How to Build a Free Auction Website With Free Templates

Updated March 23, 2017

Auction websites such as eBay can be a profitable self-start business that allows you to work from home, and you don't need to invest in products to start with. In fact, you can even find a free web host for your website. It will likely offer a selection of free templates so you can customise your website. The key to building a successful auction website is to find a niche for the products you auction to help narrow the competition.

Decide what type of items, such as high fashion clothes, crafts or collectable coins, you want to auction. Because you are likely to be catering to a smaller crowd by auctioning specific items, you can draw more customers by being easily accessible and adding a detailed "About Us" page that includes information about you and your company, as well as a contact form so customers can get in touch with you if necessary. Also add a page detailing your privacy policy so that customers feel secure selling and buying items on your site. The pictures of items should be much more prominently displayed than any text, as this is the first thing potential customers will want to see before bidding on an item.

Browse through the features offered by various free domain sites, such as WordPress, Blogger or Tumblr. Register for an account on the host's website.

Log in to your website and click "Themes" or "Templates" to search through the free templates offered by the host. Choose one that is both professional and easy to navigate, and that fits your niche as well. The ideal auction website template is one with a customisable header that you can use to display your logo, while the rest of the page is simple and clean (usually with a white background) so that the focus is on the pictures of the items at auction.

Find a free auction script online, such as EverySoft EveryAuction, Bidware and Phpauction GPL. Download the script, then install by following it's specific instructions, which should be simple and typically involve uploading it directly into your website's dashboard.

Customise your auction website by giving it a catchy title in the banner and entering content such as images and (if applicable for your products) video. Divide your products and content into categories to make the website easy to navigate for customers. Add phrases in the "Tags" section to increase your search engine ranking. For example, a baseball card auction website might include tags like "auction," "baseball cards," "baseball," and "collectibles." Add a separate page with helpful information on the type of items you auction. For example, the baseball card auction site could go into detail about the history of baseball and the trading cards, the most well-known and sought after, and a few examples of prices for various cards auctioned in the past.

Click "Preview" in your dashboard and check your website thoroughly. Go to "Settings" and "Privacy," and set your website to "Private," then click "Publish." Recruit a few friends to click around your website, auctioning and bidding on several items, to be sure everything works. When you are ready, go back to "Privacy" and click "Public" to make your auction website live and available for real customers.

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About the Author

Kara Page has been a freelance writer and editor since 2007. She maintains several blogs on travel, music, food and more. She is also a contributing writer for Suite101 and has articles published on eHow and Answerbag. Page holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas.