How do I Start an Online Trading Auction Site?

By Vanessa Cross

Consumers are more comfortable making purchases at secure websites.
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Online trading websites such as eBay, Amazon and Craigslist have assisted in making ecommerce a more common resource for shoppers seeking specialty items or bargains. Develop your own online trading website to tap into this growing market.

Step 1

Develop a business plan. A business plan is a road map for a new enterprise. Set out human and financial capital requirements for the start-up company. Capital requirements will include resources for hiring a web designer and developer. An advertising budget will also be important. Website functionality, security demands and income sharing models should be fleshed out in the business plan.

Step 2

Develop a professional and engaging website.
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Hire a web developer for the new trading website. Study the functionality of the big commercial online trading sites, but hire an expert web designer when it is time to develop your website. The website's design, functionality and security will be of major importance in attracting an online trading community of merchants and buyers. The Web Design and Developers Association (WDDA) is one resource for Internet news and a resource for industry referrals.

Step 3

Register the business. Develop a unique business name and register it in the county or parish in the jurisdiction of operation. Also, register with the Secretary of State if operating as a business entity such as limited liability companies and corporations. Register the business with the Internal Revenue Service to secure a tax identification number (TIN).

Step 4

Attract traders and buyers. Once the online trading website has been developed, market and advertise to merchants. Find traders by advertising in magazines, such as Business 2.0, Fast Company and Internet Retailer. Join industry organizations like the eCommerce Merchants Trade Association to network within the industry. Start attracting buyers using such advertising tools such as Google AdWords.

Step 5

Join social networks for your online trading auction site. Create accounts on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking communities to market and share information. Social networking communities have provided a vital tool for businesses to draw audiences to a core website.