Member Names and Groups

Here's how members work

We use the term Member for any person, group of persons, or business who has a phone, name, and either auction donations or purchases. So you can enter a business or even ask one to self-register, although that would be less common.

There are a some restrictions on adding members that share the same phone. Because we implicitly allow such members access to each other's statements, you can't self-sign-up for a 2nd member if one already exists with that phone. You have to do that for them (use the check in screen). On the other hand, once two or more share the same phone, then the member gets a confirmatino screen when they sign in (to pick which one they want to start at) - on that screen, you have the 'add me I'm new' link also, so they can self-add the 3rd+ member on the same phone. Each member has a PIN, which if left blank, defaults to the last 4 digits of the phone. There is no 'member' associated with the two special 'secret' PINs that grant volunteer or admin access - they work with any member or even an invalid member phone.

In practice, it helps to have some consistency in how you enter member names. It is certainly possible to have a member for each person, including couples; however, we find many participants who are 'just bidding' prefer to be combined as one pair - so that is our 'default' import from our membership roles. In addition, some groups or individuals want to donate items and have them be 'listed' differently. For example, we have two unrelated ladies who share a last name - playing on this, they are 'jointly offering' a dinner. We handle this by making them a new 'member' with both their names, with the phone and address of the one of them who is hosting, and both of their emails (comma separated). Similarly, my wife is not interested in being listed as the donor of my motorcycle ride offering, so we have separate member entries as well as our joint one - we offer some things individually, but usually get a bidding paddle for our joint member to keep checkout simpler and to make sure we appear appropriately on the statements of hosts whose dinners we buy. This keeps those concise by having one sale at qty=2 rather than two separate sales.

Couples who bid on dinners with qty=2 like this also enjoy a slight advantage if they are last two seats of a dinner - many offerings have a +1 checkbox allowing the host to accommodate 'one more seat' if it would allow a couple to fit if they offer an odd number of seats or if they are preceeded by a single bidder.