3 E-commerce applications

3.4 Auction sites

These are sites on the web which run conventional auctions. There are two types of auction: those that are carried out in real time, where participants log in to an auction site using a browser at a specified time and bid for an article until the highest price is reached and no other bids are forthcoming. The other type of site – and the most common – is where an item is offered for sale and a date advertised after which no more bids are accepted. Such sites make a profit from two sources: first they usually charge a commission on the items that are sold and, second, they display adverts which are viewed by visitors to the site. The auction site will then receive some fee for displaying the advert, a further fee if a visitor clicks on an advert and it takes them to the advertiser's website and another fee if they purchase something from this site. Again, this is just an online analogue of a conventional business.