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The popularity of auctions has long roots and is widespread in the culture of trade in different markets and countries. Initially, the word "auction" implied a public sale of goods, securities, works of art, and other objects, which is carried out according to predetermined auction rules.

The principle common to all auctions is the competition between potential buyers. During the process of competition between buyers for the right to purchase goods, the auction winner is revealed. The winner of the auction is the person who won the auction in accordance with its rules. In this case, the object is acquired by the auction winner.

An auction website is used to automate real-life auction procedures via an online platform where users can purchase or sell their items. The most famous example of an auction website is eBay, launched in 1995. 

The eBay site has become one of the most profitable companies in the United States. The annual net revenue of eBay in 2021 has reached the 10.42 billion U.S. dollars milestone.


Amazon, an eCommerce site launched in 1994 by American entrepreneur Jeff Bezos, became another popular online auction website.

REASONS FOR THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE BUSINESS MODEL OF AUCTIONS LIKE EBAY

  1. The absence of geographic barriers – Sellers and buyers can bid on eBay from anywhere in the world. All you need is access to the Internet. This increases the number of sellers or lots put out and the number of buyers who made bids.
  2. No time limits  You can bid on eBay products 24/7. Lots, in turn, can be exhibited for up to 30 days – a sufficient period for searching, acquaintance, and purchase.
  3. Easy-to-use interface – The ease of use of eBay auction services is also attractive to sellers. Moreover, each member can become a seller.
  4. A wide range of features Listing, credit card payment, delivery, and others options are the core features you need to consider when building an auction website like eBay. The number of extra features that can be developed is almost limitless.
  5. The absence of language barriers Participation in auction trading is possible in various languages. Many countries have their own local branches of the eBay auction.
  6. A large number of buyers  Millions of buyers get attracted by a vast assortment of products at a relatively low price.

Due to the facts above, Amazon and eBay online auctions have become the most popular retail websites in the United States.Unique monthly visitors Amazon eBay

HOW TO CREATE AN AUCTION WEBSITE

Auction website development is a complicated process that implies a lot of crucial stages. Below, you will find a detailed and coherent guide on how to build an auction website and succeed.

Auction website development guide

1. Buy Domain Name

You need to come up with a domain name idea for your website. Every website should have a domain name to become accessible to users on the Internet. Usually, it comprises a website's name, so users can easily find it online. 


Ideally, the domain name should be short and catchy, so users can easily associate it with something and remember it. Ebay.com is a great example of a perfectly-picked domain name. 


A lot of online services and web hosting providers offer the opportunity to find available domain names to choose from and purchase, so users can find your online auction software on the Internet. Google Domains is one of the most popular services. 


Here are a few tips that you should know when purchasing a domain name not to fail:

  • Choose top-level domain names (TLDs) like .com, .org, .net
  • Check the domain rating using SEO tools like the website "authority" checker from Ahrefs
  • Check the history of a domain name using Wayback Machine, the largest Internet archive

In case you already own a domain, you can attach it to a new server easily, so there is no need to purchase a new one. Also, do not forget to renew your domain name reservation not to lose it.

2. Get Prepared for Website Development

In order to develop an online auction software stress-free and eliminate any possible bottlenecks, it's advisable to prepare well. If you don't know how to make a bidding website, we recommend preparing the following:

Product vision

You need to clearly understand what you want to get and prepare a product vision. It is a document that outlines the primary aim of developing an online marketplace. Also, it should imply the list of short- and long-term business goals you want to achieve. A clear product vision will help you develop a detailed roadmap for creating an auction website. 

User roles

An online auction marketplace may have a lot of various users. The user types have access to different functionality, depending on their goals. You need to define user roles and must-have features for each of them. 


The primary user roles for an auction website are:

  • Buyer – A person who uses a site to find new items and share bids. Buyers need to be able to create an account, make bids, monitor bidding processes, communicate with sellers, find items, share reviews, etc.
  • Seller –  A person who sells items using online auction software. Sellers have to be able to create an account, add new products, edit item descriptions, monitor bids, receive payments, etc.
  • Administrator – Administrators may have different permissions set by the primary admin user. They must be capable of moderating auctions, deleting user profiles, updating the content, checking statistics, etc.

Features list

Create a list of features that software engineers need to develop. It will help them properly choose a tech stack and analyze the approximate scope of work. 


The set of functions may depend on the needs and specifics of a particular business. For example, such platforms are popular and successfully implemented for auto and motorcycle trading, the sale of collection objects, antiques, and so on.


Explore the core features to discover how to create an auction website that foresees the opportunity to make bids online in more detail.

Feature Detailed description
Listing adding, deleting, and changing  These functions are necessary for being able to sell goods successfully. Each listing should also have features such as detailed characteristics, descriptions, photos, videos, and user reviews.
Newsletters

This may be sending an email message after the end of the auction and daily informing customers about new listings of their interest. To implement this function, it is necessary to remember about integration with mail services and the implementation of RSS.

Secured data storing This is one of the most critical functions. It is impossible to implement any web platform without security functions today. You should think about secure transactions between users, the storage of personal data, passwords, personal information, and so on.
Bidding function There is a large number of auction types and bidding strategies for products. The most popular auctions are: English auctions, Dutch auctions, First-price sealed bids, and Reverse auctions.
Payment gateways At the moment, web platforms use a considerable number of payment systems. The most popular solutions are PayPal or Stripe integration.
Messaging The opportunity to communicate between the seller and the buyer is as important as communication with the support.
Analytics For sellers who can potentially begin to promote their business through your auction platform, receiving the most comprehensive information about product views, purchases, and conversion is essential.
WANT TO DISCUSS YOUR FEATURE SET? DROP US A LINE!


Website development method

The two most widely used methods applied to create an auction website are:

  • Ready-made solution – A pre-built website that has basic functionality. The owner needs to install it and add content. Usually, ready-made solutions come with content management systems (CMSs) like WordPress.
  • Custom-built website –  A unique website developed from scratch. With the help of custom website development, you can get a site that matches all the requirements and is 100% customizable.

Let's check the comparison of the two most popular site development approaches to discover how to build an online auction website in more detail.


Ready-Made Solution Custom Website Development
Scalability The ability to scale up a website is limited by a system. Developers can easily scale up a custom-made auction website.
Security Poor security because of using a large amount of third-party code. High security level and low risks of loopholes.
Functionality Limited number of features. In some cases, new functionality can be added by installing third-party plugins. The number of features isn't limited. Developers can enhance a website's functionality upon request.
Search Engine Optimization Poor search engine optimization because code is generated by a CMS. Great search engine optimization because developers can update the code.
Price Low or free. In most cases, users need to make recurring payments. One-time payment. The cost to build an auction website is higher because the code is written from scratch and implies third-party integrations.
Design Pre-built website design. Usually, users are allowed to make minimal layout updates and add content. Custom-made website design. It can be easily updated to create a solution that matches all the requirements.
Website Loading Speed Low or moderate loading speed. A CMS generates new code every time a user updates a web page.  Fast loading speed. Browsers access well-optimized code to load the content simultaneously.

Monetization model

Considering how an auction website will make money before the development begins is vital. The most popular monetization models applied when building an auction website are:

  • Seller commission – Vendors must share a percentage of the money they make on deals.
  • Listing fees – Sellers must pay a fee to add new items to a website.
  • Buyer fees – Bidders must pay a commission from every transaction they make.
  • Ads – No commissions and fees. The website owner earns money by showing ads to customers.

Choose the most suitable monetization model so that software engineers will create an auction website with the required functionality. In some cases, different monetization models can be combined.

Integrations list

Most auction websites have integrations with third-party services. The top ones to consider are:

  • Payment processing – Receive and make payments stress-free using third-party services. PayPal, Stripe, and Braintree are the most popular payment processing integrations.
  • Shipping – Calculate the delivery price in live time and send ship goods fast. For instance, FedEx and UPS, the largest delivery companies in the US, have API solutions, so developers can integrate their services into an auction site.
  • Social – Integrations with social media can facilitate the sign-up process. Also, they can be used for developing chatting and commenting functionality.

Technical requirements

Precise technical requirements help developers choose the right technologies for creating an auction website. Here is the essential technical requirements checklist to make.

  • Load – The estimated amount of users that will use a website. It will help developers create the right solution and choose a server.
  • Website structure – The structure of pages and their hierarchy to understand how users will use a site.
  • Wireframes – The approximate layout of elements on web pages.
  • Browsers and devices support – A website should support this list of browsers and devices, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
  • Page loading speed – The maximum and desired speed of loading a page. It affects customer satisfaction and ranking.
  • Legal compliance – Any legal requirements that need to be met. For instance, all sites operating in the European Union must be General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant.

After sharing all the details with developers, they will estimate your project to provide the approximate cost to build an auction website and time frames.

3. Create UI/UX Design

Website design development is a crucial stage that needs to be performed when creating an auction website. Having wireframes prepared, designers need to make the mockup of your site. They must design a logo, pick the color scheme, and create UI elements placed in a particular order.

 An Auction Website

To develop the proper user experience design, experts must analyze business requirements thoroughly. It will help them develop a well-thought-out UX design that helps achieve business goals.

4. Choose Tech Stack

Share all the gathered documents and technical requirements with developers so that they can offer a tech stack proposal. Software engineers who know how to create an auction website will research and offer the best technologies to achieve all the goals.


There are a lot of different technologies that can be used to build an auction website. Today, you do not only have to compose online auction HTML code along with CSS and JavaScript to develop the front-end. It's also advisable to consider several new technologies like BootStrap, especially the plethora of JavaScript frameworks like Vue.js, React.js, Angular.js, and others.


Moreover, you must choose a programming language for your back-end and define a database. You can use Java, C#, PHP, Python, and even JavaScript (MEAN Stack). Before deciding on any of these languages, you have to review your requirement analysis documentation and think about which language can best fulfill your requirements.

Need expert-grade help in choosing a tech stack?

5. Onboard Team of Developers

Whether you have an in-house team or hire a dedicated team of developers, you need to onboard software engineers. The key activities that will help you get developers ready to start working on your project are the following:

  • Share product vision and requirements – Developers must clearly understand the business goals and technical requirements.
  • Choose a development methodology – There are a lot of methodologies that help manage a team of software engineers effectively. Waterfall, Agile, Rapid Application Development, and Spiral are the most popular.
  • Set up a task management tool – Project management software will help developers organize their work and tackle all the tasks effectively. Also, you will be able to monitor their performance. Jira is one of the most popular tools to assign tasks and monitor their completion.
  • Create a backlog of tasks – Compose a list of tasks software engineers must tackle when building an auction website. It will be used to form sprint backlogs if applying the Agile methodology. Also, it will help you understand how to create an online auction website by breaking down large tasks into smaller ones. 
  • Configure communication tools – To stay in touch with all team members, you should create a communication environment using tools like Slack
  • Set code quality standards – To not compromise on the development quality, it is recommended to set code quality standards that all team members need to follow.

6. Develop MVP

Begin the auction website development process by creating all the features defined at the preparation stage. It's recommended to develop a minimal viable product (MVP) first. It will help you launch your website faster and focus on developing crucial features.

Today, development can refer to many factors, including security installations or client-side scripting. This can consume a great deal of time as you have to identify the networking issues and scripting problems while also finding a way of resolving them.

In order to customize your website and add all your desired features and functionalities, you can hire an outsourced team of professional developers. This option is more affordable and can also give you more freedom to create your website.

When building online auction software, you should also do the following:

Consider security

It is necessary to have an SSL certificate to boost your target audience's trust and increase the ranking of your site. Also, it's required to have an SSL certificate installed on websites that process payments. 

In order to keep the users' data safe, you need to develop functionality that creates regular backups of your site and saves them in a secure place.

Add content

Incorporate web content on your website. Usually, it includes pictures, videos, and text on your website. While uploading the content, follow these tips:

  • The font size of your text should be large enough so it is in a readable form. Your font choice should also be readable.
  • Always use high-resolution images for the websites. For an auction website, the quality of images is crucial.

7. Test Your Auction Website

To ensure that all the features work correctly, software engineers need to perform coding and unit testing after creating an auction website. Also, QA engineers need to perform manual or automated testing. Also, it can help you highlight severe bugs and security issues.


Acceptance testing is the final step of the stage that helps ensure that all the features work correctly before releasing an MVP.

8. Release MVP

When the first version of your auction website is ready, you need to set up a server and make your website live. Depending on shared technical requirements, developers may help choose the best option to launch your site.

Learn more about

If you want only selected people to access your website, enable the "under construction" mode. Meanwhile, all other users will be redirected to a page that informs them that a site isn't finished yet and will launch soon. Hence, developers will be able to access your auction website and test it on a live server.


Also, one extra step is advisable to take when releasing an MVP.

Create website design documentation

It's advisable to create website design documentation while developing your auction website. Properly prepared documentation facilitates the work of software engineers. It will help keep all the technical information about a product structured. Also, it implies a user manual and system description.

9. Develop New Features

After releasing the MVP and testing it, don't stop the development process. Feel free to analyze customers' needs and enhance your site's functionality by developing new features. Also, it's advisable to gather feedback from website users to understand what functionality they lack to enjoy using your auction website.


Maintain your website and keep developing new features constantly to enhance the website and gain your business. 

CODEIT EXPERTISE

At CodeIT, we do know how to create an auction website. Check out our successful projects to learn more about our expertise in the niche. 

GIObikes

GIObikes is a feature-rich website focused on selling products for recreational lifestyle. Thanks to convenient and intuitive navigation, users can easily find the required products, choose a shipping option, and make a payment online.

GIObikes case study

Problem

Since the client switched from running a retail business on eBay, they requested our team to implement a similar auction feature to their new website.

Solution

We've developed the auction features, which are the core website's functionality. Users can explore products and share their bids in a few clicks. Meanwhile, users can buy products fast by paying a fixed price.

Tendermaster

Tendermaster is a system that helps the Ukrainian government place their tenders. Private companies can review them and share their bids. The system has a lot of features that ensure high transparency and security.

Tendermaster case study

Problem

The client requested our experts to build an online auction website for transparent tender management. Our team was required to develop a high-load system integrated with the official state procurement platform. 

Solution

We have a lot of experts who know how to create a bidding system. It offers the ability to create a tender, share bids, and negotiate. Moreover, all users get verified and thoroughly checked to avoid fraud. Hence, our team has built a stable system that matches all the requirements shared by the client.

SUMMARY

Statistics show that building an auction website is a profitable type of business. The success stories of market leaders evidence this. If you don't know how to create an auction website, follow the nine-step guide from CodeIT:

  1. Buy a domain name
  2. Get prepared for website development
  3. Create a UI/UX design
  4. Choose a tech stack
  5. Onboard a team of developers
  6. Develop an MVP
  7. Test your auction website
  8. Release MVP
  9. Develop new features

If you want to build an online auction website with rich functionality, finding a tech-strong partner is advisable. CodeIT has extensive expertise in building auction websites. Feel free to contact us and share your ideas. We will help you develop a website that matches all your needs.

Ready to build an online auction website?
Can I run my own online auction?

Yes. You can quickly develop an auction website and run a limitless number of online auctions. Also, you can attract sellers to run auctions using your digital platform.

Are online auctions profitable?

Yes. Online auctions are one of the most popular eCommerce models because of their high profitability. In 2021, eBay, the most popular online auction platform, earned $10.42 billion. 


How do auction websites make money?

There are different strategies to monetize online auctions. The most widespread ways auctions make money are the following:

  • Sellers pay listing fees
  • Sellers pay a commission from their earnings
  • Buyers pay fees for every transaction
  • Website owners show ads
How do I create an auction app?

Are you wondering how to build an auction website? Follow these steps:

  1. Buy a domain name
  2. Get prepared for website development
  3. Create a UI/UX design
  4. Choose a tech stack
  5. Onboard a team of developers
  6. Develop an MVP
  7. Test your auction website
  8. Release MVP
  9. Develop new features
Can I hold my own auction?

Being a website owner, you can add products and hold your auction. In such a case, you may get an extra source of income, having an auction website.

Let's discuss your auction website

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