Open source auction software enables the administrator to set up his or her own auction website, where members can place items up for sale, other members can buy those items, and the administrator makes a profit. Most open source auction software will contain similar features, such as tools that let administrators make categories and set up galleries, and a manager feature that will oversee the entire website. Essential aspects that change among the programs include the programming language on which the program is based, bidder payment features, display options and how the administrator is paid. Choosing the right configuration of options in the auction software will make it easier for the administrator to manage the website.
If auction software is open source, then the administrator will be able to look into and change the source code. To both customize and maintain the website, it is best if the administrator knows how to work with the programming language. The website itself is usually built with Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), but the essential functions will most likely be built with Perl®, Java®, or Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP). If the administrator does not know the programming language, then he or she will not be able to make use of the open source functionality.
One of the major aspects of open source auction software is the accepted payment methods. If there are only one or two stringent payment methods, such as check or money order, then this can limit the number of buyers that flock to the website. Having a wide array of payment methods will make the auction software better for the administrator and better for the members, because members will be able to pay using their preferred method and the administrator will profit.
With any website, display is a key to attracting visitors. Most open source auction software will come with default themes that administrators can set for the website. The ability to easily set a new theme will make working with the display system much easier, especially if the administrator wants to distinguish himself or herself from everyone else using the same auction software. The display feature should be intuitive and easy for the administrator to alter.
Every auction website is different in how the main administrator gets paid. He or she may charge a listing fee, a fee on the final auction price, a monthly membership fee, a one-time initial fee, etc. Depending on how the administrator is looking to profit from the website, he or she should get open source auction software that supports the desired profit mechanism.