Wordpress & Web Development

Build Your Own Ebay-Style Auction Site With WordPress

Kev Quirk 06-11-2013

There’s no doubt about it: eBay is a great site. You can easily buy & sell items 11 Critical Tips on How to Sell More on eBay eBay is one of the top online shopping sites. You may be a seasoned seller on eBay, or you may have just started with your eBay seller career, these tips can help boost your profits. Read More , sometimes for a fraction of their retail price. The site’s been so successful there are swathes of auctioneers actually making a career out of eBay and its auctioning tools.


But what if you’re sick of eBay cutting into your hard earned cash by way of commission fees? Well, why not host your own auction site? It’s simpler than you might think.

Why Would I Want My Own Auction Site?

Maybe you won’t, maybe you’re happy with eBay and the way that site works. But humour me for a moment. What if you could be in complete control of the site that hosts your auctions? You wouldn’t have to pay any commission, and you’d be in full control of the look and feel for the site. You could even let other people add auctions to your site, undercutting eBay and making some extra cash in the process. Sounds pretty sweet, doesn’t it? Well, you could have all of this by simply setting up a WordPress site, and installing one simple, but awesome plugin: WordPress Auction Plugin.

Setting It All Up

Once you have your WordPress site up and running, you need to add the WordPress Auction Plugin. To do this, click on the plugins menu from within your WordPress dashboard, click on add new, and search for “wordpress auction”. Find the correct plugin (as shown below) and hit the install, then activate buttons to get the auction system up and running. wordpress-auction-plugin Next, create a new page on your WordPress site, and call it something like “Auction”, then in the editor window, add the shortcode [wdm_auction_listing]. This will then inject your auctions into the “Auction” page. Finally, hit the publish button to set the page live on your site. wordpress-auction-page

Creating An Auction

Now we have done all the leg work, it’s time for the fun part: creating auctions and making some cold hard cash. When you activated the WordPress Auction Plugin, you may have noticed that a new menu called “Ultimate Auction” had been added to your WordPress sidebar. Click on this to be taken to the setting screen for the WordPress Auction Plugin. wordpress-auction-settings From here you can configure important settings like your currency, payment method (yes, PayPal is supported), and your email address. Once these settings are configured, you can hit the “Add Auction” tab to get started creating your first auction. The add auction screen is very straightforward to use, and has all of the settings you would imagine to see on any auction site. A title, some info about the product your selling, the ability to add images, the length of the auction, and of course the price. wordpress-make-auction Once you’re happy that all the details are filled in, click on the save changes button and your auction item will be published and visible on the “Auction” page of your site. If you want to have a play around with the WordPress Auction Plugin yourself, the developers have set up a demo site for you to play around with. wordpress-auction wordpress-auction-item With the WordPress Auction Plugin, visitors can add comments, send you a private message about the auction item, and see the bidding history right from the bidding window. The whole interface is very clean and simple to use, so visitors will be able to come along and start bidding very quickly. This bodes really well for the system, as the most successful sites tend to be the ones with the shallowest learning curve.

If you want to make changes, or delete a live auction item, you can do so by clicking on the “Manage Auctions” tab from the “Ultimate Auction” section of WordPress. From this screen, you can edit the auction, delete it, or even end it. The free version of the WordPress Auction Plugin is designed for personal use, by one user account. But if you want to set up your own alternative to eBay, then you can upgrade the plugin for $99. This will allow visitors to sign up to your auction site and start listings of their own. With the pro version of the plugin, you can also charge commission to your users.



WordPress plugins mean users to do pretty much anything they like with a web site – even building their own eBay alternative . So maybe you’re a scorned ex-eBayer that simply wants more control, or maybe you just want to have a yard sale with a digital twist. Either way, you can accomplish this with a WordPress site and the WordPress Auction Plugin.

If you are looking at making the next best thing to eBay, you will need to look into optimising your WordPress site Wordpress Is Slow - Do Something About That With These 10 Steps Read More , or even upgrading to some better VPS hosting Why You Should Use A VPS Instead Of Shared Hosting For WordPress Read More , to cope with the extra demand that may be put on your site. Let’s face it: no one likes a slow website.

Are you running your own eBay style auction site a different way? If so, feel free to leave some feedback below.

Image credit: Paulo_Santos, Flickr


Related topics: eBay, Make Money Online.

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  1. Anonymous
    July 2, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    This is great and all and it works, but nobody ever uses my auction site. I went through days of very complex work to build an auction site, added ultimate auction pro and it has been weeks and nobody has listed anything. I have added my site to search engines, but I am not paying more money for advertising on top of the hundreds of dollars I paid to get it going already. I guess you guys should remove this blog page, because your claims of starting a successful online auction site are false and I am starting to think this webpage was made just so the domain, web hosting and the ultimate auction pro through wordpress can make money. Face it, Ebay is the only successful auction site and no matter how good your auction site is or how hard you work on it, it is never going to make a cent. Ebay obviously had a ton of investors and had a lot of people they knew personally list tons of items on there to make it look popular to get it going. Our economy is so messed up, self centered, tight wadish and I am surprised ebay became successful. If my auction site does not do squat for a year I am pulling the plug. What a waste of time and money.

    • Anonymous
      September 13, 2015 at 11:57 am

      Hey Adam,

      Where is the site?

    • Anonymous
      October 14, 2015 at 1:56 pm

      Adam, i am interested in buying your online auction if it is up to my expectations. plz contact me soon

  2. Anonymous
    February 18, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    How much would it coast to setup web page like eBay or Amazon

  3. Ilya
    January 19, 2015 at 11:12 am

    I think it's a it strange to build a marketplace platform using a plugin for wordpress.
    There are specialized solutions for this like Multi-Vendor from CS-Cart. It have a bunch of build in features.

    And BTW it has over 70 built in payment methods.

    • virgil
      May 10, 2015 at 7:43 am

      Those solutions suck really bad. They're for shop owners with static inventory NOT for everyday people.

    • Ilya
      May 12, 2015 at 7:36 am

      What do you mean not for every day people?
      It has
      1. Automatic inventory control depending on order statuses
      2. Mass editing of inventory
      3. Import/Export
      How do you manage the inventory if it does not suite your needs?

  4. Anonymous
    December 16, 2014 at 12:44 am

    How much does the pro version cost

  5. Faisal
    January 5, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Try sitemile wallet, it has all other features like commission and sellers listing their own listings! doesn't look all that great but serves the purpose!

  6. Jeff
    December 18, 2013 at 5:25 am

    So the next step would be allowing people to post their own items on my site. I dont see any of that here.

    • Kev Q
      December 18, 2013 at 8:58 am

      Hi Jeff,

      I don't really understand what you are asking. The paragraph before the conclusion says the following:

      "The free version of the WordPress Auction Plugin is designed for personal use, by one user account. But if you want to set up your own alternative to eBay, then you can upgrade the plugin for $99. This will allow visitors to sign up to your auction site and start listings of their own. With the pro version of the plugin, you can also charge commission to your users."

      I've also shown you how to create and manage auctions. So I'm not really sure what else you want?

  7. Beny
    November 7, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Perfect. Just wanted to make sure. Thank you for your very quick response.

    • Beny
      January 5, 2014 at 10:39 am

      It's well deserved.
      One thing, though:
      It would be great to be able to accept payments using other processors, rather than just from paypal.

    • Nitesh
      January 8, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      Hi Beny,

      I'm the author of this plugin. As you suggested adding different payment processors, could you please provide a few names? My intention is to take feedback and try to see its feasibility.


    • Beny
      January 9, 2014 at 9:52 am


      The above are what I consider the most interesting and/or popular. I am missing a few others, but this is a solid list.

  8. Beny
    November 7, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    Thank you for this awesome article.
    What would be the web address of the auction site?

    • Kev Q
      November 7, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      The web address would be whatever you want it to be. Because this is a wordpress.org, self hosted site we're talking about, you would need your own domain. So the web address of the site can be whatever you like - as long as you own the domain.

    • Nitesh Singh
      January 4, 2014 at 10:06 pm

      Nice mention about my plugin.

  9. Joshua Galan
    November 6, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    Hi Evan,

    If I'm using it to sell my own personal products or goods, then yes that is a good reason.

    I was asking more from the standpoint with having users sign up and use my auction service as opposed to Ebay (where I'd be charging my own commission for listings). How could you convince or 'sell' a potential client to list with your site instead of Ebay if you're charing a commission too?

    My guess, is lower your commission rate???

    • Kev Q
      November 6, 2013 at 11:38 pm

      Hey Joshua, thanks for commenting.

      Of course, lower commission is one way to grab users attention. However, when I was writing this article, I had a kind of "local eBay" in my mind. Let me explain...

      I live on a small peninsula in the north west of England, called The Wirral. Now, on Facebook there is a group were local people come together and can sell their stuff. Because we're all geographically close to one another, it's friendly and easy to manage, as most people pickup items in person.

      There are a lot of people who use this particular Facebook group, and I think that a "local eBay" like this could work well. Of course it's a long shot, and it would never make you a millionaire, but that's how I would see it working.

  10. Joshua Galan
    November 6, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    I think this is a fantastic idea. Let's say I do purchase the pro version for my business website... what would persuade people to sign up and use my website as opposed to Ebay?

    • Evan
      November 6, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      One reason might be not having to pay comission?