Auction stores are quite different as compared to your usual e-Commerce stores. Here, products on auction are available in the store only for a limited amount of time. During this time, interested buyers can bid for a product, in an attempt to purchase the product. The time from when the product is made available, the status of the auction is set to ‘Live’. Once the time of the auction expires, the product status is changed to ‘Expired’.
However, this status change does not guarantee that the product on auction, has been purchased. If the bid price never exceeds the selling price, the product might never be sold, but the status will still be changed to expired. So, then how do product owners ensure that such products reach interested customers? The primary option they have, (and the one which is provided by most auction plugins) is to reinitiate such expired auctions.
The Ultimate Auction plugin makes it simple for users to reactivate expired auctions. The plugin, maintains live auctions, and expired options in different lists. From the expired auctions list, a user can use, a one click ‘Reactivate’ option to reinitiate the expired auction. Although it helps users reactivate auctions which haven’t been won by any buyer, this reactivation option can be used to initiate any auction which has been expired.
Current Scenario: No Indication of Expired Auctions Made Live
So, say for example a user, using the Ultimate Auction plugin, reactivates, an expired auction. Upon reactivation, a new product is created (with a new id), using details of the expired product (such as name, description), and is made Live, and added to the Live auctions list. But this product is not removed from the expired auctions list.
As such, there isn’t a problem with the way things work. The auction is made live as expected, and interested buyers can bid as usual.
However, since there isn’t an indication to the auction owner, that an expired auction has been made live, it could cause some confusion.
Preferred Scenario: Indication for Reactivated Expired Auctions
Ideally, an indication for auctions which have been reactivated can be helpful, to auction owners due to the following reasons:
- It can help avoid reactivating the same auction multiple times
- If needed, users can remove reactivated auctions from the expired auctions list
- Users can use this indication to delete reactivated auctions completely
But this functionality isn’t part of the current implementation of the Auction plugin. So then, how can we accomplish this?
The Journey from Current to Preferred
As site owners, you can fine tune the auction plugin, to add an indication for expired auctions, which have been reactivated. The existing functionality needn’t be changed. What you have to do, is add a meta value, which is set, when expired auctions are reactivated. Here’s how.
- As usual, when a Live auction expires, it is added to the Expired auctions list.
- When a user reactivates this expired auction, we get the product id of the expired product.
- So, using this product id, we can store a meta key, which indicates that the product has been moved. For example, we can add the below code, to set the meta key and value
- add_post_meta($post_id, ‘wdm_reactivated’, ‘true’);
- where $post_id is the id of the expired product
- Once we’ve set this meta value, we can then use it to set an indication for reactivated products.
- Inside the expired auctions list, we have to check the metadata value, when listing the products. This can be done, using the below code:
- $wdm_is_reactivated = get_post_meta( $product_id, ‘wdm_reactivated’ );
- if($wdm_is_reactivated == ‘yes’)
- // differentiate the product. For example: set a red border to product thumbnail, add a banner, disable ‘Reactivate’ link
And that’s it!
Such simple changes might not seem as important to a site owner, of an Auctions website. But it is important to provide a better user experience to Auction owners, using your website to host auctions. Do let me know if you have any further questions regarding this implementation provided above, or suggestions for fellow readers.