Auction Website Design

There has been more then one auction site that has made an impact on today's Internet. So you have decided that you want to start your own. How do you get started? What do you need? Well here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. What Do I Need?

There are many things that you will need before you start your auction site. You should think about all of these things before you start and have a plan ready.

One of these things to think about would be how are you going to build it? You need to know a little about web design and how colors look together. This is your presence on the web so you want to make a very good first impression for yourself and your business.

You should also think about the time commitment. This is going to take a lot of time out of your life. You need to be ready to give that to your business. This is how you want to earn a living and you should think about that when you are in the planning stage before you are actually building your site for others to view and participate in.

You should plan everything before you actually open your website from the costs to the time constraints to what your site will look like. You want to make sure that you are ready and everything will fall into place for your site before it goes live, and you take your first bidding.

2. Design

You should have a design picked out for when you build an auction site of your choice. You should have decided what colors and format you want to use before you actually launch your site.

Color is a very important part of your designing process. The wrong colors can look horrible in the wrong browser or Internet program. The right colors can make your site look good and professional and make it a place that people will want to shop at in the future. The right colors can also make the site more functional by making the links brighter and easier to see. You don't want people to go to your site and then not be able to navigate it.

Your website setup is also very important. You want your customers to be able to see where they are at and how to move from one page to another. All of your listings should be easy to find and easy to pull up for your customers. Some will only be looking for a certain type of item and if it's easy to get to they are more likely to stay and shop. This helps you because then they spend money and help make the site more popular. If few people are there with their items then few people will decide to stop there.

3. Products

What you are planning to sell is important for your site. This is important whether you are planning to have other people place items up for bid or if you are planning on just holding your own auctions. You should decide how you are going to offer products and from where.

If you are the only one going to list products then you should be aware of what you are selling and know if it is a good market or not. Sometimes things that you may think will sell and sell high don't. You should have a plan in case that happens and what else you would like to sell on the auction site. For the best chance of success, you should have many different types of products and services. This is why auction sites are usually open to many sellers.

If you choose to let others sell on your site then you should have a plan of how it will work. You need to know what you want your costs to be for your services and how they will pay for it. There should be rules as to how the selling part of your site will work and how you will keep fraud down.

4. Advertising

When you have done all of the preliminary things for your site you need to think about advertising. After all, what good is an auction site that has no customers?

There are many low cost advertising options for you to use. One of these is to put the link to your site in your signature on forums. That way, you are letting people know about your site without spending too much for advertising yet also driving some traffic to your auction site. There are a lot of different sites that have forums that you can post to. Often, you will find some forums that are geared toward your niche market, making your site the talk of the forum.

If you have the budget, you can advertise with Google Adsense. This can be a very effective way to get customers to your site. Adsense works by you opening an account and then bidding a certain amount to be spent per day, week, or month. Depending on your budget, you can get quite a bit of traffic routed to your site. If you have a small budget you can still create ads for this program as long as you are aware that you will be at the lower end of the advertising pool.

5. Auction Software

There are many kinds of auction software packages that you can buy. Some of these are more for the listing of the products that will be on the auctions and some are for the managing of the business side of your auction website.

Some software is available to you for just the listings of your auctions. These software packages are often lower priced and will help you to really make the auction products stand out for you and your customers. The bad thing about these programs is that it will not build the entire site for you. You will still have to be good at html programming or be able to hire someone to do it for you.

There is also a full service kind of software that you can purchase that will help you build an auction website that has everything you need. This may include the formatting of the actual auctions so that they are pleasing to the eyes and easy to do. This software also may handle the bidding and the awarding on the site. This makes it an easy program and also can make it easier to build an auction website that suits you and your purposes.

6. Payment Methods

There are many different types of payment methods that can be used on the Internet from Credit Cards to E Checks. You also may need certain things to be able to use these payment methods.

You can use many methods of payments for websites, but one of the most used is Credit Cards. Almost everyone has a credit card now that they use for Internet shopping. Even people with less then perfect credit can get credit cards that are prepaid. So you, as a retailer, should have a way to process these cards. For that, you will need a merchant account. This is an account that uses a third party to run your credit cards and process the payments for your site. You can find these places on the Internet or through your local bank. Merchant accounts can also be very pricey. You should make sure that you pick the right account for you.

Echecks are another way that customers will want to pay for their auction fees or the items that they bid on at your site. These can also be processed though merchant accounts most of the time. You need to watch the costs as they can be higher then with credit cards.

A newer payment method is an Internet based payment system. These are often great for auctions as they allow the item to be paid for immediately and can let a skittish customer buy online without showing credit card information.

7. Security

This can be a big issue on an auction site. You should be ready with the latest security for your site so you can protect your customers and their identities.

A good idea for any website is to make sure you have an SSL certificate. This certificate makes sure that the information that is transmitted on your website is encrypted so that no one can hack in and steal it. These certificates can take up to 6 weeks to be made and transferred, but are worth the time and effort so your customers are kept safe.

This is probably the easiest method to use and it is a guaranteed product, which helps make you and your customers feel safer. Your customers will probably be more apt to spend their money at your site if they feel like they are going to be protected. Identity theft is at an all time high and most people that shop online want to make sure that they are protected by the places that they are buying from.

When you are designing your auction website you should take into consideration what your policies will be regarding fraud. You should have a policy in place in case something should happen to one of your customers. You may be held liable if something were to happen at your site and the customer gets their identity stolen.

8. Costs

There can be costs that you did not think about when you are getting ready to build an auction website. These are things that you need to keep in mind when you are setting up a budget for the site.

You will need to purchase a domain and a host for your auction website so people can find you. There are many places that you can buy a domain name; some might include hosting. You can do a search on the Internet for this. Just make sure that you take the time to research it so that you know what you are getting and what the terms are.

The software itself can be costly as well. Expect to spend a good portion of your budget on the software. You might be able to get a smaller package for a cheaper price but you will have to be good at programming and html codes in order to get your site up and looking well.

For the things that you are not proficient with, you may consider hiring a professional to do. This is a good option if you can fit it into your budget so that you know your site will come out looking its best and maybe save you some headaches along the way.

9. What You Should Be Doing After Your Site Is Up

There are still many things that need to be done after your auction site is up and running. These are things that need to be thought of well in advance so that you know what you should expect.

Advertising should not stop after the first few weeks or even months. You need to advertise constantly to keep a customer base. Many people sign on to the Internet every hour and with the expanding Internet community it could be easy to get swallowed up in the sea of information. By keeping your products in front of people then you can insure that they will keep coming back to see what else you have found and what's new on your site.

You also want to think about maintenance of your site as well. You have to be able to keep it fresh and clean so that your customers and sellers can see what is new about your site. This also helps keep your auction website on the upper levels of the search engines. This will help people find you and your site will look good when they get there.

As you can see, there are many things that you should think about. There is no real how to build an auction website book out there that can help you with your site. I hope that you have learned some information and are on the road to creating your auction website.
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