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Auctions for Salesforce FAQ

How to handle Raffle tickets

Raffle Tickets are commonly sold at auction events.  Here is how we recommend tracking them in Auctions for Salesforce.

    1. If the tickets are not tax deductible, then create one Auction Item for each ticket price level, with a Fair Market Value of the same price, so the deduction will be $0.  Auctions allows multiple people to buy the same Auction Item if you check its Allow Multiple Purchases field, so you don’t have to create multiple, nor create an Auction Donated Item, nor even specify how many you have.
    2. If the tickets are tax deductible, then set the Fair Market Value of the ticket Auction Item to $0.
    3. For the prizes of the raffle, create an Auction Item for each prize (fed by an Auction Donated Item if appropriate), with its real Fair Market Value specified.
    4. For the winners of the raffle, create Auction Purchases for the prize items, and set the price they paid to $0.  This way they will get no deduction.

How to handle large quantities of the same donated item

Assume you received a donation of 24 bottles of wine (2 cases) with a total value of $360.  If you plan on selling them all individually, do you really need to create 24 separate Auction Items?  There are two solutions for this scenario.

    1. Create 24 separate Auction Items, each having a single Auction Item Piece that pulls in one bottle.  The Fair Market Value will be correctly set to $15, and you will be able to track the exact bottle each purchaser buys.
    2. Create a single Auction Item with a single Auction Item Piece that pulls in one bottle, and just “resell” it 24 times.  Once again, the Fair Market Value will be correctly set to $15.  This solution simplifies things by not having to enter 24 different Auction Items, but it does have the disadvantage that the “Number Available” field on the Auction Donated Item will only be reduced by one bottle, regardless of how many times you resell the Auction Item.  This is because the “Number Available” field is calculated by how many Auction Item Pieces refer to it (and their Quantity); not by looking at Purchases.

How to handle Bid Numbers for Couples

Auctions for Salesforce recommends that only one person in the household is given a Bid Number, so that all purchases by the household will be grouped together and appear on one receipt.  It is further recommended that you make sure to assign this Bid Number to the person whose credit card information you take at Check In.

How to handle Bid Numbers for people you don’t know about before the auction

There are two ways to deal with bid numbers for new people.  If you have table captains, and you know how many people will be at each table, you could create a temporary placeholder contact record for each person at a table, who you don’t have a name for.  Then the night of, you would use the Check In page, look up the table captain, and then select one of the placeholder contact records, and update the contact info with the guests name.  Assuming you did Assign Bid Number beforehand for all the guests, you would have a bid number ready for them.
The other strategy is to not have pre-created temporary contacts, but to have a stack of auction packets with pre-assigned bid numbers that you know don’t conflict with any pre-registered guest.  In other words, if you ran Assign Bid Number the day before, and guests got assigned bid numbers 100 – 350, and you knew that you’d probably get another 50 people that you didn’t have contact records for beforehand, you would reserve a set of auction packets with safe numbers, let’s say 400 – 450.  Then as each new person is checked in and a Contact record is created for them, you would also enter in their bid number from the next auction packet you grabbed from the pile of packets with safe numbers.

How should I use campaigns for marketing before the event?

While Auctions does provide 4 campaigns automatically when you create an auction, you may decide to create some additional campaigns of your own for handling bulk emails publicizing the event.  It is important to understand that all of the Contacts on the Attendees campaign who end up with a Status different than RSVP No are assumed to potentially be in attendance at the auction, and thus are included in several of the Guest dropdowns that Check In, Check Out, and Auction Receipts use.  So you don’t want to send a bulk email to 20,000 contacts and use the Attendees campaign to track their responses, or you may run into performance issues!  Also, the Campaign Member Status values on the Attendees campaign are specific to Auctions, and you wouldn’t want a bulk emailer to change status values of your attendees.  So it is a best practice to create your own campaigns for any marketing of the event, and just leave the Attendees campaign to those people who are assigned to tickets.

How should I practice with Auctions for Salesforce before the event?

Check out this great post from Caroline Renard: Practicing with Auctions before the event

Why can’t some of my Users create Auctions and Auction Items?

If Auctions was installed without specifying “Enable access for all users.“, then only the profile that installed Auctions will have full access.  If you have not yet added any real data yet to Auctions, the simplest solution is to uninstall the package, and then re-install it again, this time making sure to specify  “Enable access for all users.” during the installation steps.  If you have Auction data that you need to preserve, however, then you must manually enable various security settings for each custom profile that your user accounts make use of.  Here are the high level steps.
Note that there are two different user interfaces Salesforce provides for managing user Profiles.  Under Setup, App Setup, Customize, User Interface, in the Setup section of the page, there is a checkbox titled “Enable Enhanced Profile User Interface”. This controls whether you get the new Profile user interface, or the old Profile user interface.  Below are directions for both.

Enhanced Profile User Interface

  • Go to Setup, Administration Setup, Manage Users, Profiles
  • Note that you can only edit all the required settings on custom Profiles, rather than the standard Salesforce profiles.  Thus we encourage you to always have your users assigned to custom profiles that you’ve cloned from the appropriate standard profile.
  • For each custom Profile that your organization uses, do the following steps.
  • Click on the Profile name to bring up its overview page.
  • In the Apps section, click on Assigned Apps, and make sure Auctions is checked as Visible.  Save any changes and go back to the Profile Overview page.
  • In the Apps section, click on Object Settings. For each object that the package uses, click on the object name.
    • From the object’s page, click on Edit.
    • Make sure appropriate Record Types are assigned, and Page Layouts are assigned.
    • Make sure appropriate Object Permissions are enabled.  Typically this would include Read, Create, Edit, and Delete.
    • Make sure appropriate Field Permissions are enabled (both Read and Edit).
    • Save any changes and go back to the Object Settings page, and repeat for all objects the pacakage uses.
    • For Auctions, this would include the following objects: Auction Item Pieces, Auction Items, Auctions, Campaign Members, Campaigns, and Opportunities.
    • For Auctions, this would include the following Tabs: About Auctions, Auction Donated Items, Auction Items, Auction Purchases, Auction Receipts, Auction Tickets, Check In, and Check Out.
  • Back on the Profile Overview page, in the Apps section, click on Apex Class Access.
  • Click on Edit, and make sure that all classes from the package are enabled.
    • For Auctions, these classes all start with the prefix GW_Auctions.
  • Click on Save and go back to the Profile Overview page.
  • In the Apps section, click on Visualforce Page Access
  • Click on Edit, and make sure that all Visualforce pages from the package are enabled.
    • For Auctions, these pages all start with the prefix GW_Auctions.
  • Click on Save and go back to the Profile Overview page.
  • You are done!

Standard Profile User Interface

  • Go to Setup, Administration Setup, Manage Users, Profiles
  • Note that you can only edit all the required settings on custom Profiles, rather than the standard Salesforce profiles.  Thus we encourage you to always have your users assigned to custom profiles that you’ve cloned from the appropriate standard profile.
  • For each custom Profile that your organization uses, do the following steps.
  • Click on the Profile name to bring up its overview page.  Do NOT click Edit at this time.
  • In the Page Layouts section, under Standard Object Layouts, click on the View Assignment link for each object that the package has provided a custom record type for; it will say “Varies by Record Type”.
    • For Auctions, this would be Campaign, Campaign Member, and Opportunity.
  • In the Page Layout Assignment page, make sure that for the package record types, the package’s page layout is specified.  Edit assignments as needed, and then go back to the Profile’s page.
  • In the Custom Object Layouts section, click on the View Assignment Link for each object that have “Varies by Record Type”, and assign layouts as appropriate.
    • For Auctions, there are no custom objects that have multiple record types, so there is nothing to do for this step.
  • Back on the Profile’s page, under the Field-Level Security section, click on the View link for each Standard and Custom object that the package adds fields to, to make sure they are marked Visible and not Read-Only.
    • For Auctions, this would include looking at fields for Campaign, Campaign Member, and Opportunity.
    • For Auctions, this would also include looking at fields for Auction, Auction Item, and Auction Item Piece.
  • Back on the Profile’s page, under the Record Type Settings section, click on the Edit link for any Standard objects and Custom objects that have multiple record types that the package uses.  Move any package Record Types from the Available list to the Selected list, and click Save.
    • For Auctions, this would be Campaigns, Campaign Members, and Opportunity.
  • Back on the Profile’s page, under the Enabled Apex Class Access section, Click on Edit, and make sure that all classes from the package are enabled.
    • For Auctions, these classes all start with the prefix GW_Auctions.
  • Back on the Profile’s page, under the Enabled Apex Visualforce Page Access section, Click on Edit, and make sure that all pages from the package are enabled.
    • For Auctions, these classes all start with the prefix GW_Auctions.
  • Back on the Profile’s page, click on the Edit button at the top of the page.
  • In the Custom App Settings section, make sure the package’s application is marked Visible.
  • In the Tab Settings section, make sure the package’s tabs are marked Default On.
  • In the Standard Object Permissions section, make sure any standard objects used by the package have Read, Create, Edit, and Delete checked.
    • For Auctions, this would include Accounts, Contacts, Campaigns, Opportunities, and Documents.
  • In the Custom Object Permissions section, make sure any custom objects from the package have Read, Create, Edit, and Delete checked.
    • For Auctions, this would include Auctions, Auction Items, and Auction Item Pieces.
  • Click Save, and repeat for other Profiles your organization uses, and then you are done!

What causes the error message “sobject type GW_Auctions__Acution__c is not supported”

This error is likely related to a security issue.  Please do the following:

The first step is to verify that the app’s custom objects are marked as deployed, rather than in development.  The steps are:

  1. Go to Setup > App Setup > Create > Objects
  2. For each object from auctions (Auction, Auction Item, Auction Item Piece), click on the Edit link.
  3. In the Deployment Status section at the bottom of the page, make sure it is marked as “Deployed” rather than “In Development”, and if not, change it and click Save.

If the first step doesn’t work then the second step is then ensuring that the user’s profile has all the right settings.  Since there are so many things that need to be set, we recommend re-installing the package and making sure on the security page that you specify “Enable access for all users.

Why can’t I uninstall Auctions?

We have found scenarios where one is unable to uninstall Auctions for Salesforce.  Salesforce gives you an error that records referencing record types from the package are in use.  Salesforce is preventing the deletion because there is a campaign using one of our campaign record types.  You must delete all auction related campaigns or change their record type to a non-auction record type.  Even if you delete all the campaigns, you need to empty your recycle bin.  So go to your recycle bin, and “erase” the campaign.  If you don’t see it there, you might consider doing “empty my org’s recycle bin” after your admin gives you the OK.  If you still get the error when uninstalling, give it 24 hours.  We have gotten confirmation from Salesforce support that even after emptying the recycle bin, they hold onto objects for several days, thus preventing the package from being uninstalled.  You can either wait several days after emptying your recycle bin, and trying again, or you can enter a support case with Salesforce support, asking them to free up the deleted objects so you can uninstall the package.

Still need help?

Do you have a question not addressed here?  You can search the Auctions for Salesforce group on the Salesforce Foundation’s Power of Us Hub for postings related to Auctions, or post your question there.