Creating an Auction Website

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IMPORTANT: If you want to create a website where people can auction off their goods and services (like eBay) then keep reading, but if you want to create a site to sell your own goods and services on eBay then read this article.

eBay has taken the Internet by storm. It's the most successful auction site on the web and is a great example of how you can capitalize on a concept that has never been developed online.  They may not have been the first to attempt an auction website, but they were definitely the first to do it right.

It would be very hard to try to compete with a site that large and that respected.  Let's face it. The name  "eBay" is synonymous with the phrase "online auction". However, that doesn't mean you can't create an auction site like eBay and achieve success.

Start Small

The best way to start any business online is to start small.  The biggest mistake people make when trying to build a business is that they want to do everything right now and try to copy their successful predecessors.  

Do you think eBay became that big overnight?  No. They started off small and then once they had their base customers they grew into what they are now. Plus, they had a big advantage -- they were one of the FIRST to do it right.

Being first makes a HUGE difference.

If you want to build a successful auction web site, I would suggest that you begin by creating your site on a specific, well-defined niche and starting a small auction that caters only to that niche.  Then once your site becomes successful, you can expand into other areas.

The reason is it will be easier to draw in traffic from the search engines because you won't have as much competition.  Go to now and do a search for "auction site" (without quotes).  When I did it there were over 18 million results.

So you would be competing with millions and millions of sites with a topic that broad.  Try narrowing it down and focusing your auction site on one theme at first and then work on expanding.

For example, let's say your site is about baseball cards.  You could create an entire site dedicate to information on the cards.  You would use the search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) to attract people searching for this topic.

Then you could create an auction area on the site just for the cards and start building your customer base.  Once your site gains popularity then you can think about expanding to offer more categories.  Of course baseball cards was just an example.  You would choose a topic you have an interest in and are knowledgeable about.

How to Create Your Auction Site

As you may know, the first step to creating any site is to register a domain (dot com) name.  Then once you have selected your name, you'll need a web host to host your

Since you are going to be creating an auction site, you'll want to have a lot of web space. You can use any of the plans at

Next, you'll need to find a script for the auction itself.  This will be the backbone of your auction and will tell it how to operate.  There are several sites out there that provide these scripts for free.  

Keep in mind, you will be responsible for setting the auction script up yourself and may need to learn a bit about programming to get it working properly.  Be sure to consult the documentation that comes with the script you decide to download for complete details on how to set it up.

The CGI Resource Index has a list of several scripts for you to choose from.

Your other option would be to use WordPress to create your website and then use an auction plugin. This is a much easier approach than the first option above.

Promoting Your Auction Site

Start off with the search engines.  Most search engine traffic is still free and it's one of the best ways to bring targeted traffic to your site without breaking the bank. You would use them to bring people to your site that are searching for that particular topic (baseball cards, for this example). 

For details on getting your site listed with the major search engines, click here.

Then once your auction site has become successful at that level, you can start offering other categories and expand your site. It's important to keep in mind that you must start small and only target a specific niche. It will be much easier to get traffic when  you're starting out.

So going with the baseball theme example, you could go to other baseball related websites and start promoting there.  Perhaps you could suggest link swaps with these webmasters to start funneling in some traffic.  As I said earlier, you'll have much less competition going this route than if you just tried to push a brand new ebay-like auction site that sells everything.

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