How To Start An Auction Website
The Auction Website Idea
A while back I decided I wanted to start my own online auction website..... I was surfing the net looking to buy a car and I was regularly checking on the Autotrader website and thought I would look on ebay to see what cars were for auction there too. Well it turned out I found the car I wanted on ebay and as well as my beloved Vauxhall Corsa I also still have the audio system and speakers I bought at the same time.
Anyway that's when I started thinking about having my own auction site. The thought of all those lovely end of auction fee payments coming to me, payments for featured listings, monthly store subscription payments and banner advertisments all sounded fantastic plus I had a dozen other ways to monetize that kind of website running through my head.
Well at the time I didn't know where to start, so I began searching google to find out what software I needed and how to get it all working. At the time I knew nothing about file hosting, file transfer or anything else remotely 'techie' like databases and software installation, I just wanted to create my own auction website, and It wasn't as hard as I first thought it was going to be. The hardest part actually was the research I put in to find the best company and software to work with..
The Software & Hosting
So what I needed was some kind of program or plugin that would make the website work. Some software which I could set up once and then let it do its magic taking new listings, accepting bids and taking care of the payments and sending me the fees. Doesn't sound like too much to ask does it?
Well I spent hours upon hours, days in fact searching and researching to find what I needed. What I found was there are a handful of options out there for auction software. Out of the options I found only 4 or 5 software solutions that seemed trustworthy for what I wanted. Some of the software was priced out of my reach at the time between $500 and $1500. But I noticed a few of the auction scripts seemed to be the same script available on a few different websites at varying costs. From $39.00 to around $499, for what seemed to be the same software!
With a little more digging, checking out the forums and product reveiws I found there were several older and more up to date versions of the software available and also the cheaper ones were basically some file download with which I would get ZERO support or help with if i had a problem ( and I'm not the most techie guy ) and also I didn't even know what was contained the file I would be downloading. Could it contain a virus that would kill my computer when I download it or steal all of my personal banking and credit data?.... I don't know but I had several worries and was starting to wonder if the whole idea was out of my reach. I mean even if the file was safe and the software worked I still had no idea how to get it all online to a real live website. I knew I needed a web host but I didn't know which one, how much disc space and bandwidth I needed, linux or windows, a dedicated server, php version, MySQL versions, adons,and a whole bunch of other stuff I don't understand came into questioning.
My Car Auction Website
The All In One Answer I was Looking For
It was actually by chance when I was searching for help and support available for the various scripts that I stumbled onto the website for the software I now use. I actually found their support forum first and then discovered their website. It looks like the software has been around for a while but the public help forum and mostly the way these guys were offering the package was what swung it for me.
Hosted, Managed, Set Up Free Auction Software !
The software I found is called 'OpenbidPHP' and is available from www.openbidphp.com.
Now at the time I got on board ( and I just checked the price now as I write this ) the software is priced at $19.95 per month and that includes your Hosting, Support and everything. Now when you consider I was looking at paying several hundred dollars for this kind of software or more, plus I then had to go and get hosting and needed a dedicated server which was going to cost over $100 a month anyway, so to me at that time it was a no brainer and I quickly signed up.
You can set the software up for any country and currency and its so easy to use even a complete newbie to this stuf like me is capable of making a decent auction website.
So I won't go over all the functions and features of the software, you can find all that on their website, but surfice to say I am very happy with my software, the hosting and the software support has been very good and I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone wanting to start their own online auction website and for under $20 getting started is within anyones reach.