About Bidding Owl

If you’re involved with a non-profit or charitable organization, Bidding Owl is a cloud-based auction management system that claims to help you quickly set up your auction’s website, and to effortlessly manage all aspects of it. This includes managing donors, items, and solicitors, printing bid sheets, tracking your fundraising, and more.

But is Bidding Owl really worth your time? Let’s round up the facts and find out.

Bidding Owl Details

As an all-in-one auction management solution, Bidding Owl claims that—unlike traditional live and silent auctions—their fully customizable online auction manager can help you receive donations 24 hours per day, which ultimately helps you raise more money for your cause. In fact, Bidding Owl claims that they can help with all aspects of your auction, including:

  • Prior to the auction – Build your auction website in minutes, accept donations (credit cards, checks, and even cash), sell tickets, and promote your sponsors online. Your website is fully customizable, including the ability to change fonts and background colors, add your logo, and manage as many users as you need. In fact, Bidding Owl claims to even include a radio auction interface.
  • During the auction – Provide mobile bidding options (smartphones, tablets, and laptops), record events, and alert bidders via text messages during the auction.
  • After the auction – Process invoices, process payments, print gift certificates, and more.

Once you’ve set up your auction, Bidding Owl will allow it to be viewable for as long as you wish prior to its start date, which can help prospective bidders gain a better understanding about the items you’ll be auctioning. In addition, once your auction starts, it can remain live for any length of time you desire.

As a bidder, Bidding Owl claims to provide you with the ability to browse all online and live auctions across several categories, including Food & Fun, Music, Services, Travel & Entertainment, and more. After clicking on an auction’s listing, you’ll be taken to its home page, where you’ll find a description (e.g. what you’ll receive if you’re the high bidder), the end date, currency, current bid, and bid increments (e.g. $25). To place a bid, simply enter your amount in the text field, and press the Bid! button to apply.

Bidding Owl Pricing

Whether you’re looking to be a bidder or to start an auction, signing up for Bidding Owl is completely free of charge.

However, as an auction holder, Bidding Owl will charge you 5% of the highest bid as a fee. For example: If you auctioned a one-hour massage and the highest bid is $150, Bidding Owl will charge you $7.50 once your auction has ended.

Also, keep in mind that if you check out through PayPal, you may be subject to their 2.9% (minimum) fee.

What Do Other Consumers Have to Say About Bidding Owl?

Bidding Owl is based out of Gaylord, MI, and holds an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau, with no complaints filed within the past three years.

Outside of the Better Business Bureau, Bidding Owl seems to have an almost wholly positive online reputation with previous customers, who cite ease of use and low cost as the primary compliments. In fact, we were unable to locate a single negative review during our research.

What’s the Bottom Line About Bidding Owl?

Let’s be honest; it’s hard to beat saving money, which is especially important for non-profit and charitable organizations. But the good news is that—at least when it comes to Bidding Owl—low cost doesn’t have to mean difficult to use or ineffective. In fact, every online customer review we read talked about how simple and straightforward the website is to use, and how well they’ve covered the online auction process from A-Z.

With this in mind, whether you’re a charity, non-profit, or an individual looking to start an online auction, it appears that Bidding Owl should be at the top of your list.

Want to Learn Expert Tips for Online Safety?

Join over 2 million HighYa readers who receive weekly how-to guides, tips & reviews and get a FREE COPY of our Complete Online Safety e-book. Enter your email below to get started!

6 Customer Reviews for Bidding Owl

Average Customer Rating: 3.2
Rating Snapshot:
5 stars: 2 4 stars: 1 3 stars: 1 2 stars: 0 1 stars: 2
Bottom Line: 50% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-6 of 6
Sort reviews by:

  • 1 out 4 people found this review helpful

    If I could give this zero stars…

    I was actually shocked to see a bill from Bidding Owl after my experience with them. Everything about this experience was terrible, from the picture hosting (there is no way to edit or modify your pictures and everything was posted sideways) to the fact that they can charge after the fact without disclosing pricing or the fact that they'll take 5% of non-profit fundraising money after doing absolutely NOTHING.

    We had nothing but problems with them, and for the most part, my auction tanked when in years past it's been our highest rated fundraiser.

    Customer service is non-existent and the phone number on the site doesn't work (but has recently been changed from a 1-800 number). I emailed them to complain yet there's no response.

    This screams "scam" and I'm considering filing a complaint with the FTC.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Good results, reasonable rates

    We used Bidding Owl to raise funds for my daughter's small middle school group to go on a service learning trip to Peru. It was pretty easy to use and we got great results. Not many frills, but it was straightforward and they only charge 5% of your auction winnings. Also, they have good support when questions came up. Overall a good experience, and we'll be using them again this year when my other daughter's group is raising funds to go to Costa Rica.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    OK But Not Great

    • New York, NY,
    • Jul 13, 2015

    This site seems easy to use, but has a few limitations which left our experience less than ideal.

    The plusses are clear - easy to engage, reasonable fee, online/offline capability, and responsive customer service all were enticing.

    The negatives were disappointing, however. The online/offline aspect of the service wasn't flexible enough to accommodate our specific auction set-up, and it wasn't very clear how to resolve the disconnect, which left some of our audience confused. Also, and this was the biggest downside - the service doesn't offer "max" or "automatic" bidding, like eBay, where a bidder can enter the maximum he or she wants to bid, and then the system raises that person's bid by the bidding increment as other bidders enter a bid. This meant that people had to keep coming back to the site if they had been outbid and wanted to bid higher. We have been told we lost a lot of bids because of this. The reporting is fairly rudimentary and, again, inflexible, when data should be so eminently flexible to present. Reports weren't intuitively designed to report on what we wanted to see - who bid what for which items. Finally, the site interface was only moderately adjustable, and the default interface is pretty clunky.

    To summarize, you get what you pay for with this utilitarian site. It could be a lot better, but it was still functionally good. I think my organization will try a different service next time we do a fund-raising auction.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Excellent Customer Service

    • Jun 27, 2015

    Our event was held on a Saturday night and we had to contact tech support for help with checking out, ending auction, etc. and they were extremely helpful and walked us right through. I would highly recommend Bidding Owl and will use again next year.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    The site is unreliable

    Our charitable community group used bidding owl for an online auction. It was a disaster. The site failed and we lost all kinds of potential bidders and had a lot of complaints. The site is not easy for people to navigate and communication was very poor. Use a more reputable organization.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Bid on item and won.

    • Madison heights, MI,
    • Sep 12, 2014

    Easy to bid, great site. I bid on a trip and won the trip. I took wife on the weekend trip that I won and we had a great time. Thanks

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


Showing 1-6 of 6

Write a review for Bidding Owl!

Share your experience to help others avoid scams & discover great products!

Write a Review