Everyone loves eBay. Participating in product auctions and potentially finding bargains is a huge draw for most people, and it’s one of the reasons eBay is so successful. However, not everyone likes the commission you have to pay to sell on your site.
What if you like the idea of eBay, but want to auction on your own website? This could be selling a general item, or it could be selling a very specific item at an auction.
Creating a website like this used to involve custom coding and a huge investment in getting it up and running. However, using WordPress and one of several plugins available in the market, you can create an auction website for free.
Why an auction site?
There are many reasons to create an auction software based website. You don’t have to go exactly the general eBay item route, but have a site that runs very specific auctions.
An example that immediately comes to mind is creating a website that allows you to conduct charity auctions for selected items in one night. This will work the same way as eBay, but it will only take one night. Or maybe you’re auctioning off a very specific group of real estate items.
Other reasons to build your own auction site are to avoid paying commissions for each auction item, and to be able to style your site any way you want.
Choose Your Auction Website Plugin
There are several plugins in the WordPress repository that can be used to implement the core functionality of an auction site. These plugins range from very simple and free to highly complex and advanced.
What we’ll be discussing in this post is the Ultimate Auction. The plugin is available for free, but you can upgrade to a professional feature set if you wish. Premium licenses start at $79 per year for one user on one site, while developer licenses start at $149 for an unlimited number of sites. For our purposes, we will only cover the standard version of the plugin that is free to download.
Set up the ultimate auction
You can download the plugin from the WordPress.org repository and install it like any other plugin. After installing and activating the plugin, you will see a new dashboard menu to configure your auctions.
initial set up The plugin’s tabs contain some key features that you need to set up before you start adding auctions. First according to pay section select your currency and enable the types of payments your auction site will accept (note – depending on your selection, you will also need to go to pay tab to set up your payment method).
Then, under the same tab click auction Links to set your time zone and auction, login and registration pages. To display your live auction listing on any page, you can also use the following simple shortcode (just paste it into your page):
Finally click the Email tab to add emails to all your auction notifications. With your payments set up and a page ready to display your auction – it’s time to start creating some!
Create an auction
click Add auction tag to create your first auction. Ultimate Auction makes it super easy to create new auctions on your website. If you’ve ever created an auction item on eBay, this process will be a common one for you.
On this settings page, there are several fields to create as detailed an auction item as you want. Add the product title, product description, and up to four images or videos to display on the auction page. After adding these images, you can select any of them to display as the auction thumbnail. This image is then used as the item image in the auction listing.
Next, you can set an opening price and a floor price (if you choose) that needs to be met in order for you to sell the item. Here you can also set the bid increment used during the auction. A bid increment of $10 means that each bid must be $10 higher than the previous bid. You can also set a Buy now The price of an auction item, very similar to the style of an eBay item.
Finally, you need to set the auction end date. This can be set in the future of your choosing, or even the same date you add the auction to your website. The final setup on this page is to select one or more payment methods available for this auction item.
When done, just save your auction and add more as needed!
Your main auction page should display all your current auctions (in the order they were added).
If you click on “Bid Now”, you can see all the images, videos, text and pricing you added to the auction.
Ultimate Auction’s final setup page, which we’ll be looking at, enables you to manage your auctions after they’ve been created.
From this settings page you can edit, delete or end any of your existing auctions. You can also view the number of bids in the auction. These bids show the user who created the bid and the value of each bid. Here you can end the auction at any time.
This is a great way to see all current live auctions at a glance. But you can also view expired auctions and reactivate them at any time.
The great thing about WordPress is that with just one plugin, you can drastically change your website. One of the more unique changes is the creation of an eBay-style auction site. This isn’t a feature many people need, as the default option for auctions tends to be eBay. However, for those looking to create a simple auction site for events or as a niche related alternative to eBay, this plugin is perfect for your requirements.
Have you thought about creating your own auction website or already created one? If so, did you use the Ultimate Auction plugin, or did you choose an alternative plugin? We’d love to hear your thoughts on creating such a site in the comments below.