Silent Auction Pro

Silent Auction Pro

Live auction event management for nonprofits

4.8/5 (271 reviews)

Silent Auction Pro Overview

Silent Auction Pro is an application aimed at the non-profit sector. The software allows users to manage live auction events, including ticket sales, credit card processing, and mobile bidding. The app is geared toward aiding in the fundraising efforts of schools, churches, and charitable organizations of all sizes.

On top of helping users manage the live event itself, Silent Auction Pro offers a number of auction-specific features, including absentee bidding, Dutch, English, and live auction types, proxy bidding, and phone bidding. Silent Auction Pro also features built-in image editing, inventory management, and bidder watch lists.

Several versions of Silent Auction Pro are offered. The most basic version, AuctionCore, offers multi-user access, contact management, donation management, customizable auction types, auction data collection, and reporting. In addition to those basic features, AuctionDay adds check-in/check-out tools, USB credit card machine support, and transaction logging. AuctionPromoter adds custom printed material creation, online program guides, and enhanced branding features. AuctionMobile lets the user create a mobile-ready Web front-end for auction items.

Silent Auction Pro is a Web-based application suitable for users and bidders using Windows or Mac computers and the AuctionMobile version makes auction listings correctly scale on all types of mobile devices. All versions of Silent Auction Pro are priced on a per-event basis, with discounts available for repeat customers.

Pricing

Starting from
US$129,00
Pricing options
Free Trial
One Time License
Value for money

Devices

Business size

S
M
L

Markets

United States

Supported Languages

English

Silent Auction Pro Reviews

Overall rating
4.8/5
100% positive reviews
225
Excellent
45
Very good
0
Average
1
Poor
0
Terrible
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

Silent Auction Pro Pricing

Starting from
US$129,00
Pricing options
Free Trial
One Time License
Value for money

A free trial is available on request.
AuctionCore: $129 per event
AuctionDay: $149 per event + 1.5% per transaction
AuctionPromoter: $149 per event
AuctionOnline: $149 per event
AuctionMobile: $149 per event

Silent Auction Pro Features

  • Customer Database
  • Customizable Branding
  • Customizable Reporting
  • Electronic Payments
  • Mobile Integration

  • API
  • Activity Dashboard
  • Activity Tracking
  • Automatic Notifications
  • Automatic Reminders
  • CRM Integration
  • Calendar Management
  • Contact Database
  • Custom Fields
  • Customizable Templates
  • Data Import/Export
  • Email Integration
  • Reporting & Statistics
  • Social Media Integration
  • Third Party Integration

Additional information for Silent Auction Pro

Key features of Silent Auction Pro

  • Absentee Bidding
  • Activity management
  • Bid management
  • Credit card processing
  • Customer database
  • Customer history
  • Customizable branding
  • Customizable reporting
  • Dutch Auction
  • Electronic payments
  • English Auction
  • Event tracking
  • Gift card system
  • Mobile integration
  • Order confirmation
  • Order fulfilment
  • Order processing
  • Product catalog
  • Silent Auction
  • Web integration

Benefits

• Manage all aspects of silent and live auctions from a Web-based interface.
• Quickly create and publish mobile-friendly online auctions with Silent Auction Pro AuctionMobile.
• Raise unlimited funds for charities with low upfront costs.
• Accept credit cards at locations that do not normally take them.
• Sell gift certificates and set buy-it-now pricing for quick sales.

Silent Auction Pro FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions for Silent Auction Pro.

Q. What type of pricing plans does Silent Auction Pro offer?

Silent Auction Pro offers the following pricing plans:

Starting from: US$129,00

Pricing model: One Time License

Free Trial: Available

A free trial is available on request.
AuctionCore: $129 per event
AuctionDay: $149 per event + 1.5% per transaction
AuctionPromoter: $149 per event
AuctionOnline: $149 per event
AuctionMobile: $149 per event

Q. What are the main features of Silent Auction Pro?

Silent Auction Pro offers the following features:

  • Absentee Bidding
  • Activity management
  • Bid management
  • Credit card processing
  • Customer database
  • Customer history
  • Customizable branding
  • Customizable reporting
  • Dutch Auction
  • Electronic payments
  • English Auction
  • Event tracking
  • Gift card system
  • Mobile integration
  • Order confirmation
  • Order fulfilment
  • Order processing
  • Product catalog
  • Silent Auction
  • Web integration

Q. Who are the typical users of Silent Auction Pro?

Silent Auction Pro has the following typical customers:

Non Profit

Q. What languages does Silent Auction Pro support?

Silent Auction Pro supports the following languages:

English

Q. What type of pricing plans does Silent Auction Pro offer?

Silent Auction Pro has the following pricing plans:

One Time License

Q. Does Silent Auction Pro support mobile devices?

We do not have any information about what devices Silent Auction Pro supports

Q. What other apps does Silent Auction Pro integrate with?

We do not have any information about what integrations Silent Auction Pro has

Q. What level of support does Silent Auction Pro offer?

Silent Auction Pro offers the following support options:

FAQs, Knowledge Base, Online Support, Phone Support