Auctions have been a part of our cultural heritage for centuries. It is not certain, within the chronological timeline of human evolution where they all began, but documents that attest to the occurrence of auctions go back to as far as 500 B.C., in ancient Greece. Common items to be sold in those times were wives (the more beautiful the woman, the higher price on a bid), furniture pieces, land for crops, farms, etc.

Thankfully, today's society evolved in a matter in which it is no longer necessary (quite the contrary!) to bid for a life partner. The internet is now a flourishing market place for people all over the world to purchase, trade, pawn countless items from countless categories. The first milestone of online auctions was touched back in 1995 with the website Onsale (shut down on July 2nd, 2014), when people started feeling the results of their online trading in their wallets. Even though indexing, search engines and automated scripts were still fresh concepts to most users, the trend quickly picked up and a few months after Onsale's debut, eBay began its ascension. In 2015, it's technically considered a sin to never have heard of eBay...

Joomla! content management system is one of the most versatile platforms available for free. It can be used for 1000+ purposes and it doesn't require a PhD in quantum physics to configure it. Thousands of webmasters prefer Joomla! to build an auction site on because of the intuitive interface and also because they can pick from a multitude of 3rd party extensions from the official Joomla! Extension Directory to help them in their quest to monetize.

There are several registered extensions in the Auction category of JED. All of them are built by professionals and offer a high level of flexibility. In order to choose the right one for a future auction website, a webmaster must take a few things into consideration:

1. What type of auction am I looking to have?

The most commonly used in the online environment is the classic, English auction, where users bid against each other and each subsequent bid needs to be higher than the previous one. Once a bidder offers a price which is considered reasonable for the auctioned item (or reaches the 'reserved' price set by the seller), the auction is closed and the bidder takes home the prize.
This is also the functionality that Auction Factory has been built upon. Its key features are limitless customization options for the template system and CSS, unlimited custom fields for user's profiles and, of course, various methods of monetizing (commissions set for either buyers or sellers, preferential pricing for premium users, etc.).
Other popular types among webmasters are reverse auctions (quite used in freelancer websites, where the auctioneer posts its request or job offering and chooses the bidder that proposes the lowest price for the respective task) like Reverse Auction Factorydutch auctions (usually used for selling bulk items or goods that have a tight expiration date like fruits, vegetables, etc.), where auctioneers set a high price at first, then lowers it until the bidders accept it or until the seller's reserved price is met. Dutch Auction Factory first came out in August 2014 and it quickly became popular among admins who wished for a different twist than the classic auction pattern.

2. How do I tell which extension is best for me?

Generally, an extension for Joomla! should pose no confusion when it comes to configuration and maintenance, however not everybody who wants to handle a website has the technical skills of an experienced developer; if a third party component is intuitive and the quality/price ratio is balanced, then surely it will serve its purpose to create a powerful and attractive website. Getting started from ground one with Auction Factory is the safest option, because it's extremely easy to set up, it is being backed up by solid documentation and a Demo Server for testing purposes, and the price is at a competitive discount.

3. How do I buy it?

Once more, the best way to start looking is the Joomla! Directory. Each listed extension has redirection buttons to the developer houses in charge of them, how to download them, how is their support, etc. The best way to choose a developer house is to see on their website that they are an official partner of a major payment system like PayPal. It is also useful to check for testimonials and user reviews - if there have been transfer issues or inconsistencies with receiving the paid product, people will not hesitate to make such information public. Where there is calmness and online harmony, there is room for profit!


Check out the other parts of this article What makes an auction site tick? - Part One
What makes an auction site tick? - Part Two
What makes an auction site tick? - Part Three