“And it’s sold to the highest bidder!”
Auctioning off your products is a great way to sell them at a higher price. Surprisingly, we’ve been doing this for ages – in fact since 500 B.C!
In our 21st current century, auctioning took a turn with the advent of the internet.
And it only got popular with eBay– the eCommerce giant synonymous with the phrase “online auctioning”. eBay has generated over millions of dollars in revenue, inspiring site owners to set up their own auction sites to attract buyers looking for a good deal.
Why do You Need an Auction website?
The auction business model is a popular way to conduct business transactions online; something that sets you apart from the competition and creates unique brand identity.
For sellers, online auctions open up new sales channels for new products and offer buyers favorable purchasing conditions. But auctioning products on eBay today comes with paying a hefty commission. Because of which sellers are turning to other platforms to auction their products.
- Having your own auction site means you get to be the auctioneer, set the prices and earn a good chunk of money off it.
- Not only that, you can even run a specific auction with your website or auction off your own products.
How to Build your Auction Store on WooCommerce?
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re looking to have your own auction website too. But Rome wasn’t built in a day! :-p If you’re starting out, WooCommerce is a great platform. Built-on WordPress, it’s continuously evolving with new plugins and extensions being added almost everyday.
To set up a simple auction website on WooCommerce, you primarily need two features:
- A bidding functionality to let customers bid on products
- A scheduled time functionality to display products for limited bidding time
Don’t let the overload of WooCommerce extensions overwhelm you. Out of the plugins available, the ones that most effectively add this functionality, are lightweight and work well together, are Product Enquiry Pro and WooCommerce Scheduler.
Before we delve right in, let me brief you about these two plugins.
Product Enquiry Pro
Built to be a comprehensive inquiry plugin, Product Enquiry Pro has been updated with a quotation functionality. This feature lets your customers bid for products along with making simple inquiries directly from the product page or shop page. You can capture bidder’s information using a customizable bidding form. If multiproduct enquiries are enabled, customers can also add multiple products from your WooCommerce store to bid for all the products at once!
WooCommerce Scheduler is another handy tool that lets you set fixed dates to display a particular product in your store, limiting purchases between those dates. After the scheduled dates the product is not available for purchase. Since auctions are time-bound, this extension can be used to add a sense of urgency to the auctioning process.
Product Enquiry Pro and Scheduler work seamlessly to create an optimum auction store.
Setting up Auction Functionality Using PEP and Scheduler
Once you install and activate the plugins, you need to head over to the settings to get started.
1. Create a new product in WooCommerce. Set the product price as an expected bid for the product.
2. Go to Product Enquiry Settings and set the button label to ‘Make a Bid’. This will be the auction button which interested shoppers can use, to bid for the product. If you do not want the button for all products, you can enable/disable the button for certain products directly from individual product pages.
To prevent the users from directly purchasing the product from your store, you’ll need to uncheck the ‘Add to Cart’ option.
3. To schedule the bids for a limited time, go to ‘Product Display Dates’ on the product page and set the start, end time and date when the product will be available for purchase.
4. Customise the unavailability message to inform bidders when the bid is closed.
5. At the back end, you can check all the bids received in a single window and accept the highest bid on the product when the bid closes.
6. Click on the bid- amend the price in the new price field- then click on send quotation to send mail with a note to the highest bidder.
7. The mail to the bidder will have a link to the checkout page along with your message.
8. The bidder can then make the payment and buy the product just like on any regular eCommerce site.
And BAM! You’re auction store is ready! 😀
For bids that do not have a fixed bid schedule, you can ignore the scheduling product step. The Product Enquiry Pro is an all encompassing plugin is to get you started with your auction website.
Not that difficult is it? So what’s stopping you?