Silent Auction Pro is without a doubt the best value of all auction products available. Jim Donnell and his team at SAP are extremely informative and helpful and are available for customer support nearly 24/7. I never had a question that wasn't answered politely and patiently on the first call. You do need to be a self-starter and allow enough time to self-train and train your committee members using the helpful You Tube videos, but their Support people are always available for questions and troubleshooting.

If your organization is on a budget or just doesn't want to pay a lot of money for the auction and event features, Silent Auction Pro is for you!!

Pros

It is intuitive and and easy to learn. Support team is very responsive and is constantly updating the product. It offers the absolute BEST value of any auction software I have used or researched! The mobile product is clean and user-friendly.

Cons

Some of the functions are a bit hard to find. You do have to be a self-starter to research all of the functions and know exactly what is needed before the gala night to check in, check out, and close the auctions. I had to contact customer support several times throughout the evening for assistance.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Heather C.

Sheboygan Service Club

Reviewed on 2016/11/30
Review Source: Capterra

Silent Auction Pro is a powerful tool for fundraising events. Login is smooth for past members and new members of the organization. Once you're on the site for some time, it's neat to see all the various ways data can be sorted and viewed. Mobile bidding was an interesting transition for our group and guests, but I think it will become smoother every year. The software has made tasks for the auction and operations team smoother every year with the saved data. It was great to see our member's work real-time, so we knew where we were at for auction items and ticket sales. It's also great to have the data saved in one spot from year to year.

Pros

Silent Auction Pro helped our auction and operations team see data (auction items, ticket purchases) on a real-time basis. Previously, we relied on spreadsheets and emails, and version were easily confused and confusing. It was also great to tally up totals at the end of the evening quickly to make a grand total announce while all guests were present.

Cons

This was our organization's first time using mobile bidding and it was received with mixed reviews. It was confusing for some to login if they didn't receive an email. We will collect emails at registration next year to make it smoother. The QR codes on the items were great, but most guests did not already have the app on their phones. It was difficult, at times, to scroll through items. Lastly, it would be great to have a cross reference for "baskets" by individual. We weren't sure why the numbers continued from 2015 rather than starting fresh for the new event.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

8.0/10
Heidi H.

We have used Silent Auction Pro for the past three years to manage our school auction.

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/04/15
Review Source: Capterra

Pros

The biggest pro for our organization is the customer support. It's superb. Being a rotating group of volunteers, we don't always have the technical know-how to manage the software right out of the gate each year, but the team at SAP really helps get us there by being available, knowledgeable, and clear with their guidance. Other pros: the functionality is robust, allowing us to do everything we need (set up online, silent, and live components of our auction, plus sell raffle tickets and track a fund-a-need). The platform is well organized and easy to navigate.

Cons

It does take some time up-front to learn the software and all that it can do. Sometimes we worried that we weren't using it at its full capacity or were taking more steps than necessary to complete a task. However, I think this is particular to our situation, because our group changes every year.

Response from Silent Auction Pro

Thanks Heidi! Hopefully your team takes advantage of the online help and video tutorials we have to help folks come up-to-speed on the system. As always - we're here to help! -Jim

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Lisa S.

Windsor Farm Elementary PTO Silent Auction Pro Review

Used Daily for 6-12 months
Reviewed on 2017/03/27
Review Source: Capterra

Silent Auction Pro provided an ease and professional quality to our annual auction we had not previously enjoyed. In years past, our annual elementary PTO Fundraiser and Silent Auction was a tedious process. We would create our Bid Sheets and Display Sheets on separate programs. We would have another person create our event programs. Our donations would be logged in an Excel Spreadsheet. We would have ticket sales go through the office secretary. It wasn't seamless and it wasn't efficient. The checkout process at the event was also a mess as we didn't pre aucthorize credit cards and would have weeks of clean up trying to collect money from bidders who left without paying.

Silent Auction Pro from the moment we received our first donation and our first ticket sale to the end of the auction provided a new ease and professional quality. The software is an Auction Administrators best friend as it tracked everything needed to make the event successful.

We are a PTO of an elementary school and each year our auction makes a net profit of anywhere between $25-28,000. This year we had our most successful auction and I do believe it was because Silent Auction Pro freed up some of the time we used to spend on data entry. I was able to essentially run this auction by myself with the help of Silent Auction Pro. with over 300 auction items.

I would highly recommend the program. The customer service was wonderful as I had many questions with this being my first time. It is an efficient tool to run a successful auction and event and I look forward to the opportunity to use this program again.

Pros

Easy to use, great customer service, able to manage all needs in one platform.

Cons

n/a

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Kate L.

Great auction software, outstanding customer support

Used Daily for 1-5 months
Reviewed on 2019/05/15
Review Source: Capterra

I would definitely recommend using this software to others and will use again myself. There is no doubt that we brought in more money using Silent Auction Pro. Pay attention to detail on the front side and the event will run seamlessly.

Pros

I had seen this software used as a guest at another event and sitting at our table, the excitement around driving the bids higher was impressive. So when it came for me to organize an event, I pushed for using Silent Auction Pro mobile bidding though we were uncertain that our clientele would be receptive. Post the event, the response was almost all positive, they loved bidding on their mobile devices and we made much more money from our silent auction. We particularly loved the automated winner text notification and giving them the opportunity to self check-out/pay, making it all so much faster and easier. From the point of view of the auction administrator, it made my life much easier with no last minute pulling an all nighter to produce bidding sheets, etc. The customer service was superb and personalized. Someone always answered my calls, no matter the hour and helped resolve the issue(s) I was having or if they couldn’t, they referred it to the developer who is the owner and soon afterwards all was resolved. I loved the reminders ahead of the event to ensure all was moving along smoothly and the personal calls to check in were very much appreciated. I felt fully supported at every step.

Cons

It was definitely challenging learning a new system but it was worth the time and effort. There were a few little quirks that need resolving and these I have shared with the developer.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Jennifer M.

Great product

Used Monthly for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2016/07/02
Review Source: Capterra

Silent Auction Pro completely changed the way we ran our annual silent and live auction. It took us out of the time-consuming task of tracking everything by Excel worksheets and allowed us to focus more on the actual fundraising.

Pros

We used this software to transition from using Excel worksheets (SO time consuming) to check people out from a live auction, to swiping credit cards and capturing their info for faster checkout. We were able to track our history of donors and popular items, and streamlined our request process to focus on what bidders really wanted. Selling tickets to the event became a much easier process as well. The software was intuitive, and the customer service was great.

Cons

While we loved our experience with Silent Auction Pro, we eventually felt we needed to switch companies to a platform that allowed for public searches of online auctions, rather than requiring a link and approval from an Auction Chairperson. We switched to another company in order to take advantage of a large and searchable/public auction community. However, that switch has cost us much more money. Instead, a strong marketing campaign on social media would bring the extra bidders without paying the more expensive subscription fee that the other company charged us. I will encourage the next Auction Chairperson to use Silent Auction Pro.

Response from Silent Auction Pro

Thank you for the review Jennifer! Regarding us not supporting a publicly searchable page - that's true though many of our customers prefer to keep their events private and use their own marketing efforts to reach bidders as you suggested. This also eliminates the need to potentially ship items to winners in any part of the country and reduces the likelihood of people backing out on an item they have won.

We may add similar capability in the future if we find more demand for it. - Jim

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

9.0/10
Julie W.

Golf Tournament Auction - Great System!

Reviewed on 2016/09/02
Review Source: Capterra

This is our 2nd year using Silent Auction Pro for our Online Golf Tournament Auction. It has been a great experience using their system and the support team is excellent - always a quick response and very receptive and helpful. In the past 2 years, we have more than doubled the amount we have raised through the auction!

Pros

Their online bidding system has opened up our golf auction to new participants that are not able to attend the day of the event. We have been able to grow our bidders and this helps grow the auction revenue! The software is easy to use and simple for the bidder to get started and follow their bids. It is also very easy to close out the auction quickly and securely. Customer Support is excellent! They helped us through many questions and quickly resolved any issues to make our process and event smooth and fun! There are great reporting features that have allowed us to follow up and track the information, items, donors and bidders for the event.

Cons

Would love them to create an app associated with the software for the mobile bidders to easily connect to the online auction.

Response from Silent Auction Pro

Thanks for the review Julie! Regarding providing an app for mobile bidding. Silent Auction Pro does offer a mobile optimized website that in my opinion is better than an app in that it does pretty much everything an app can do but there's nothing to download to your phone and it never has to be updated. I'll give you a call to get some more information - Jim

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Scott W.

Look no further. You have found a terrific solution to your online, silent and live auction headache

Reviewed on 2014/10/21
Review Source: Capterra

This is our fifth year of using Silent Auction Pro for our annual fundraising auction for our public schools and we can highly recommend it.

We looked at several competing products before deciding it offered the most-bang-for-the-buck for an Internet-based cloud solution (important for the ability to share access with many users). With only a few weeks to prepare, we were able to import the bidder and donor lists from previous auctions, set up all the new donation and auction items, export all the content for our printed program, run our auction smoothly and efficiently (the check-in and check-out process was MUCH improved from the previous years using spreadsheets), generate all reports needed to review and reconcile the results and easily print thank you letters directly from the software. Our bidders were all very impressed with how much better the auction ran that year and we raised over $41,000.

Our experience was so positive with Silent Auction Pro, that we decided to try to take advantage of almost all of its many features. We added the online bidding and mobile bidding options after again reviewing competing solutions, including those that cost thousands of dollars. With more time to prepare, we had almost 300 items listed for bidding online, complete with pictures and links to donor web sites, and collected bids totaling more than $30,000 before our live event even started! I cannot begin to describe how excited our hardworking volunteers were to literally see the fruits of their labor increasing on their computer screens with larger and larger bid results every day of that online auction.

We also took advantage of the integrated credit card processing feature, which allowed us to easily pre-register bidders and sell tickets online. We even had volunteers using iPads to check people in and enter bid results during the auction. And within minutes of the completion of final bidding at our live auction, I checked the results on my phone's browser and realized we had just raised over $56,000. Wow! THANK YOU SILENT AUCTION PRO! And a special thank you to your tech support for all the emails and phone calls you supported us with throughout the whole process.

Look no further. You have found a terrific solution to your online, silent and live auction headaches. We'll certainly be back again next year!"

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Tricia B.

Really Good Auction Program

Used Daily for 1+ year
Reviewed on 2018/11/01
Review Source: Capterra

Once you play around with the program, it seems to be pretty user friendly. And what you do not know how to do or are having trouble with, there are lots of tutorials to lead you through the process. Plus the support staff is excellent and amazingly helpful.

Pros

A good way to track all donations and purchases. There are many features which make this very easy. The check-out system is pretty user friendly and works well. The support staff at SAP are great to answer questions and lead you through the process.

Cons

The first ticket purchase by a buyer only allows for the purchasers name, and does not let you reassign the name to someone else right away – you have to go back in and readjust. It worked but is a little bit clunky.
A lot of data entry. As we were using this for the second time, some bits were easier as we could pull from past donors info.
The bid sheets selected the donations that were entered first, which were not always the biggest selling points when bundling
Setting up the bar tickets was a bit messy.
Would be nice to be able to pull more specified reports from the program. Customize the report formats.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

9.0/10
Eileen B.

We used Silent Auction Pro for the first time this year and it was perfect!

Used Daily for 6-12 months
Reviewed on 2017/11/02
Review Source: Capterra

We raised more money with less time and lower cost.

Pros

This was our first time running the school gala and we set out to find some new software to help us get the job done. With Silent Auction Pro we were able to do more with less - money, time and effort! From data entry to bid sheets, display sheets, program production, online bidding, ticket sales, day of event support, credit card payments (through a 3rd party which was also phenomenal), check in/check out and post event reports it was truly a joy to work this product and the support team.

This was my 3rd job for several months (following my full time paid employment and running a busy household) I often found myself in need of support at 10 or 11 pm. I always found a friendly and helpful voice on the other end of phone. Moreover, with Silent Auction Pro, if you can dream it, you can do it. Any idea we had the team worked with us to bring it to successful fruition. They were always available to troubleshoot and even proactively offered corrections to problems I didn't even know I had!
With the helpful of Silent Auction Pro we delivered the school's most successful fundraiser in years!

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Leslie L.

Solid auction software for an event of any size

Reviewed on 2017/03/15
Review Source: Capterra

Silent Auction Pro was very helpful in getting and staying organized for our auction. It is a fairly complex bit of software, so the first-time user may be a little daunted by all the options, but the support staff is always (And I do mean pretty much Always) available to explain things, and to help you figure out any issues. They can log in and look at your event with you, and give you real feedback, rather than just general suggestions, which is a huge help. The video instructional resources are also much more helpful that a printed set of instructions and are available on YouTube. It gave us a way to quickly determine how much we had made and which categories of items did the best. We also got a summary of who still hadn't paid for their items.

We bought just the Core and Auction Day, and that was fine for our medium-sized auction (around 100 items and 150 attendees). A bigger event could definitely have benefitted from the features of the Auction Promoter, but we were able to sell tickets online and print all the materials that were needed with the package we got.

Selling tickets online is very helpful, and the partnership that SAP has with Vantiv is a great feature. The folks at Vantiv are also very easy to work with and setting up the merchant account to accept credit cards was very smooth. However, I think there should be a non-profit rate because the cost was relatively high and went up at the beginning of 2017. Fortunately since we signed up 2 months earlier, we got the lower rate.

We did have an issue that caused us some delay and confusion. We had some Celebrity Dinners that we knew would generate a lot of interest and would have multiple winners. We didn't want to use the set price option that is offered for multiple winners because we wanted the competition. We ended up with some delay at checkout because we weren't prepared for how to keep track of the multiple winners in that situation. However, I think that closer consultation with SAP's support staff in advance could have helped us avoid most of the delay (and all of the confusion).

Overall this is a very good product, and I would definitely recommend it for an auction of any size.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

7.0/10
Minette E.

Silent Auction Pro Bidsheet Pro

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2019/04/11
Review Source: Capterra

Silent Auction Pro is easy for anybody to "pick up," which is good since the team running the auction has an almost yearly turnaround. Also, the customer support is phenomenal, if and when I do need to talk to someone about features.

Pros

I have been working Silent Auction Pro for many years now for our auction fundraiser. We have a silent and live auction portion and this program works perfectly for all our needs. There are still even more cool features that if we took the time to look through a bit, we could make things run even more smoothly (i.e. notifying winners of their winning bids, creating thank you cards for afterward, etc.)

Cons

It'd be nice if we could change font size on bid sheets - we have an elderly clientele and I know the sheets might be hard to read for them.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Theresa G.

Silent Auction Pro was easy to learn and use

Used Other for 6-12 months
Reviewed on 2019/08/21
Review Source: Capterra

I will definitely use Silent Auction Pro for our next fundraising event. The ease of use, price, and functionality of the website were good for my team and I.

Pros

I like that the staff at Silent Auction Pro continually checked up on me to make sure that I understood everything that needed to be done before my fundraising event. This was my first time using Silent Auction Pro and that was a HUGE help. I also found the videos very helpful when learning how to use the system. My team and I found Silent Auction Pro easy to use and user friendly.

Cons

I didn't like that you are unable to create tickets without a person's name assigned to it. We have sponsors that are gifted anywhere from 2-10 tickets. Sometimes they use the tickets within the company and other times they give them to their customers. The system wasn't easy for my team to find the correct company since it was assigned to a name, not a company.

Response from Silent Auction Pro

Hi Theresa - thank you very much for the review!
Regarding tickets having to be assigned to a person rather than a company. We do have a Company field in the contacts form and if you use that it will show up when searching for tickets to assign to a guest.

As covered in the Best Practices, if you do not have a contact name for a company, use a first name of "Community Supporter" (or something like that) and put the company name in the Last Name field as well as in the Company field. This will make it easy when searching for tickets, and will also work for the Thank You letters.

Jim

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Helna C.

Silent Auction Pro makes silent auction process simple and easy to use

Used Weekly for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2017/03/08
Review Source: Capterra

The software is very simple and easy to use. There are features and functionality that can be improved, however, overall the whole process save you time and money. Highly recommended for fundraising events.

Pros

Ease of use and simplicity of the process.

Cons

Image upload is very limited to what is set in the system and color customization is not available. It will be nice if you can add more image in the registration page to at least match the event website. Data archive is very limited. You have to back-up data after each event, otherwise, it's gone. They're very good in sending reminders, however, having the data archive for future use provides convenience and assurance that at least you have a copy or your data in Silent Auction Pro.

Response from Silent Auction Pro

Thank you for the review Helna! Just to clarify - we ABSOLUTELY DO keep all your data for each event so you don't have to back it up. All contacts, attendees, donations, payment transactions, everything is still in the system and hosted for a year from your paid event. I think perhaps you are not understanding where to find your archived data.

We've also added a new feature that allows you to upload an additional image for auction items.
-Jim

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Brian B.

Great customer service and a useful product getting better. Takes a little getting used to.

Reviewed on 2016/02/11
Review Source: Capterra

We have now used Silent Auction Pro for 3 years for our nonprofit gala. We started using it because it was the most cost effective way to take people's credit cards ahead of time for a more expedited check out process. Our board still doesn't want to go totally electronic, so we use it to sell tickets, to prepare the bid sheets for silent auction items, and to run the checkout process from our paper-based silent auction.

Pros: once you learn the system, there are a lot of aspects to it that are very quick: preauthorizing credit cards; assigning arrivals to large group ticket packages (improved this year); inputting silent auction items; checking out.

We love the fact that one person can sit down with all the bid sheets and enter winners into the system, and then all the user information pops up at the check out table with just a few clicks. Bundling donations into auction packages is a little bit clunky, but far better than the manual system we used to use.

They are very clear and fair about the pricing, and you can easily scale (want just the processing, one price, add in the online portion, here's the addition, want live mobile bidding, here's the addition.

The support was very responsive to every problem we had.

Cons: The interface and website look a little bit dated. I would like a bit more flexibility in the ticket packages, either with discount codes or special price packages that only certain people could see. The interface isn't super intuitive, but once you know where things are it makes sense. I'd also like to see a little more flexible reporting after the event.

Overall a strong product.

Response from Silent Auction Pro

Thanks for the review Brian and the listing of Pro's and Cons. We will be releasing "Promo Codes" for tickets this month along with several other minor enhancements.

The online bidding and mobile bidding pages were recently updated to freshen the look. We're going to be doing the same to the online ticket purchase pages. -Jim

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Lauren T.

Intuitive System and Amazing Customer Service

Reviewed on 2016/02/22
Review Source: Capterra

We needed software to hold an in-person auction fundraiser event with only mobile/online bidding (so not to have to deal with paper bids, entering bids, etc. After researching other companies and piloting several "free trials", we decided to go with Silent Auction Pro because it offered all of the tools that we needed at a price that was much less than the nearest competitor. As the Auction Administrator, I found the system to be intuitive and well-labeled. There was no searching and clicking through pages and pages to try to find what I needed. It is all presented clearly on the home screen that has a few clearly labeled tabs that will take you directly to whatever you need. The system can be tailored to your needs - we wanted only online/mobile bidding and we did not need card readers. So - we only selected what we needed and did not have to pay for any whistles and bells that weren't necessary. We were able to easily create an online catalog with photos and descriptions of each auction item, and we were able to paste the URL of the catalog onto our social media sites and into emails, therefore driving up the public interest in the event. We were able to have attendees pre-register, so when they arrived there were no long lines at the check-in table. Check-out went smoothly, too. All you have to do to process a check-out is to enter a bidder number. It generates a list of items and you simply confirm that you want to use the credit card already in the system (or cash/check if the person wants to pay in that manner). It's that simple. I received helpful emails from support staff alerting me to "best practices" and "timelines" without even asking. These emails helped to keep the auction planning on track and really identified potential trouble spots before they happened. There are tutorials/training videos built into the software, so training support staff is easy - you do not have to create your own manual or training sessions, it's done for you!

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support