We're here to help.

    Reverse Auctions - Supplier Guide

    Reverse Auctions Introduction

    Scout RFP wants to make Reverse Auctions easy. We’ve built a simple online platform for Buyers and Suppliers to participate in real-time auctions from anywhere, at any time.

    To make sure participating is easy, Scout Support has created the following Reverse Auctions Guide. This guide will walk you through:

    1. Creating Your Scout Account
    2. Logging Into Scout
    3. Submitting Your Pre-Bid
    4. Participating in Live Reverse Auctions
    5. Frequently Asked Questions

    Read on to learn more about the Scout Reverse Auctions platform and auction process so you can hit the ground running!

    1. Creating Your Scout Account

    Scout can be accessed by invitation only, and all users must create Scout accounts.

    When a Sourcing Manager invites you to an auction in Scout, you will receive an email invitation that looks something like this:


    Click the green “View Auction” button to open Scout and begin creating your account!

    After entering your account information, you will receive a final confirmation email. Please click the green “Finalize Your Account” button in this email to activate your account.

    2. Logging Into Scout

    Once you’ve created and confirmed your Scout account, you will be able to login to Scout any time at go.scoutrfp.com. 

    Your Scout homepage will list any Sourcing Events to which you’ve been invited, including Auctions:


    Click on the title of the Auction to view the Auction’s details and prepare your bid!

    3. Submitting Your Pre-Bid

    If you are accessing the Auction before it officially begins, you will be able to prepare a draft Bid.

    ***If you have participated in a corresponding RFP prior to the Auction, your Bid from that Event will carry over into the Auction as your Pre-Bid.




    4. Participating in Live Reverse Auctions

    As you prepare to participate in an Auction, it is important to understand how Auctions in Scout work, as well as the details of the Auction at hand:

    Auction Notes

    On the left side of the page you might notice the Auction Details section. This section contains any notes or additional details that the Buyer has left for you regarding the Auction. The Buyer may use this section to provide additional details on Auction items, primary contacts, outline the rules, explain next steps, etc. Always check the Auction Description to be sure you’re in the know!


    Auction Rules

    When the Buyer configures the Auction, they have the ability to configure a variety of Auction rules, including:

    Minimum Decrement:

    The Buyer can set the amount by which you must decrease your Bid each time you submit a new Bid during the Auction. That dollar amount may range from $0.01 to $1,000 - the Buyer decides the amount based on what makes sense for the Auction at hand.


    The Buyer can also set time extensions for the Auction. Time extensions are used to extend the Auction when a new Bid is submitted near the end of the Auction, ensuring that all Suppliers have a fair chance to bid. For example, the Buyer could choose to extend the Auction by 2 minutes if a new Bid is received within the last 2 minutes of the Auction, allowing Suppliers to submit new Bids if they’d like.

    Bid Information

    Bid Total

    You can find your current total bid listed above the line items under "Your New Bid:". This is the sum of all line item prices that you currently have entered. Once you have pressed the Place Your New Bid button, it will then be reflected in the Your Submitted Bid section as your most recent official bid submitted. As you draft your bid and adjust prices, you will see the New Bid total amount adjust in real time.


    Line Item Bids

    You can enter a Bid for each line item listed in the Auction. Simply click on the white text box next to any line item to adjust your Bid for that individual item.


    Bid Competitiveness

    Once you have submitted a Bid, Scout will notify you at the top of your screen of your current standing in the Auction.

    For example:




    You will also receive a banner notification at the top of your screen if you have been outbid by a competitor and are no longer ranked as the lowest Bidder:


    The level of detail on competitive information for your Line Items and Total Bid depends on the Sourcing Manager's chosen settings. You may see your Rank, lowest price details, or nothing at all. 


    Submitting Updated Pricing

    You are able to submit updated pricing throughout the Auction in two different ways:

    Line-item Editing

    You can adjust the price for any/all individual line items, one by one, or

    Percent Discount

    Discount your Total Bid by a chosen percentage. To do this, simply click the plus or minus buttons located at the Top of the list of line items:


    As you adjust the percent discount, you will see the drafted Bid total change automatically, as well as the line item prices. Once satisfied, click "Place Your New Bid" to submit. 

    Warning Messages

    When you submit a Bid, you will receive a warning message if you do not meet the minimum decrement - this message will notify you of the minimum decrement that has been set. If this occurs, you must return to your drafted bid and lower it by the required minimum decrement (which is set by the Buyer).


    Price-Drop Protection

    If the price-drop is more than 5%, Scout will ask you to first confirm that the change is correct before you are able to submit your Bid.


    Auction Messaging

    Are you looking for a way to reach your Sourcing Manager directly during an Auction? Reaching your Sourcing Manager during live Auctions is easier than ever with Auction Chat.

    In order to communicate with your Sourcing Manager during the Auction, find the Chat icon across from the Auction Title:


    Clicking on this icon will make a side panel will appear. To send a message, simply type in the message and click "send message":


    Your Sourcing Manager will then immediately receive the message on their Auction screen and will be able to respond back. A notification will appear when a response has been submitted:




    5. FAQ 

    When will I get my invitation?

    You will receive an invitation via email as soon as the Buyer publishes the Auction in Scout.  

    The Buyer has two options when creating Auctions which impact when and how you will be able to access the Auction:

    1. Advance Notice - The Buyer may decide to build the Auction and set a start time in the future. In this case, you will receive your invitations before the Auction begins. We recommend using the time before the Auction to create your Scout account and familiarize yourself with the tool by reading any Auction Notes provided and submitting a pre-bid.
    2. Automatic Start - Alternatively, the Buyer may decide to start an Auction automatically. You will receive your invitation as soon as the Auction is published by the Buyer, and will be able to create your Scout account and start submitting Bids right away.

    Can I invite team members?

    No, you are not able to invite team members to join you in the Auction. The Buyer solely determines who is invited to the Auction.


    How long does the Auction last?

    Before the Auction begins, the Buyer determines the expected duration of the Auction. However, the Buyer can also configure time extensions for the Auction, which may extend the Auction indefinitely (please see Auction Rules section above for additional details).

    You can always see how much time is left in the Auction by checking the timer in the right hand corner of your page at the top of your screen:


    Is the Auction happening in real time?

    Yes, the Auction is happening in real time and you will automatically be notified if you have been passed by another supplier.


    Click here for more articles about Auctions

    Was this article helpful?
    2 out of 2 found this helpful