Can I save my profile settings to use as a default for future auctions?
Of course, in fact you can save several different auction profile setups for different types of auctions. You might conduct vehicle auctions, household collectible auctions and farm equipment auctions regularly, with different profile rules for each. This is especially convenient for online auctions that have different rules from onsite auctions. Create an empty new auction and name it AUCTIONA, AUCTIONB or AUCTIONC etc. Set up its profile with the rules you want to use for this type of auction. CUS will treat this as a default auction so the profile setup will be stored for future use. Once you have set this default auction’s profile, you can create any new auction using this AUCTIONA or AUCTIONB setup as its default.
How do I export auction data in a format my client can use?
You can export data, whether sold or unsold, to an Excel format from any auction. Go in the Inventory system, Report Menu, Export Menu, Spreadsheet Export for Catalog or Sale data. Choose an Auction File (A). After designating where to save the export file, you can filter your results by Class, Seller, Titled vs. Non-Titled items or Sold vs. Unsold lots. Select which data fields you want to include in the spreadsheet file, for example Lot Number, Description, Price, Buyer etc. If you use the same format repeatedly, you can save the format as a report name to use next time. After you select which auction to export from, the file will be created as a .txt format. Once the file has been exported, open your Excel program, find the file in the location you chose and open the file as a comma-delimited file using the text import wizard in Excel.
Why does my Auction Status Report say Total Sales do not equal Consignor Sales?
You need to run Consignor Statements for ALL consignors in Summary form to get updated totals in your Auction Status Report. This calculates the consignor totals which will be compared with the auction totals. If your auction status report still does not balance between total sales and consignor sales, see which figure is higher. Usually the auction sale total is higher than the consignor total. If so, run the Consignor Unassigned Lot Report in your Consignor Report menu. This will tell you if there are any lots sold in the auction that have an unregistered consignor or no consignor at all. Once you put the correct consignor code on the lots, or enter the consignors into the auction Seller/Consignor file, re-run the Consignor Statement summary for All consignors again. This will recalculate the consignor totals, which should bring the Auction Status Report in balance.
What do I do if one of my workstations can’t get into CUS?
If you see an error message that says: “I can’t find the REMOTE authorization file” when trying to enter CUS from a station, most likely the workstation isn’t connecting to the server. The last line of this message will tell you the network drive letter the system is trying to reach. The first step is to check if this station can see the network drive letter (usually F). Go to Computer in your Start Menu or on your desktop and look for the F: drive. If you can see your F: drive, try to open it. If it displays the folders inside, you should now be able to get into CUS.
If you can’t see the F: drive at all, then you may need to re-map your network drive. In a Windows 7 computer, Map Network Drive may be at the top of the Computer window. In an XP computer’s My Computer window, go to Tools then Map a Network Drive. Click on the down arrow in the Drive line to look for the F: drive. You may see the complete path there; for example, \\server name\c. Then click on the folder line, look for the same path and choose it if it is there. Then click finish. It should display the folders inside the F: drive if the mapping was successful. If you do not get an error, you can try to reenter the program. If this does not work, contact CUS for more assistance.
Why does my Unsold Lot/Quantity Exception report show lots that have been sold?
The report is going to compare the beginning “on hand” quantity of a lot to the sold quantity of that lot. It will show any instance in which the two don’t agree so you can investigate if needed. For example, if you prelotted a lot with a quantity of four but ended up selling it as a lot for one money then it will appear on this report unless you specifically entered it as a “one money” sale while clerking. You can go back to the Lot Maintenance screen and change the starting quantity to one, and may want to edit the description to say that the lot contains a quantity of four.
Can I charge my internet bidders a different buyer’s premium than the local bidders?
Yes, you can. You can either set the auction profile to use individual buyer’s premiums or to use premium “kickers”. The individual buyer’s premium option lets you set the actual rate that each buyer would be charged. If your default in the profile is 10% you could set the internet buyers premium rate to 13%, for example. You can do this when you register the bidders, whether you enter them one by one or use one of the online import functions in the CUS Internet Menu. This method is only usable if the rate does not change based on the price of the item.
If you have a sliding scale or mixed premium structure or if you’re using the new buyer’s premium plans, in which the rate changes depending on the price of the lot or which lot it is, you can use the premium “kicker” instead. This lets you enter a premium adjustment that gets applied to whatever premium would normally be charged based on the price, for example an additional 3%. You can set this kicker adjustment when you register the internet bidders also. If you forget to enter either the individual premium or the kicker when registering the bidder, you can always do it at the billing screen.
How do I charge different buyers premium rates at different price levels?
In your auction profile you can set a sliding scale buyer’s premium method in which the rate charged changes based on the price level of the item. There are three methods; lot by lot, variable and mixed. A lot by lot premium means that the premium rate charged on the entire sale price of the lot changes based on the total sales price of that lot. A variable buyer’s premium rate is one in which the first (x) dollar amount of the sale price is charged the first rate and the next (y) dollars are charged a different rate. A mixed rate allows you to mix percentages and flat dollar premiums at different sale prices levels. You cannot use any of these rate methods in the same auction in which you use individual buyer’s premium set by buyer, but you can use these sliding scale methods with the new premium “kicker”.
Can I charge different buyers premium rates based on the specific lot?
Yes, you can create buyer’s premium “plans” that contain the premium rule you want to apply to certain lots only. Go to the File Menu, Buyer’s Premium Plans. Add a plan code and description for this premium method and fill in the breakpoints and rates as needed. After you save the new plans, you can add the appropriate plan code on any lot. When the buyer of this lot is billed, the premium will be charged according to this plan for this lot. If the buyer is assigned a premium “kicker”, it will be applied also.
Can I conduct an auction under a different business name?
If you need to run an auction under a different business name, CUS can create a name change utility file for you. This file would contain the alternate headings we have customized for you at your request. When you create each auction, you will go into the profile – General tab and select which heading you want to use for this auction. Please contact CUS for further information.
What if I am entering clerking activity and the buyer has not been registered yet?
You will see the message “Buyer (#) not found, Add buyer now?”. You will have the choice of Unknown, No or Permfile. If you think you just typed the buyer number wrong, say No and start over. Often, however, the buyer bought something before you’ve had a chance to enter his registration into the system. Since you do want to record the sale anyway, choose Unknown and the sale will be recorded to that buyer number. The system will create a buyer record for that buyer number automatically using the temporary name “Buyer Number XX”. You can then change that buyer record to the actual name later at your convenience. If you have stored permanent buyer numbers for some clients in your mail system and you recognize the buyer number making this purchase as part of the permanent number range, choose Permfile and the system will pull your buyer in from the Mail system.
How do I correct a buyer’s bill if the sale price is wrong or we sold the lot to the wrong buyer?
If you have to make a correction after you issue the buyer invoice, you must Void the invoice first. Then, from the same billing screen you can Prebill, View and Edit the Prebill. This will let you change or delete any of the sales to that buyer. Once you’ve made the correction, you’ll come back to the billing screen where you can issue a new invoice.
How do I correct sales tax on a buyer’s bill?
To correct or remove sales tax, you do not have to void the buyers invoice. From the billing screen do a Rebill – Print and then change the sales tax status right on that screen. Change the T to an R or E, click OK and it will ask if you are sure about the changes. If you are sure, click OK and the corrected invoice will print.
How do I flag a buyer who has a bad history with me?
You can put a bad debt flag on any customer’s record in the Mail system using the BD mailing list code. Enter the code BD on this person as if it were a mailing list code. Enter any notes or comments about this customer in the history/comments section of the mail record. In the auction profile – Buyers section, enter a BD code which will then flag any buyer registered from mail who has this code.
How do I apply consignor sales proceeds to their purchases?
Create a unique new payment type in the System Menu, User Database Maintenance for Consignor Proceeds Deducted so these transactions will be easy to track when you balance your buyer receipts. Then run the Consignor Statement to determine how much is due to the Consignor net of commissions and expenses. Run a Buyer Prebill or Invoice to see the purchase balance due on the Consignor’s Buyer number. You can “Pay” the bill using the proceeds due to this consignor with the payment type you have set up for Consignor Proceeds. Enter a Consignor expense for the amount that is being applied to the bill which will reduce the amount of net proceeds due to the Consignor.
Can I make an exception to a consignor’s commission for one item?
Yes, you can override the consignors default commission on any individual lot by entering either a percentage % or F)lat in the commission type field on the lot. Then enter the appropriate commission rate or amount in the corresponding field.
Can I set up multiple consignor commission sliding scales and apply them to certain lots?
Yes, go in the File Menu, Consignor Commission Plans. Add a plan code, the commission type (L, V or F) and a description of this plan. Fill in the breakpoints and rates or amounts as needed. Once your plans are set up, enter the plan codes that might possibly apply to each consignor in the Consignor File Maintenance screen. This sets up which alternative commission plans are allowed for this consignor in addition to his default commission structure. Once you determine which of this seller’s lots will be charged a rate different from his default structure, you can enter the plan code on that lot.
Can I charge a title transfer fee on all vehicles?
Go into the Expense section of the File menu and add a Lot type expense to be charged to either buyer or seller as needed. You can charge this expense to all lots, all lots in one tax class or individual lots identified by lot numbers. If you separate your titled vehicles into a separate tax class, even if the rate is 0, you can create one expense entry to charge the fee on all lots in that tax class.
How do I print several copies of a buyer invoice and differentiate between the buyer’s copy and office copy?
Go into the auction profile – Invoices/Rpts and enter Yes to print multiple copies on Invoices with Copy Markings. You can also set the default number of copies here. When you issue the bill, you can override the default number of copies if needed. You can also designate one of the copies to print without prices, which you may prefer for truckers picking up equipment.
Why do my buyer’s invoices have the totals on a separate page?
The invoice totals are coming out on a separate page because the auction profile is set to use supplemental taxes, which use a different summary format. Most people do not use them, so go to the Supplemental taxes page of the auction profile, answer No to use supplemental taxes and then save the profile changes. Exit the profile and exit the Auction program completely, then go back in. If there are other stations already working in this auction, they must go out of the system and go back in for this change to take effect.
Can I change the appearance of the browse screen or print from it?
There are browse viewing options in many file maintenance screens. Once in the browse view, you can arrange the order of the columns by right clicking in that column and choosing Move Column Left or Right. You can also adjust the width of the column by clicking on the column and dragging it to make it wider or narrower. If any column appears with a red heading that means it is the current index order. You can right click on any of the other columns that have a blue heading to change the index order to that heading. The index order can be ascending or descending depending on the direction that the arrow is facing.
You will usually see an option to print from the browse view at the bottom of the page, or by right clicking inside any column.
How do I back up an auction?
The best way to make a backup copy of your auction is to zip it, because it consolidates the entire auction into one file with a zip extension. You can easily copy this zip file to a CD, jump drive or another computer, i.e. a travel server. You can also attach this zip file to an email.
There’s a simple utility in CUS for Windows to zip up an auction for you. Go to the Utility Menu and choose Zip Backup an Auction. Select the auction from the drop down list then enter the drive letter where you want to save the zip file. You can enter your local drive C:, your network drive (usually F: ) or a different letter for a jump drive/external hard drive. There’s no need to enter a directory name because the system will create a new folder using the auction name and save the zip file in there. The first time you create a zip of this auction the file will be named auctionname_0001.zip. The next time you create a zip of the same auction on this computer and save it to the same drive letter, the zip will be called auctionname_0002.zip. This will allow you to keep the earlier generations of this auction data without overwriting or deleting them. There is a handy program called WINZIP that you can download from www.winzip.com which is the best way to unzip or extract this file if necessary.
Note: with this method, you are zipping individual auctions one at a time as appropriate. This does not eliminate the need to regularly take a full system backup of all CUS directories on your server. Please ask us for guidance on this subject.
Why doesn’t the number of records on any mailing list code seem up to date?
The system takes a count of the number of records in any mailing list when you tell it to. The system does not continuously update the count every time you add a name to the file or add a mailing list code to a name that’s already on file. Any time you need to find how many records are in a mailing list you just need to tell the system to update the total counts. Go the Mail System, Utility Menu and select Total Mailing List Counts.
How do I target certain people who are interested in specific types of assets?
Use the Mail System’s List Codes to designate mailing “lists” of people with similar interests. For example, create a two-character list code that represents Coins or Office Furniture or Farm Equipment. Enter these codes and their descriptions in the Mail System, File Menu, Enter Mailing List Codes. Once you have created the codes you want to use, simply place the code(s) on this person’s record in the Mail System or in any Auction when the customer registers as a buyer or seller. If you have a coin auction, you can set the auction profile to enter the code for Coins on every buyer who registers in this auction, so it is part of the record that is transferred into the Mail System for future use.
How do I give my mailing list to an outside service?
First you need to decide if you want to give your mailing service the entire file or target certain buyers. If you want to target your mailing you will use the selection process in the Mail System – File Menu – Set-up a Mailing. You can then export the resulting select file or bypass the selection process and export the entire main file. Go to Reports – Export a Mail File. This will create an exportable file in a format your mailing service can use. You can select which data fields you want to include in the file, i.e. name, address, city, state, and zip. The file that will be created is called export.dat in the aucmail folder either on your local C: drive or the network drive (usually F:). You can look at the file in Excel before sending it to your mailing service. You may want to re-save it as a comma delimited .csv format or an Excel .xls format if they require it.
What is the best way to back up my Mail files?
We recommend that you back up your Mail files on a regular basis for safekeeping. Ideally, you should make a copy of your entire aucmail directory (along with cusauc and aucinv) on a CD/DVD, external hard drive or other media on a regular basis. In addition, you can create a zip file of the essential data files in your Mail System and copy the zip file to another location. There is a file zipping function in the Mail system Utility Menu that will create a zip of the data files. This zip is for safekeeping also, and can be copied onto any other location or media.
There’s a new option in the Mail zip feature that will zip up just the files you’d want to transfer onto your traveling auction laptop/server for an outside auction. Most clients use this copy of the mail file to register buyers from at the auction site.
What is the best way to back up my Inventory files?
We recommend that you back up your Inventory files on a regular basis for safekeeping. Ideally, you should make a copy of your entire aucinv directory (along with cusauc and aucmail) on a CD/DVD, external hard drive or other media on a regular basis. In addition, you can create a zip file of the essential data files in your Inventory System and copy the zip file to another location. There is a file zipping function in the Inventory System Utility Menu that will create a zip containing all of the Inventory data files. This zip is for safekeeping also, and can be copied onto any other location or media.
How do I import outside data into my Auction?
You can import auction lotting data from an outside Excel type file format into the CUS Inventory System. From there, you will be able to transfer it to an auction. Your Excel file needs to contain the data fields that you want to import with a header row containing the correct CUS field names. No commas or double quote marks are allowed. You can use Excel’s Find/Replace feature to replace commas with semi-colons. Save the file as a comma delimited (.csv) file format with a simple file name (usually the auction name). The best place to save the file is in the aucinv directory either on your local C: if you’re on a single user or your network drive, usually F:
Once the file is saved, close it and go into the Inventory System. Go to Utility Menu, ASCII file import. Enter the location of the file you saved or use the drop down arrow to find it. Enter the name of the auction that these items will be assigned to. The data will be imported into your Main Inventory file with the auction name assigned to each lot. You’re ready to transfer the lots into your auction.
How can I import registered bidders from another bidding service?
If your live auction will involve live internet bidding using one of the popular internet bidding services, you can usually import the list of registrants into your CUS Auction System from a spreadsheet format. Download the file from the bidding service to your local computer and open it in Excel to view the format. Go into your CUS Auction System Internet menu, and choose Online Imports. You’ll find choices for many of the well known live bidding services. Each one has specific file format requirements, so read the instructions carefully. It’s very important to take a zip backup copy of your auction before importing the bidder registration data into CUS. You don’t want to damage your auction files if the other provider unexpectedly changes the data format.
Can I keep track of lots that didn’t sell in one auction and reassign them to a future auction without repeated data entry?
Yes, the Main Inventory file can store any lots that remained unsold after your auction. In fact, it doesn’t matter if the lots came into the auction from the Inventory System at all. You can globally reassign all items from one auction name to a new auction name using the Auction Utilities Menu, Auction Field Name Assignment. If you’d rather choose the lots to be reassigned individually, it’s easy to do in Inventory File Maintenance. There is a quick Auction Name editing feature in the Browse screen too.
How do I find what something sold for or who bought it if I don’t know what auction it was in?
With the CUS Inventory System, you can store historical data of every item that has ever been sold. If you have been updating your inventory history file with completed auctions, you can search the history file for any item by any of the index choices, usually ID #, VIN, Classification, Seller etc. Go into Enter Inventory Items, choose the Sold file, and then click Index to use the Index order you want to search by. Once you find the item you want, you’ll see what auction is was in and the sale price. You can press the $ key to see who bought that lot in that auction.
If you need to find an item by a keyword in the description, and you think there are only a few of them, you can CTRL-S to search for that word. If you start at the beginning of the file, CTRL-S will find the first record with that word, then you can repeat the step to keep looking. If you prefer to see all of the items that contain that word, use the Set Up a Selection function in the Inventory System File Menu and run your selection from the Sold file to select all items with that word in the description.