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April 26, 2018 2:52 am
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Frequently Asked Questions

  Reverse Auction - How to Post   Help Index  
General Information
The iSolar Exchange 'Reverse Auction" procurement option creates a competitive real time dynamic auction. Buyers post a Request for Purchase (RFP) for specific goods or services using the Reverse Auction Option.

Over a period of days or weeks, suppliers can view the RFP and download the online documents. When the Reverse Auction bid start time goes active. Bidders can place secure bids viewable by all bidders in real time.

During the open bid period Bidders react in real time to the pricing and each bidder can continue to bid the cost down till the lowest possible price is reached.

If a bid is placed within the final 5 minutes of the Reverse Auction, the auction closing time is extended for another ten (10) minutes until no bids are placed in the final five minutes.

At the close of the Reverse Auction, the iSolar Exchange system awards the RFP to the low bidder.

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Reverse Auction - Key Features
Buyers can select from a number of Reverse Auctions Procurement Options.

Reverse Auction-Public: Reverse Auctions are opened to the general public and any registered member can place a bid unless black listed.

Reverse Auction-Invited Bidders- Public View: Pre-qualified invited suppliers can place bids on the RFQ. The general public can view the RFP, but cannot bid on the project.

Reverse Auction - Private Auction: Pre-qualified invited suppliers only, this option are used to create a "private procurement network". The Private network is not visible to the public and only pre-qualified invited suppliers may view and submit bids on the project
Buyers can publish upload all contract documents using a wide array of file formats.
Word Documents
PDF Files
Excel Files
AutoCAD files and graphic files(nested in a folder)
Photos in jpeg or gif formats
Large files should be zipped to save on storage space and download time



Buyers can modify the Reverse Bid RFP Auction time.

When Buyer creates the RFP, the buyer sets the Auction start and closing times and the Reverse Auction is published for general review by the Public or if a Private RFP, invited suppliers only.

Buyer can change the bid start time and RFP auction closing time, this is useful when addendum is required and must be posted to the RFP auction. The iSolar Exchange software will notify invited suppliers automatically and public bidders who sign up on Auction Watch of any time changes.

Buyers cannot change the start or closing RFP Auction time once the bid start time becomes active.

Buyers can create custom Seller/Supplier invitation and no bid lists for private procurements.

Buyers in the control panel can create custom list of suppliers / bidders using the iSolar Exchange database of current users.

Buyers can invite from their own list of suppliers, creating a private procurement network. The private network simplifies the bidding process.

Buyers can invite their existing supplier base and maintain existing supplier relationships. Buyers can add new suppliers when needed, and change or modify their supplier lists as needed.

The invited bidder list and e-mail option are not visible in the RFP creation page, until an invite list is created. Please create a list prior to writing the RFP.

Buyers can create a "no-bidder list" by utilizing the Black List feature in the control panel. By adding a company name to the Black List, these suppliers will not be able to view or bid on any Buyer's auctions public or private.
Buyers have a clear channel of communications.

Each RFP has its own forum located on the RFP Auction page. Suppliers can post questions regarding the RFP, and the Buyers can answer these questions, or make announcements that may affect the project. The forum maintains a history of all questions and answers. Buyer's RFP have a fair and open Auction format.

Bidders can only submit a numerical dollar value. This is to prevent product substitution and value engineering. The system and terms of agreement limits bidders to only placing a bid per plans and specifications and the buyers terms.

The low bidder is expected to provide products and services as specified in the buyer's project description and contract documents.

Bidders can bid either under or over the current low bid. With Reverse Auctions, the bidding is in real time once the bid start time goes live. Bidders can watch competitor's current bid and use creative strategy in bid placement.

Buyer sets up a Maximum Pay Price, this budget number is not visible and must be discovered. The budget number is in place to establish a fair benchmark price before beginning price/bidding negotiations between suppliers.

The lowest budget number a buyer can set is $ 50,000.00, but bidders can bid under the $ 50,000 dollar threshold.

At present time, the Auction system will not accept bidder provided documentation such as bid bonds. Buyer can require bidders in the project online documents to provide a bid bond either via a fax or e-mail prior to the bid start time & date. Buyers can also post pre-qualifying documents and have these documents faxed or e-mailed to the Buyer prior to the bid start time & date.

Buyers has the ability to reject current invited suppliers by the using the Black List function found in the control panel should the Buyer determine the invited supplier does not meet the pre-qualification requirements.
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Creating & Posting a Reverse Auction
To start a Reverse Auction in the "Procurement Module", click on the Create RFP button.

  • Purchase Type: Choose "Reverse Auction".

  • Title: Name your project.

  • Description: Add your project description, the more detail, the better suppliers will understand your project. List all the products and service you wish to purchase for a turnkey price, including your terms, and delivery time

  • Documents Upload: Upload up to eight (8) documents. These can be Word, Excel, PDF, Photos or graphical files such as AutoCAD. Large files should be zipped. Suppliers can download the files and print them out



  • Budget: The minimum reverse auction is $ 50,000.00. Budgets numbers under $ 50,000.00 are not really price competitive and do not draw enough bidders to make them worthwhile. Note bidders can bid under 50,000 dollars. So if a RFP has a budget number of 50,000.00, bidders can bid under that figure as low as they want to go. The budget number is maximum price the buyer is willing to pay for their RFP. The budget number should be based on current average market pricing or from earlier preliminary pricing. If you use a number that is too low, you will have very few bidders.


  • RFP Bid Start Time: This is where you set the bidding start time. We suggest you set the time 10 to 12 business days from the time create the RFP. This way bidders will have time to review your RFP specifications and documents and ask any questions. This will also give Buyer time to modify or change the RFP via an addendum if needed.

  • RFP Bid Closing Time: Set the Reverse Auction Closing time and date. Server time is based on Pacific Standard Time. Once the Bid start time goes active, the buyer can no longer change the Reverse Auction Closing time. Most Buyers tend to keep the bids Open on Reverse Auctions for 1 to 2 hours.

  • Country: Select the country the auction is located in.

  • Zip Code: Insert Zip code of auction location.

  • Choose a Category: Chose a Reverse Auction Category from the pull down list.

  • Home Page Featured Item: Your item will randomly appear in the home page.

  • Category Featured Item: Your RFP will randomly appear in the relative category page.

  • Bold Item: Your item's title will always appear in bold.

  • Highlighted Item: Your RFP will always appear with a highlighted background.

  • Invited Users Lists and Black Lists: Choose a List if you are going to invite select bidders from your Invited User List, otherwise pick No List for open public auctions.



  • Do you want a Public or Private RFP? If you did not create or check a Invited list, your RFP will automatically be posted to the general public as an RFP. Click on "No List".


    Private RFP: Sometimes Buyers wish to remain anonymous to the general public and want ito invite a group of pre-qualified Sellers/Suppliers.

    You have two methods to create a Private RFP.

    a. Go to Account Management "RFP Management" and click on "Invited User List", next create a list name, then search the iSolar Exchange membership directory by name and choose who you want to ivite. In the RFP you are creating, click on the name of the List you want to use, then Click on the two buttons to make the RFP Private and to mail the list.

    b. Use the "Invited Bidders by Email Address", just list buyer's email address and click on Submit Email, you can invite both registered and non-registered users. Invited Buyers will receive an email with a link to log-in or register and once logged in, will be sent to the Private RFP.

    c. You can use both Option A & B in the same auction. Click on the two buttons to make the RFP Private and to mail the list.

    Only Invited RFP members can bid on your Private RFP. Private RFP's are a good way to invite pre-qualified and existing suppliers and new suppliers.



  • Pre-View Button: This takes you to a new page; it will show all the information on the RFP, and list any documents uploaded. The page will show if an invite list has been used and if e-mail contact has been checked.


  • If everything is fine, enter your password and post the RFP, if changes need to be made, do the changes and then enter your password.

    If you have any specific question use the contact button to e-mail your questions to us.

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