Help!!!! How do I make an online market similar to ebay??
I have had NO experience with making websites, and I have had an idea for a long time which I have been dying to make, but I need someone to start me off in the right direction.
I am a hardcore Irish dancer, and wanted to create an online market for used and new irish dance equipment/shoes. My idea was that people could log in and post their own items, descriptions, pictures and prices, and there would be no list fees, and then people would search for the items and if they wanted to purchase something, the transactions could happen through paypal. Thus, it would be sort of like eBay, because you post your own items and prices.
I am desperate for someone to help me on this! I would appreciate it so much. Can you at least tell me what program I should use to design this website, or what book I should buy to carry this idea out? Thank you so much!!
First of all, welcome.
Second of all.... wow what a task. If I were you (assuming you don't want to learn how to do complex programming), I'd hire someone. There is no software program that is going to just create or setup a complex site like ebay. You are going to need custom programming and scripts to carry this out. Rentacoder.com is a place where you can outsource a programmer and they will give you a quote based on what you need done. I've used them for some Flash work and I love the system and how it works.
Just understand that if you do create something like this you are going to have to learn how to maintain it going forward. You'll need to make sure your data is protected from hackers who may try to compromise your data, etc. There's quite a lot of hidden work involved in these types of sites.
Your other option would be to take this on yourself by searching for some "online auction scripts" that you can install on your own domain. Again, you'll still be responsible for setting this up yourself so you will need to learn a bit about uploading and configuring online scripts, etc.
I'm not the expert in this area by any means so hopefully others can give more specific advice as to what you need to do.
How would you make money?
If you would not have listing fees, how would you make money on the site? If you are not married to the idea of an online auction house you might consider a "for sale section" on a forum, which you would own and run. I belong to an afficiando forum and their for sale section rocks.
You could monetize your site with adsense and the like.
One thing to think about on a site like this is your liability with sales and you being a moderator. It is hard to build trust if you are not going to be the moderator between seller and buyer. But, at the same time that is a very hard place to be. Good luck with your new site.
I agree with Rick, the forum would be a great idea, this could serve as more than just a place to trade, Just don't go buying a cheap ready made script from Ebay or something as I have them and they are very unstable as they have passed many hands (you dont know what people have done to them).
Good luck with your site
I have no experience with online markets but if I were you I'd go for a ready made auction script instead of a custom one. When you're new it's better to avoid paying a lot of money for custom scripts. There are often a lot of templates available for public scripts so you won't have to hire someone to design until your site gets bigger.
I can't really recommend you a book either but you could look at how similar sites set their website up by going to archive.org. I always like looking at competitor sites to see how they've gotten to where they are. It will also give you a better idea of the industry.