Most people will usually think of eBay when it comes to online auctions. But, there are a lot of other different online auctions out there that people visit to buy things they are looking for. Some of these auctions will cater to different niches that service the needs of a smaller group of people. While other auctions on focusing on making money for a charity or a good cause. If you are considering holding an online auction but you don't want to use eBay below you will find out how you can do that.
The first thing you need to do is to figure out what segment of the marketplace you want to focus in on. What niche or specialty do you want to be able to focus on. It could be antique dolls or first edition books, old toys, vintage clothes, whatever you think that is going to attract the attention of those who are looking for something special or out of the ordinary. You niche could simply just be wanting to raise some money for your school or church.
You will also need to be familiar with the way other online auctions work. You should pay very close attention to the way eBay handles different operations which should include “Buy It Now” as well as reserve prices because that's what a lot of online bidders have gotten use to. Make sure that you also learn how to place a bid and then what happens when there is no successful bid.
Once you feel comfortable with you research you should create a domain name for yourself, this will help people find you easier and remember you easier as well. You will need to register your domain name at sites like Register.com, GoDaddy.com or NetworkSolutions.com.
You also need to choose a website host as well. You need to choose one that can handle a lot of storage because auction sites all require large amounts of server storage. Even if your auction is starting small you still can figure on using at least 5GB to start with. So you need to find a hosting site that allows you a lot of server space.
Next you are going to have to do some research on the kind of software that you are going to want to use for your auctions. These auction scripts are going to allow you to control the bidding, organizing different categories, upload pictures as well as videos of the auction items, you can sell advertising, set your reserve prices, have user feedback, set times and maintain an auction database. A good piece of software for auctions is going to allow you to customize it to meet all of your needs. Some are free that you can get online others are going to cost you. You also might be able to contract with an auction hosting service that will allow you to upload the items for the auction and keep track of things for you. This is the best choice if you are just holding an auction for a charity and it's only going to last for a short period of time.
You will also need to make sure that you make some sort of arrangements to be able to handle credit card and all other electronic banking transactions. Make sure there are rules set down for these kinds of transactions as well and include all shipping info and buyer and seller rules. All of these things need to be clearly stated somewhere on your website.
Make sure to write some good meta tags for your website so that your site will get listed on Google and you can also put it on The Open Directory as well. You will then need to attract people to the site and you will have to do this by advertising and promoting your auction site through a variety of different sites that will allow you to include your links on their site. Make sure to send out emails with the link in your email signature, put the ad in your local newspaper, put up fliers all over town and make sure to tell your family and friends to spread the word as well.