DAM: Devious Auction Manager

DAM

Devious Auction Manager

DAM—the Devious Auction Manager—is software that helps you organize, run and and promote your live auctions.

Image: Colebrook River-Dam on West branch of Farmington River in Colebrook Connecticut. Photo courtesy Army Corps of Engineers.

Contents

1. Concepts

1.1. Organizing & Staffing Your Auction

Staffing your auction correctly is critical in having your auction run smoothly. Your auction workers/volunteers and their roles are key to making the auction successful—moreso than this piece of software, actually. Thus, we'll start with some effective ways to organize your auction.

The roles you have (and some of the DAM setup) will depend on how your auction will flow. Following are several of the roles you may or will need. In general, one person, one duty is the best way to run things—overlapping roles causes bottlenecks or poor performance by overwhelmed workers.

1.1.1. Flow Diagram

Auction flow diagram This sample flow diagram shows the interrelationships between the roles. In this sample, we've got both a live auction and some table/silent items. Thus, two recorders (one for live, one for the tables) who will record the bids and feed that data to the invoicer.

For the live auction, models will be walking items through the crowd during auction. After sale, a model will collect 2 winning bid cards from the live recorder. S/he will drop one in the invoicer queue, then take the item and the other card to the bagging station.

The bagging station will accept the item and winning card and bag the item accordingly. The winning bid card would either be attached to the item (perhaps stapled to the item card) or attached to the bag itself.

At a predetermined time, the table auction will close and those items will be recorded and bagged. The silent recorder will mimic the steps of the live recorder, reviewing the bid sheets for the winning bid and creating two win cards and logging the winning bid on a recording form too.

A runner will put one of the win cards in the invoicer's queue, then take the item and remaining win card to the baggers.

Meanwhile the invoicer is processing the cards in her queue by adding items to invoices, one per bidder; in the case of DAM, she is keying in the data. If a bidder wants to settle up, the invoicer checks the queue to make sure there are no outstanding bids to be added to the tally, then provides the invoicer.

1.1.2. Roles

Field definitions for Organizing & Staffing Your Auction
Field Description
Recorder One or more. The recorder(s) (are) the individual(s) responsible for collecting winning bid data. One (or two, if you want double-checking) will be solely responsible for monitoring live auctioneering, and recording the winning bid and bidder. Their output will go to the invoicer.

Live recorders must not be interrupted or distracted or bid data is likely to get lost or corrupt. To that end, if you have additional sources of sold items (buy-it-now tables, silent auctions), use a separate recorder for handling those.

Invoicer Exactly one. The invoicer is the person responsible for transliterating bid data (recorded in auction order) into invoices/receipts. In the case of DAM, this will be your data entry person. Because the invoicer may be interrupted by people checking out, the invoicer is not responsible for listening for winning bids. Invoicer output (an invoice) is given to bidders when they want to check-out; the bidder takes their invoice to the cashiers.
Cashiers One or more. Cashiers take the customers money. Their "input" is invoices generated by the invoicer. It may make sense to have separate cashiers/queues for cash/check and credit/debit/electronic transactions.

After the bidding finishes and invoices are completed, live recorders and invoicers may help with cashiering.

If you expect a very small attendance (20–30), an invoicer using DAM might be able to cashier as well. It's still not recommended, and the invoicer must be careful that bid entry is caught up before invoicing, to prevent items being left off invoices.

Auctioneer & Spotters One or more. The auctioneer is responsible for coordinating the bidding. If you have a large attenance, spotters may work the crowd, calling out and pointing when a bid is placed. This helps the auctioneer keep up when there are more bidders than he can monitor alone.
Models & Runners Several. Models (a/k/a runners or go'fers) collect items from display tables and show them to the crowd during bidding.
  • If you are using a bagging station, the model will collect 2 win cards from the recorder, deliver one to the invoicer, then take the item and remaining card to the baggers.
  • If you're not doing bagging, the model will collect a win card, deliver it to the recorder, then deliver the item to the winning bidder.
Baggers Optional. Baggers sort and bag sold items by winning bidder. When presented with a paid invoice, the baggers hand over the items.

An alternative is to deliver the items to the winning bidder as they are won. This requires trusting your bidders to pay.

A third option is to return items to the display table and let bidders collect them at the end of the sale. However, this is generally very chaotic, and almost invariably someone takes a wrong item, which creates more confusion... So don't do it this way.

1.1.3. Customer perspective

For a bidder, it will work like this:

  1. They arrive at your auction and check-in to get a bidder number. They may fill out an ID card with name, e-mail address, and bidder number. (You'll use this information next year to remind them about the auction. Optionally, completed forms may be taken to the invoicer for keying, so invoices will have bidder names on them. It's a nice touch and helps make sure the right invoice gets in the right hands, quickly.)
  2. They review your merchandise and bid on stuff.
  3. When ready to check-out, they go to the invoicer, who gives them two copies of their invoice.
  4. The bidder takes the invoices to the cashiers and pays them. The cashier keeps one invoice, and makes their mark on the other to certify that the bill has been paid.
  5. The bidder takes the paid invoice to the bagger, who verifies it has been paid and hands over the loot.
    Note: If bidders are allowed further bidding with the same number after paying, baggers should check that they're handing over only paid for items. A dishonest bidder could pay for some items, bid more, then present the earlier invoice to the baggers.

1.2. Sequencing

Sequencing defines the order in which items will be auctioned. DAM optionally separates item numbers from sequences, allowing you to track and organize items, then rearrange the order at a later time. Sequences also allow duplicate items to be included at multiple points during the auction flow.

1.2.1. Terminology

Item numbers
Numbers representing unique (but not necessarily discrete) items. If there are multiple identical items, they may have the same item number, but aren’t required to.
Sequence numbers
Values (preferably alphabetic or alphanumeric, to help distinguish from item numbers) that represent the sequence in which items will be sold. If there is more than one of an item, it may have multiple sequence numbers to allow it to appear multiple times in an auction. (Alternately, it may be Dutch auctioned.)
Dutch Auction
An auction where there are is more than one of the same item available. Once bidding establishes a price, the winning bidder may take as many as they desire; other bidders will be offered the remainder at the same price.
To make it clearer, let’s do an example.

1.2.2. Unsequenced Example

Suppose you’re having a baked goods auction. As items arrive, you entered them into DAM, which automatically numbers them sequentially.

  1. Chocolate Chip Cookies
  2. Sugar cookies
  3. English Muffins
  4. Loaf of rye
  5. Loaf of stone ground wheat
  6. Loaves of white bread (8)
  7. Apple pies (3)
  8. Baklava
  9. Bagels
  10. Toaster pastry
  11. Blueberry Muffins
  12. Eclairs
  13. Raisin bread
  14. Pumpernickel
  15. 12 Grain
  16. Cherry Pie
  17. Croissant
  18. Waffles
  19. Chocolate Cake
  20. Surprise item
  21. Scones (8)

If you don’t want to spend any more time in preparation, you can use that item numbering. You have some duplicate items, so you set the quantity available for item 7 (apple pies) to 3, and item 6 (loaves of bread) to 8. The auctioneer will Dutch auction these items.

You can now print out the necessary cards and forms, tag the items, and you’re ready to go.

1.2.3. Sequenced Example

Perhaps you prefer to be more organized about the auction. So, a few days before auction, you organize the items into sensible groups of such sizes that there would be a break every hour or two1 , ending up with three waves, A, B, and C.
Sequencing with Numbers
First Wave (Breakfast) Second Wave (Breads) Third Wave (Treats)
Seq Item Description Seq Item Description Seq Item Description
A01 7 Apple Pie B01 7 Apple Pie C01 7 Apple Pie
A02 3 Eng. Muffins B02 15 12 Grain C02 16 Cherry Pie
A03 17 Croissant B03 4 Loaf of rye C03 2 Sugar cookies
A04 11 Blueberry muffins B04 5 Stone ground wheat C04 1 Chocolate chip cookies
A05 9 Bagels B05 13 Raisin bread C05 12 Eclairs
A06 10 Toaster pastry B06 14 Pumpernickel C06 8 Baklava
A07 19 Chocolate cake B07 6 8 loaves of white bread (Dutch auction) C07 21 8 Scones (single lot)
A08 18 Waffles       C08 20 Surprise
You received 3 Apple pies, item 7. Rather than selling them all in a single Dutch auction, you decide to start each wave with a pie. You assign item 7 sequence numbers of A01, B01, and C01, with quantity available 1 because only one pie is available at each time.

You assign the rest of the breakfasty items to group A, giving them numbers of your liking.

As you prepare wave B, bread, you first find that the hamburg buns have gone moldy. You set the quantity available 0.

Wave B also has several loaves of white bread. Not wanting to waste much time on it, you decide to just hawk it in a Dutch auction. You assign it sequence B07, and set the quantity available to 8.

In group C, you have 8 crumpets. Rather than sell them individually, you’ll sell them as one lot. Assigning it sequence C07 and quantity available 1, you write in the description that it’s a lot of 8 items.

1.2.4. Grouping With Sequences

An intermediate form of organizing is to assign only the wave letter to each item. Items will then sort on item number within wave. Note, however, that while DAM will generate all the forms and cards in the proper ordering, the numbering may seem haphazard to your attendees, and may confuse them.
Sequencing with Groups
First Wave (Breakfast) Second Wave (Breads) Third Wave (Treats)
Seq Item Description Seq Item Description Seq Item Description
A 3 Eng. Muffins B 4 Loaf of rye C 1 Chocolate chip cookies
A 9 Bagels B 5 Stone ground wheat C 2 Sugar cookies
A 10 Toaster pastry B 6 White bread C 7 Apple pies (3)
A 11 Blueberry muffins B 8 Hamburg buns (qty=0) C 8 Baklava
A 17 Croissant B 13 Raisin bread C 21 8 Scones
A 18 Waffles B 14 Pumpernickel C 12 Eclairs
A 19 Chocolate cake B 15 12 Grain C 16 Cherry pie
            C 20 Surprise

1.3. Consignment

The Consignment feature tracks portions of sales due the donors/consignors of items. In this way, DAM makes it easy to accept items on consignment. However, badly negotiated or configured consignment items may cause you to lose money. Read on and pay attention!

1.3.1. Basics

A portion of each consignment sale will be due to the consignor (the person donating the item). The general form of the calculation is:

Consignment amount = Flat fee + a percent of some portion of the sale

Here are two very basic consignment options:

Consignment examples
Flat Rate Consignment = $10.00 + 0% of sale
You won’t lose money as long as $minimum ≥ $consignment.
Split 50/50 Consignment = $0.00 + 50% of sale
You’ll never lose money.

However, it’s likely you’ll want something more complex.

1.3.2. Advanced

The variable portion of the consignment can be calculated in several ways:
Consignment Percentage Options
of sale The percentage is assessed on the full sale price.
Consignment = flat fee + rate * sale
above minimum The percentage is assessed on the amount the sale exceeds minimum bid.
Consignment = flat fee + rate * (sale - minimum bid)
above starting The percentage is assessed on the amount the sale exceeds the starting bid.
Consignment = flat fee + rate * (sale - starting bid)
above consign The percentage is assessed on the amount the sale exceeds the flat portion of the consignment fee.
Consignment = flat fee + rate * (sale - flat fee)
Note: If the sale price is less than the assessment start point, it does not reduce the consignment due below the flat fee.

For example, imagine that apple pies are on consignment. The consignor wants $4.00 plus a 50% cut (but of what?). You set a minimum bid of $5, and a starting bid of $10 (if the item won’t sell at $10, the auctioneer can back down to as low as $5; below that, you’ll return the pie to your consignor). If the pie sells for $12, here’s what the various options will result in:

Consignment fees for DAM apple pie example
$12 Sale Flat fee Variable Total due consignor
of sale $4 50% of $12 = $6 $10
above minimum ($5) $4 50% of $7 = $3.50 $7.50
above starting ($10) $4 50% of $2 = $1 $5
above consign ($4) $4 50% of $8 = $4 $8

Here are various winning bids, and how much is due the consignor for each. The auction is losing money for the values in red2 .

Consignment Fee Examples
$4+50%... $2 $5 $6 $8 $10 $15
of sale 5 6.50 7 $8 $9 $11.50
above minimum 4 4 4.50 5.50 6.50 9
above starting 4 4 4 4 4 6.50
above consign 4 4.50 5 6 7 9.50

1.4. Fault Tolerance

DAM's fault tolerant mode backs up your data once per minute to alternate storage, protecting your data from hardware failure. To minimize chances of lost data or being in a bad situation, you should:

  • Set up the FT system to copy to different media, i.e., not the same hard drive DAM resides on.
  • This separate media should be external/removable. For example an external USB hard disc, or a thumb/jump/USB/SD/flash/thumb drive. It won’t do you any good if the backup media is secured inside a machine that has failed.
  • Alternately, backing up your files over a network is viable. However, this may impact DAM’s performance, causing sluggishness while shipping updates across the network. (Test it ahead of time.)
  • You should have a second machine available and prepared with an installation of DAM.
  • You should have two printers in case one fails.
  • Have extra cables available.
  • Do a few trial runs of failing over to your secondary system, so if you have a real failure in the heat of auction, you won’t need to panic or try to find these instructions. You’ll be ready.

1.4.1. Setting Backup Location

To use the FT system, you need to tell DAM where to put your backups. Your backups should go to different, removable physical media (see above).

To set the backup location:

  1. Select Organization & Database Configuration from DAM's main menu.
  2. In the configuration screen's "Miscellaneous" panel, click Select.
    DAM's Miscellaneous configuration panel
  3. An advisory dialog will open. Click "Ok".
  4. A save dialog will open. Browse to the save location, check the "Automatically open file" option, and click Save.

    Important: Automatically open file must be checked or DAM won't be able to determine the save location. In this case, a "File location detection confused" alert will appear a few seconds later.

    Create a copy dialog

  5. If all goes well, a "Confirm location" dialog will appear. Click "Ok" to finalize the new location. The new backup location will be listed in the Miscellaneous panel.
    Confirm Location dialog
Fault Tolerance control panel

1.4.2. Turning Backups On

Automatic backups are controlled from the Fault Tolerance panel, located at the bottom of DAM's main menu.
  • Click Backup Now to perform a one-time backup.
  • Click Start to enable automatic backups. Automated backups occur once per minute.
  • Click Stop to turn automatic backups off again.
Backup Error Action Dialog

1.4.3. Backup Errors

If the FT system encounters a problem during a backup, it will display a choice dialog box:
  • Disable: Turns off automatic backups.
  • Ignore: Dismisses the dialog and leaves automatic backups on. If the error occurs again in 60 seconds, this message will recur.
  • Retry: Immediately retries making a backup.

1.4.4. Recovering from Failure

If your primary system fails during an auction:
  1. Detach the backup media and mount it on your secondary.
  2. Using Finder or Windows Explorer, locate the second-to-last .USR file. Do not use the latest one, as writing may still have been in progress and incomplete/corrupt.
  3. Drag/Drop or Copy/Paste that file onto your desktop.
  4. Rename that file to to DAM.USR.
  5. Drag/drop the file into the DAM directory, replacing the existing file. Confirm the replacement if asked.
  6. Open DAM on the secondary.
You will need to figure out the last transaction entered, and re-key or re-perform actions done since then. Since backups occur once per minute, you should lose no more than two minutes worth of work.

2. General

2.1. The Toolbar

The Toolbar

The toolbar provides status as well as a convenient way to take common actions. The tools displayed depend on the width of the window, so if you don't see the full complement shown above, widen the window.

The gray toolbar ("status toolbar") lets you manipulate your data and the found set. The found set is the collection of records matching your current search; the found set contains all records if no search is active. Icons in the status toolbar will "gray out" when they are not available.

The white toolbar ("the header") provides navigation and status, behaving like a web browser. Blue text in the header (and elsewhere on the page) behaves like links, allowing you to change views, sort columns, perform an action, etc.

Actions that may be taken from the DAM The Toolbar.
Action Menu Mac PC Description & Notes Graphic
Show all Records→Show All Records J CtrlJ Shows all records. Show all
Previous/Next Records Records→Go to Record→Previous
Records→Go to Record→Next
Ctrl
Ctrl
Ctrl
Ctrl
Moves to the previous or next record within the found set. Use these to navigate through records in a detail view without returning to the list page. Previous/Next indicator
Record indicator Shows the number of the current record within the found set, and provides a slider to navigate. Record indicator
Included indicator The pie chart shows the "fullness" of the current found set.
  • Gray: All records are shown.
  • Light green: Included records.
  • Dark green: Excluded records.
Clicking the circle swaps included and excluded records.
Included indicator
Record Count & Order indicator The top line shows the number of records in the current found set. The second line indicates whether or not they are sorted. Record Count & Order indicator
Add record Record→New Record N CtrlN Creates a record in the current table. Add record
Delete record Record→Delete Record E CtrlE Deletes the current record. In list views, the current record is indicated by a small black indicator along the left of the window. Delete record
Find View→Find Mode F CtrlF A quick search input is provided on many screens, and is easier to use—see below.

This tool enters find mode; the status toolbar and menu will update to reflect this change. In simple form, just fill in the form and click "Perform Find" to search, but find mode is much more powerful if you wish to take advantage of it. Use the Help menu for details.

Find
Sort Records→Sort S CtrlS Sorting is more easily done by clicking the blue column headings in list views, but if you wish to sort in a custom order use the Sort tool. This is an advanced feature—use the Help menu for details. Sort
See the Toolbar help page for more actions that are common to most screens.

2.1.1. Status Area

The middle section of the toolbar displays some status information. You can use the layout drop-down list to return to the main menu.

Use the preview button to enter print-preview mode. This adjusts field positioning for print, and clips the output to reflect the current page setup. See Printing for more on printing.

2.1.2. Navigation

Actions that may be taken from the DAM The Toolbar.
Action Menu Mac PC Description & Notes Graphic
Forward and Back These work move back and forward along your navigation history. Forward and Back
Search input Performs a quick search. This searches all fields on the current page, and—in the cases of donor lists and item lists—also searches the contents of every record. Search input
Breadcrumbs The breadcrumbs provide a fast way of getting to related screens or the main menu. Breadcrumbs
See the Toolbar help page for more actions that are common to most screens.

2.2. The Main Menu

The Main Menu

The main menu allows you to move through the auction manager.

2.2.1. Preparation

  • Categories Screen — The categories screen is used to organize the auction items into categories for presentation on a website. Categories can be excluded from the website by turning off the checkbox.
  • Donor List Screen — The donor list provides an overview of the donors and quick access to more details.
  • Item List Screen — The Item List Screen provides an overview ot items and quick access to both details and donors.

2.2.2. Point of Sale

2.2.3. Reports

  • Invoice Detail Report — The Invoice Detail Report displays invoices, their items and totals.
  • Invoice Summary Report — The Invoice Summary Report displays a list of invoices, their bidders, and totals.
  • Profit & Loss and Consignment Report — The Profit & Loss and Consignment Report displays items, their sale price, consignment due and the profit/loss to the auction.
  • Tax Report — The Tax Report displays all items sold and the applicable taxes.
  • Category Report — The Category Report displays sold items grouped by category.

2.3. Configuration Screen

Configuration Screen

The configuration screen is where you set your group and event name

2.3.1. Group & Event Names

Field definitions for Configuration Screen
Field Description
Group Name Required. The main title on the main menu and invoices (receipts).
Event Name Required. The subtitle on the main menu and invoices.
Short Title Required. The title displayed on most screens and in the heading on reports.
Logo Required. The logo is displayed in the upper left on most screens and reports. It's also included in the heading on invoices. To change the logo, click “Choose logo” and use the file chooser to select a JPEG, GIF, or PNG file. If you don’t want a logo, click the existing image (not "choose logo") and press the delete key.

2.3.2. Consignment & Taxes

Field definitions for Configuration Screen
Field Description
Consignment Default % rate Optional. The consignment percentage rate to assess on newly added items. The percentage can be changed for any item.
Against Required. The portion of the sale price the aforementioned consignment percentage will be assessed against. See Consignment for consignment calculation details.
Tax Default % rate Optional. The sales tax that will be assessed on items by default. Alternate tax rates can be set on the Categories Screen , allowing you to have different tax rates on different items.
  • Leave this field blank to not charge tax by default, and not display tax if it is $0.00.
  • Set this field to 0 to not charge tax by default, but always display a tax line on receipts.
  • Set this field to a percentage rate to assess that tax rate.

2.3.3. Data Defaults

Field definitions for Configuration Screen
Field Description
Sequence no. Required.
  • Off: Sequence numbers will not be used, and fields will be hidden.
    Note: If you have sequence numbers already assigned to your items, turning off sequence numbering may cause unpredicable behavior. Remove the sequence numbers before shutting the feature off.
  • Normalized: Converts numbers to A99 format, adding a zero if necessary (B7→B07). This helps ensure proper ordering.
  • Freeform: Leaves sequence numbers however you enter them. Since sequence numbers use an alphabetical sort, this causes problems with numbers: B17, B18, B19, B2, B21, B22...
Bidder type Optional. Selecting a default bidder type in DAM Bidder type allows you to categorize your bidders. For example, 501(c)(*) groups may find it useful to categorize by member vs. guest, to track the portion of income from members.

This field sets bidder type for new bidders. One of the options is "Edit", which opens a dialog to change or add bidder types.

Item category Optional. The default category for new items. Categories are defined on the Categories Screen , and are used to group items on a website and to define differing tax rates.
Item gender Optional. Editing a value list in DAM The default gender assigned to new items. One of the options is "Edit", which opens a dialog to change or add genders.

Important: The pseudo-gender "Not applicable" is the recognized ungendered phrase when forming item summaries. Changing this to something else ("N/A", "None", "Unassigned") will cause poor results such as "N/A Croissant", "None Apple Pie", or "Unassigned Chocolate Chip Cookies".

Number items Required.
  • Yes: New items are automatically given the next item number available (the highest item number + 1).
  • No: Item numbers must be manually entered.

2.3.4. Reset Data

DAM Reset data dialog
DAM Reset actions
Reset sales data Use this action to erase all sales data, including invoices, recorded bids, and bidders. This allows you to erase test transactions you might perform while familiarizing yourself with the point of sale feature.
Reset Items Erases all sales data and items, but leaves donors and categories. This allows you to reuse existing donors, categories, and other setup year-to-year.
Reset Everything Erases everything, including donors, categories, group and event name, and possibly your license key.

After clicking a reset button, a confirmation dialog will ask you to enter a corresponding phrase to verify you really mean to do this. You can also set the starting invoice number.

2.4. Printing

Printing

The print dialog selects the manner and record range for for printing.

Print dialogs in DAM remember and reuse the last print settings each time you print. This can be helpful at times, but if you're accustomed to most applications (which restore default behavior with each print job), it can cause unexpected results.

The two most common errors are page range and record range. Make a habit of checking these two as you are printing, to make sure you'll get what you want.

If you are using multiple printers, you'll also need to check that too. DAM will print to the last printer used, not to your default system printer.

2.4.1. Selecting Records

If you're trying to print a list, but only getting one line/item, this is probably the culprit. Make sure it's set to "Records being browed".

  • To print all records (or those matching current search criteria, if a search is active) select "Records being browsed".
  • If you only want to print a single record, select "Current record" in the print dialog.
  • The "Blank record" option allows you to print forms for people to fill in. You can replace the data entry fields with boxes or underlines as you desire.

2.4.2. Pages

Most applications reset the print dialog to print all pages with each new job. DAM does not. If you've chosen to print just page 1, for example, subsequent jobs will only print the single page. Set the print dialog back pages back to "All".

Some applications display thumbnails of the pages to be printed in the dialog. DAM does not. If you wish to preview a print job, use the preview button in the formatting bar instead.

2.4.3. Selecting a Printer

The print dialog allows selection of a printer, however, invoices do not generate a print dialog and will automatically direct to the last printer used. To change the invoice output, print anything to another printer.

2.4.4. Page Setup

To select portrait versus landscape mode for printing, use File→Page Setup. Like the print dialog, these settings are generally left alone. The page setup is reflected in print-preview mode .

Exceptions to last-used page setup behavior are:

  • Previewing slides sets landscape mode. This allows exporting a slideshow to a file using the PDF→Save as PDF in the print dialog (Mac only).
  • After previewing slides, portait mode is set.
  • Invoices always set portrait mode.

3. Preparation

3.1. Categories Screen

Categories Screen

The categories screen is used to organize the auction items into categories for presentation on a website. Categories can be excluded from the website by turning off the checkbox.

3.1.1. Fields

Field definitions for Categories Screen
Field Description
Web Required. Checked categories are included on the website; checks do not effect reports, forms and cards. An unchecked category might contain pending items that have been promised but not yet arrived, or perhaps surprise items that will be announced on auction day.
Category Title Required. The title is used in web page headings and in the navigation menu.
Short name Required. A short form of the category's name, used to generate the website URLs. The URL must not contain spaces, and can only include letters, numbers, dash and underline.
Tax rate Optional. The tax rate to apply to items of this category. If left blank, the tax rate set on the Configuration Screen is applied.

3.1.2. Actions

Actions that may be taken from the DAM Categories Screen.
Action Menu Mac PC Description & Notes
Create a record Records→New Record N CtrlN
  • In browse mode, adds a new record to the database.
  • In find mode, this instead adds a new set of find criteria, allowing you to create robust searches.
Delete a record Records→Delete Record E CtrlE
  • Deletes the current record. In list views, the current record is indicated by a small gray indicator along the left edge.
  • When in find mode, this command deletes one of the find requests instead of a record.
Toggle inclusion Click the checkbox to the left of a category to toggle whether it is included or excluded from the website.
See the Toolbar help page for more actions that are common to most screens.

3.1.3. Searching

There are two ways to search on the Categories Screen.
  1. DAM search input field The simple method is to type search text into the search input in the upper right. This will query on all fields shown, updating the visible records as you type.
  2. More detailed searching may be done via Enter find mode ( View→Find Mode; Mac: F; PC: CtrlF), enter your search criteria into the form, then select Perform Find (toolbar or Requests→Perform Find).

3.1.4. Sorting

You can sort the displayed records in two ways:
  1. You can sort on a particular field by clicking its title in the column heading. This works for any column with a blue heading, but not black.
  2. You can customize the sort order using Records→Sort Records (Mac: S; PC: CtrlS).

3.2. Donor List Screen

Donor List Screen

The donor list provides an overview of the donors and quick access to more details. Donors are sorted alphabetically on entry, and can be resorted by clicking a blue column heading. Use the search input in the upper right to do fast yet rich searches, then click a donor's name to go to the donor detail view.

Count is the number of items donated.

3.2.1. Actions

Actions that may be taken from the DAM Donor List Screen.
Action Menu Mac PC Description & Notes
View donor details Click the name of a donor to view the donor details.
Create a record Records→New Record N CtrlN
  • In browse mode, adds a new record to the database.
  • In find mode, this instead adds a new set of find criteria, allowing you to create robust searches.
See the Toolbar help page for more actions that are common to most screens.

3.2.2. Searching

DAM search input field Donor List Screen features Super Search, which will search for the query text anywhere within the record and in some related content. Entering text into the search input in the upper right will query and update the visible records as you type.

Note that because fields not shown are searched, you may not see your search term until you move from the summary to the detail view. Fields searched include all donor fields and the item title fields (for items that have a donor).

3.2.3. Sorting

You can sort the displayed records in two ways:
  1. You can sort on a particular field by clicking its title in the column heading. This works for any column with a blue heading, but not black.
  2. You can customize the sort order using Records→Sort Records (Mac: S; PC: CtrlS).

3.3. Donor Detail Screen

Donor Detail Screen

The donor detail screen describes donor details that will appear on the website. Most importantly, Last Donation Event Date must be set to the event's date to be included in that event's website.

Donor detail also provides a list of the items donated by the donor. Click an item name to go to the item detail view.

3.3.1. Fields

Field definitions for Donor Detail Screen
Field Description
Donor name Required. The full name of the donor, as will be displayed on the website.
Abbreviation Required. An encoded form of the donor's name that uses only alphanumeric characters, dashes, and underscores. This is used in website creation.
Slogan Optional. The donor's slogan.
Website URL Optional. The donor's website name.
Address Optional. The donor's business address.
Phone Optional. The donor's telephone number.
EMail Optional. The donor's e-mail address, if they want it included on the website.
Donor banner Optional. A banner image used in the slideshow and on the website.
Text for website blurb Optional. A write-up telling about the donor that will be included on the website's donor page.
Item list Read-only. The item list displays items from the donor. Clicking an item name will change to item view.

3.3.2. Actions

Actions that may be taken from the DAM Donor Detail Screen.
Action Menu Mac PC Description & Notes
Change image Displays a file chooser dialog, allowing you to select a new banner image for a donor.
Display item Click an item title to switch to the item detail screen for that item.
Create a record Records→New Record N CtrlN
  • In browse mode, adds a new record to the database.
  • In find mode, this instead adds a new set of find criteria, allowing you to create robust searches.
Delete a record Records→Delete Record E CtrlE
  • Deletes the current record. In list views, the current record is indicated by a small gray indicator along the left edge.
  • When in find mode, this command deletes one of the find requests instead of a record.
See the Toolbar help page for more actions that are common to most screens.

3.3.3. Search

Searching is done via find mode ( View→Find Mode; Mac: F; PC: CtrlF), which allows you to fill in the form with the data for which you are searching. Select Perform Find (toolbar or Requests→Perform Find) to perform the find.

3.4. Item List Screen

Item List Screen

The Item List Screen provides an overview ot items and quick access to both details and donors. Items are sorted by item number on entry, but can be resorted by clicking a column heading. Use the search input in the upper right to do fast, rich searches on items, then click the item summary to view the item details.

3.4.1. Actions

Actions that may be taken from the DAM Item List Screen.
Action Menu Mac PC Description & Notes
View item details Click the item summary to view the item details.
View donor details Click the name of a donor to view the donor details.
Create a record Records→New Record N CtrlN
  • In browse mode, adds a new record to the database.
  • In find mode, this instead adds a new set of find criteria, allowing you to create robust searches.
See the Toolbar help page for more actions that are common to most screens.

3.4.2. Searching

DAM search input field Item List Screen features Super Search, which will search for the query text anywhere within the record and in some related content. Entering text into the search input in the upper right will query and update the visible records as you type.

Note that because fields not shown are searched, you may not see your search term until you move from the summary to the detail view. Fields searched include all item fields, including donor name.

3.4.3. Sorting

You can sort the displayed records in two ways:
  1. You can sort on a particular field by clicking its title in the column heading. This works for any column with a blue heading, but not black.
  2. You can customize the sort order using Records→Sort Records (Mac: S; PC: CtrlS).

3.5. Item Detail Screen

Item Detail Screen

The item detail screen describes everything about an item: a description and picture, its value, its item number, the number available, if and how it is consigned. The item detail becomes:

  • The item listings on the website.
  • The item overview on the auctioneer cue cards.
  • The item titles, bullet points, and image for a slideshow.
  • The item details printed on item and winning bid cards.
  • The line items listed on receipts and in reports.

3.5.1. Search

Searching is done via find mode ( View→Find Mode; Mac: F; PC: CtrlF), which allows you to fill in the form with the data for which you are searching. Select Perform Find (toolbar or Requests→Perform Find) to perform the find.

For simple searches, it may be easier to return to the item list screen and use the search input.

3.5.2. Fields

Field definitions for Item Detail Screen
Field Description
Item # Required. A single, unique item number identifies all like items. These numbers are assigned in sequential order, but can be changed to fill in "holes" that occur if an item is deleted, or to start numbering at a number other than "1".
Quantity Default=1. The quantity is the number of items that will be sold at a time (i.e., Dutch-style). Setting quantity to zero (0) will eliminate the item from forms, cards, etc.
Seq # Optional. Sequence number is an alternative to selling in quantity, instead allowing you to insert one of an item at multiple points throughout the auction. You can enter up to 10 sequence numbers per item. It is possible (though potentially confusing) to use both quantities and sequence numbers, the total being sold being quantity⨉(the number of sequence numbers under which the item appears).
Title Required. A short, descriptive name for the item. Combined with an item's size and gender (where applicable), this becomes the "Item summary" that is displayed in lists and forms.
Category Required. The categories.html (category) of the item.
Gender Required. The intended gender of the item. "Not applicable" is appropriate when gender is meaningless (for instance, a car battery); "Unisex" is appropriate when an item could be gendered, but the particular one is viable for both (for instance, a pair of hiking boots or an androgynous piece piece of body art).
Size Optional. The item size. The word "Size" will be prefixed in item summaries when a size has been specified.
Value Optional. The value, such as MSRP, of the item.
Minimum bid Optional. The minimum bid. The auctioneer should not accept less than this amount.
Starting bid Optional. The starting bid. The auctioneer will start by asking for this amount, but may accept less if there is no interest at the starting bid.
Bullet points Optional. Key features or attributes for the item. These are displayed in a bulleted list on the website and on the auctioneer cue cards. The first three are included with the slideshow.
Donor Optional. The donor of the item. Click the red "X" to erase the donor. Click the "Select" button to open a dialog box to change the donor.
Consignment Optional. The consignment calculation. If the item sells, the amount due the donor/consignor is determined by this calculation.
Description Optional. The item description that will be included on the website.
Announcer text Optional. The text that is included on auctioneer cue cards. If left blank, the description (just above) is used instead.

3.5.3. Actions

Actions that may be taken from the DAM Item Detail Screen.
Action Menu Mac PC Description & Notes
Create a record Records→New Record N CtrlN
  • In browse mode, adds a new record to the database.
  • In find mode, this instead adds a new set of find criteria, allowing you to create robust searches.
Delete a record Records→Delete Record E CtrlE
  • Deletes the current record. In list views, the current record is indicated by a small gray indicator along the left edge.
  • When in find mode, this command deletes one of the find requests instead of a record.
Select button Opens the select donor dialog box. Selecting a new donor automatically sets the last donation date for the new donor to the present year, ensuring they will be listed on the website.
See the Toolbar help page for more actions that are common to most screens.

4. Reports

4.1. Invoice Summary Report

Invoice Summary Report

The Invoice Summary Report displays a list of invoices, their bidders, and totals. The search input searches by item summary as well as the displayed fields, making it easy to find invoices containing particular goods. Use View invoice details to view the line items of all matching invoices.

4.1.1. Actions

Actions that may be taken from the DAM Invoice Summary Report.
Action Menu Mac PC Description & Notes
Display a single invoice detail Click the invoice number.
Display all listed invoices in detail Click View invoice details at the right side of the header.
See the Toolbar help page for more actions that are common to most screens.

4.1.2. Searching

There are two ways to search on the Invoice Summary Report.
  1. DAM search input field The simple method is to type search text into the search input in the upper right. This will query on all fields shown, updating the visible records as you type.
  2. More detailed searching may be done via Enter find mode ( View→Find Mode; Mac: F; PC: CtrlF), enter your search criteria into the form, then select Perform Find (toolbar or Requests→Perform Find).
Note that when a search is active, the "Grand total" shown at the bottom of the page reflects found records only—not the auction totals.

4.1.3. Sorting

You can sort the displayed records in two ways:
  1. You can sort on a particular field by clicking its title in the column heading. This works for any column with a blue heading, but not black.
  2. You can customize the sort order using Records→Sort Records (Mac: S; PC: CtrlS).

4.2. Invoice Detail Report

Invoice Detail Report

The Invoice Detail Report displays invoices, their items and totals. The search input can search by item to allow quickly finding invoices containing particular goods.

4.2.1. Actions

Actions that may be taken from the DAM Invoice Detail Report.
Action Menu Mac PC Description & Notes
Reprint an invoice Click Reprint this invoice underneath the invoice you want to reprint.
Preview an invoice Click View this invoice to open a preview window of a printed invoice.
See the Toolbar help page for more actions that are common to most screens.

4.3. Profit & Loss and Consignment Report

Profit & Loss and Consignment Report

The Profit & Loss and Consignment Report displays items, their sale price, consignment due and the profit/loss to the auction. The report has two modes:

  • Profit/loss mode: All items (including non-consignment items, which are all profit) are displayed. This reflects the auction totals.
  • Consignment mode: Displays all items sold on consignment, grouping by consignor. This shows how the consignment items fared, and provides a list of how much money is due each consignor. Note that the "Profit" column refects that made on consignment items only in this mode.

4.3.1. Actions

Actions that may be taken from the DAM Profit & Loss and Consignment Report.
Action Menu Mac PC Description & Notes
Print report File→Print P CtrlP Prints the report.
See the Toolbar help page for more actions that are common to most screens.

4.3.2. Sorting

You can sort the displayed records in two ways:
  1. You can sort on a particular field by clicking its title in the column heading. This works for any column with a blue heading, but not black.
  2. You can customize the sort order using Records→Sort Records (Mac: S; PC: CtrlS).

4.4. Category Report

Category Report

The Category Report displays sold items grouped by category. Winning bids and totals are included, both per-category and grand totals for the auction. This report could be useful in determining which categories sell well, and which would be better left out or relegated to silent auctions next item.

Since DAM calculates sales taxes based on category, the Category Report also includes tax data.

4.4.1. Actions

Actions that may be taken from the DAM Category Report.
Action Menu Mac PC Description & Notes
Print report File→Print P CtrlP Prints the report.
See the Toolbar help page for more actions that are common to most screens.

4.5. Tax Report

The Tax Report displays all items sold and the applicable taxes. This is a mostly useless report; the Category Report presents the data (and more) in a more useful way.

4.5.1. Actions

Actions that may be taken from the DAM Tax Report.
Action Menu Mac PC Description & Notes
Print report File→Print P CtrlP Prints the report.
See the Toolbar help page for more actions that are common to most screens.

5. Printing

5.1. Print Cards Screen

Print Cards Screen

The Print Cards Screen allows you to select which cards to print. Included cards have a check in the box to the left. Excluded cards do not have a check and display in grayed text.

To print just a few cards, click the checkbox in the header to exclude all cards. Then select the items you want to print, using the search input to help find items if necessary.

When you've selected the records you want printed, you can choose from the two types of cards listed on the right hand side of the header:

  • Item card Item cards are appropriate for identifying items. They should be printed and attached to items prior to auction day, probably as batches of items are received and added to DAM.
  • Win card Winning bid cards include information about a sold product. Blanks are provided to record the winning bidder and amount. Win cards are usually filled out by the recorder.
    • If you have a bagging station, a win tag should accompany the item there.
    • Win cards can be an alternate to recording sheets for "feeding" recorded transactions from the recorder to the invoicer for keying. See Organizing & Staffing Your Auction for more on staffing and auction flow.
The printed card layouts are set up to use business card forms such as Avery 5371, which comes perforated so the cards can be broken up easily. Alternately, you can use any paper or cardstock and a paper cutter.

Laser Printer Hint: When using card stock or other heavy paper, look through the print dialog for a paper thickness option and select the appropriate paper type! Laser printers use heat to melt the toner (ink) to the paper. Thicker paper requires more heat to get good adherance. Selecting a heavier paper thickness typically reduces the rate the paper moves through the fuser (the part that melts the toner to the paper), allowing more heat to be applied and reducing toner rub-off.

5.1.1. Searching

There are two ways to search on the Print Cards Screen.
  1. DAM search input field The simple method is to type search text into the search input in the upper right. This will query on all fields shown, updating the visible records as you type.
  2. More detailed searching may be done via Enter find mode ( View→Find Mode; Mac: F; PC: CtrlF), enter your search criteria into the form, then select Perform Find (toolbar or Requests→Perform Find).

5.1.2. Sorting

Items are sorted by sequence number (if sequence numbers are in use) or by item number. If necessary (and it should not be) the sort order can be changed using Records→Sort Records.

5.1.3. Actions

Actions that may be taken from the DAM Print Cards Screen.
Action Menu Mac PC Description & Notes
Include or Exclude all Click the checkbox in the heading to include or exclude all cards.
Include or Exclude one Click the checkbox corresponding to the record to include or exclude.
View/Print Item Cards Click "Item Cards" at the right edge of the header. A new window previewing the cards to be printed will open.
  • Use Page Up and Page Down to switch pages in the preview.
  • Use File→Print (Mac: P; PC: CtrlP) to print.
View/Print Winning Bid Cards Click "Winning Bid Cards" at the right edge of the header; see item cards above.
See the Toolbar help page for more actions that are common to most screens.

5.2. Item List Report

Item List Report

The Item List Report provides allows you print the item list for distribution to your bidders. Fields/columns may be added, removed, rearranged and resized to meet your particular needs.

5.2.1. Actions

Actions that may be taken from the DAM Item List Report.
Action Menu Mac PC Description & Notes
Add or remove columns Modify Table View dialog Click the Modify... button in the status toolbar to open the Modify Table View window, then set the checkboxes corresponding to the fields to display.
Move a column Click and hold the column heading, and move it to the new position.
Resize a column Point to the right edge of the column heading for the column to resize. When the cursor changes to the resize icon, Click and hold, moving to adjust the column width. The column to the right will move, but not resize.
Print Item List Report File→Print P CtrlP Prints the Item List Report.
Change paper size File→Page Setup The Page Setup dialog allows you to change the paper size and layout (portrait versus landscape).
See the Toolbar help page for more actions that are common to most screens.

5.3. Bid Recording Sheets

Bid Recording Sheets

Bid Recording Sheets provide a convenient form for recording bids. Items are listed in sequence number or item order, depending on whether or not you are using sequence numbers.

5.3.1. Actions

Actions that may be taken from the DAM Bid Recording Sheets.
Action Menu Mac PC Description & Notes
Print Bid Recording Sheets File→Print P CtrlP Prints the Bid Recording Sheets.
See the Toolbar help page for more actions that are common to most screens.

Footnotes: