THE TRUTHS ABOUT PENNY AUCTION – READ IT WELL BEFORE YOU TAKE OUT YOUR CREDIT CARD!
There are unemployed web designers who know a little html but call himself or herself an expert programmer. They are opportunistic entrepreneurs that will try to sell you a $99 auction script that he or she may have bought on E-bay and then mass copied it illegally and resold it to you dirt cheap. If you think by investing in 99 bucks in a software script and it will make you rich, you must be a fool! You are going to need more than just the cheap script to run an auction website.
Five Things That You Need to Look Out for When Buying a Penny Auction Software:
1. Stability – Most of the existing penny auction scripts out there can not handle a load of 50 users at one time actively bidding. The site would freeze up and the server has to be restarted. A good way to lose your customers. Now you know the problem but how do you tested it before you buy it? Well, that is easy said than done. You either have to have 50 people, the more is the merrier, to help you logged in with 50 accounts and actively bidding it or you can buy a testing software that simulates the test. We recommended that you begin your testing at 50 users and increase it until it breaks. If it can handle about 300 ccu (concurrent users), then it’s a good software. We do offer this service for you free of charge if you requested or you can buy the testing software script from us for $195.00.
2. Security – Once your website is identified by or under the radar of the online hackers and thieves; they will try to break into your system. The problem with most penny auction software or scripts out there is that they were not built or equipped to handle this sort attacks. Most of these cheap scripts are cloned by one cheap source code by one armature programmer who wants to make a quick buck to the next. It is not that hard to go online and purchased a $49 penny auction script with full open source code and then relabeling as your own. Not only your software need to built with security in mind but also the server that host your website needs to be setup by people who know how.
3. Scalability – If you business grew, it’s most likely that you will need to expand your website’s capacity to handle such growth. This means that you need a system that is scalable…allowing you to add more features and designs at ease without having to redo the whole thing or having to take it off line for months for the upgrade.
4. Technical Support – Unless you have an IT team consists of coder, designer and server expert; you will need tech support here and there. There is no software out there that built to last forever especially with all the constant updates being done by so many third parties software that you have no control over. Your website may work perfectly today with the Internet Explorer 9 but it may not be so when the version 10 is released. You got my point.
5. Business Expert – Believe it or not, running a penny auction website is not as easy as one would like to be. Those failed to plan is planned to fail. We have seen plenty. There are tricks and tips that you will need in order to run it effectively and profitable or you can learn it a hard way. Work with a firm or a mentor that have this sort of experience to help you in the early phase.
10 Things That You Need to Know. You want the truths? Let see if you can handle the truths! Read “Never Buy PAS Software Without Stability Test“.
- So and so promised you that you will have 10,000 users visited our site on the first month. You may have 10,000 visitors but none will buy anything from you. Why? Because they are “gosh users” generated by software and paid surfers. In fact, all they did for you were making your site busy and slowing down for the real buyers. Don’t be fooled by these tricks.
- If you never ran a penny auction website before, then you will need someone to train you on how to start and run a penny auction business – anywhere from 3 to 5 hours at the minimum. If you never operated a penny auction website before, then you will need training on how to use the software – anywhere from 3 to 5 hours at the minimum.
- Any worthy penny auction software will need a dedicated server to run your software. A shared hosting plan won’t do it. The cost is anywhere from $99 to $500 a month. It could go up as high as $3,000 per month if you have hundred of thousands users daily.
- Unless you have decent server skills, you have to know how to install it to your server – 1, 2, 3 easy instructional promises from your seller won’t do it.
- You will need someone who has dealt with this type of business, penny auction website, to help you find a bank that’s willing to process your payment. Not any bank will accept you as its customer due to the nature of this business.
- The real world is that you have built it but they never came. You need a good marketing plan and some Benjamin’s ($$$) to get it started.
- For you to be successful in this business, you need to differentiate yourself among your competitors by prices, products and / or services.
- If you don’t have a budget of at least $3,000 to get this business started, then wait until you have the money or completely forget the whole idea!
- If you don’t have at least a few hours a day to operate this business, then either hire someone or forget the whole idea!
- Before buying the software, make sure that you have a good business plan first and HAVE THE SOFTWARE TESTED. Read this article.
Five Biggest Technical Misconceptions about Penny Auction Software.
I spent an average of 30 hours per week working with prospective customers who, for most of them, are sincerely interested in getting into the “online auction business” and this includes both traditional online auction and penny auction arenas. The greatest challenges for me is to educate our potential customers about the complexity of this web based application. One hand, I don’t want to scare them off with all the technical complexities and the other hand I don’t want them to have any misconception of the business. Here are some of the biggest misconceptions:
1. Any penny script will do. Based on our study, over 90% of the penny scripts sold on the internet will not pass the functionality, security and stability tests. Most of the problems resides in the stability. Most of the time, it works fine until it hits the heavy traffic load where thousands of users hit (bidding clicks) the database at the same time. There are many factors that could contribute to this instability. It could be hardware, software, network’s bandwidth or a combination of all three. Network bandwidth problem is something that we have very little control over. Hardware problem is a budgetary dependent so therefore depending on your budget, you can always add more servers if needed. The sad part of it is that too many software vendors out there deliberately scaled down their actual hardware requirements to make it sounds affordable for the customers in order to sell their software. Once the customer bought the software and hosted on the server, there the problems show up. What I want to focus on here is the software problem because it’s the biggest and the most expensive problem to solve assuming they know how to solve it. Think of it this way. The most crucial part of your penny auction software is the database. It’s where it retains all the records and all the bids history. There is a limit as to how many records your database can hold before it overflows and there is a limit as to how many cycle your hard drive can run per second. If there is no smart strategy in your coding to avoid the overflow of data and to circumvent the limitation of your hard drive’s limitation; then the “choke up” or “freezing” of your bidding system is guaranteed.
2. Website vs. Website Application. Many of my customers believe that the Penny Auction or Traditional Auction system we have is a typical website. Yes, it’s a website and NO it’s not. By my definition, a website is a website if you can host it in a shared hosting server with little or no database and a website is a web application is when you need a powerful dedicated server to run it because of its databases and system architectures. Now, I have to admit that’s a lousy way of defining it but it’s the simplest way I can define it without getting into al the technical jargons and all the computer science theories and practices. So when you viewed the Penny Auction as a web application, you will be better prepared for it when it comes to the server hardware’s needs.
3. Amateur vs. Expert. “Setting up a server to run a penny auction website and managing is like setting up and managing other websites”. The truth is that you need someone who knows how the system is coded, what sort of traffic load that you will have on the site and how to best handle such traffic load. You may only need one dedicated server to handle it all or you may need several of them each handling a specific assigned task. The bottom line is that any credible Penny Auction software needs a server expert to configure and setup your server for you. An amateur won’t do it.
4. Not all Penny Website Created Equal. “All penny auction software is the same since they all doing the same thing or providing basically the same features or functionality”. Not quite! Depending on how it is coded, the type of database architecture it used, how many tasks it can handle per second, how many cron job or services and how often they run, etc, will determine the type of server and server architectures you need.
5. One solution fits all. If anyone is telling you that one size fits all for your Penny Auction website, then he or she is lying to you or he or she has no clue what he or she is talking about. The most difficult part here is to find a right solution (size) that fits your business need at the present and being able to project the future growth where you can scale your system to fit the projected demand. At DMS, we started you out with our basic package of just $149 per month for three months. We then evaluate your need based on the past performance and recommend the appropriate solution to meet the projected future demand. The good thing here is that this is a good problem to have if you have it. It means that you have more than 10,000 active users and the average concurrent users is more than 2,000. Unlike most of the PAS software out there, our software is built with scalability in mind.
About the Author. This article is contributed by Phillip Nguyen. He is currently serving as the President of Digital Marketing Solutions LLC since August 2000. His firm also designed and developed the PAS software which can be found on www.pennyauctionsoftware.com. Phillip received his Bachelor at Western Michigan University and his Master degree in Software Engineering & Network at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. He has been the keynote speaker for many important I.T. seminars relating to computer sciences and computer networks.