Starting a website like eBay can seem like a daunting task. eBay has many employees who work every day to make eBay better. However, as the demand for creating auction sites grew, there are many solutions which won’t cost you thousands of dollars. I’ve done this once myself, but I too had a hard time finding a good solution. Many of the solutions I’m going to show you are completely free, you’ll only need the purchase hosting. Talking about hosting, you’ll need a very fast, high quality server to run a site like this. But I’ll come back to that later.
No programming required, but…
Get Hosting or Host Locally
When building a new site, I usually host it locally on my PC first, which is free. Then when the website is finished I migrate the site to a live server. I use UWAMP to host on my PC, because it’s easy to use and takes only minutes to install. UWAMP is totally free too.
Yes, we’re going to WordPress again, I can’t help it, it’s great. When I created my own eBay like site, I found that WordPress offers the best solutions. If you don’t know how to install WordPress, I suggest you read this section. If you already have a WordPress installation and know how to use it then you can skip this part. Never used WordPress? Then I suggest you to watch some videos about it on YouTube.
I’ll explain it to you quickly as this is not a tutorial on how to install WordPress. Just go to WordPress.org and download the latest version to your computer. Then open up the .zip file and extract the files to your www folder on your localhost or live host. Go to your website by typing the domain into your address bar. Follow the installation steps and you’re done. Congratulations, you installed WordPress.
Starting a Website Like eBay
Finally we can go and create our eBay like site. For this, we’re going to use a plugin called WC Vendors, there are other plugins, but I have a great experience with this free plugin. There’s a pro version which costs money, but the core features of an eBay like site are in the free version. People can bid, buy now and everything you can do on eBay. The only major difference will be that the money will first go to your PayPal account when people buy a product from someone. Then you can keep a commission which can also be set in the WC Vendors plugin and send the rest of the money to the seller.
Before installing WC Vendors
Before installing the vendor plugin, you’ll need to install WooCommerce. If you ever worked with WordPress you probably know WooCommerce. WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin which enables you to sell products on your WordPress site. WC Vendors extends this plugin by adding the multi vendor functionality, which is needed to make your site like eBay’s. To install the plugins go to your WordPress dashboard and go to Plugins -> Add New Type in the plugin you want to install and click install, wait a sec and click Activate.
That’s all, you now have these two core plugins installed. Configure through the WooCommerce setup guide before doing anything with WC Vendors. You’ll also need a theme, but we’ll go over that later.
Configure WC Vendors
Configuring the WC Vendors plugin is easy. just go to your WordPress dashboard and go to WooCommerce -> WC Vendors.
The options on the next page speak for themselves, so I won’t go over all of them. Make sure you setup all the pages correctly though, because otherwise people can’t register. If you want a complete overview for the setup of WC Vendors and WooCommerce you can watch the 10-minute video below.
Setting up a theme
You could use any theme for the website, but I personally recommend using a paid theme that is specially made for these kind of websites. The theme I used when I did this was Marketica. This theme will cost you around $50, but that price is actually low considering what it would cost you if you hired a developer for this. You can’t install this theme via the WordPress repository, because it’s not listed there. There are only free themes in the WordPress repository. Instead, you’ll have to manually install it via Appearence -> Themes -> Add New -> Upload Theme. Upload the theme .zip file.
You can watch the 3-minute tutorial video below for setting up Marketica with WC Vendors.
Congratulations, you’ve now created your eBay-like marketplace with WordPress, 2 plugins and a theme.
Combining with BuddyPress
You can also combine these fantastic plugins with BuddyPress so people can contact sellers and ask them about their products. Make sure that when you do this, it happens safe and sellers don’t try to bypass your commission rate by asking sellers to pay directly to their PayPal account.
A theme that I recommend for this is Social Marketplace, for WC Vendors. Keep in mind that this theme is a little bit more expensive than the Marketica theme.
High quality hosting
A good server is very important for these kind of plugins and themes, I can’t emphasize this enough because this can make or break your site. We offer good shared hosting servers specialized for WordPress that are ideal for this. Of course you could also go for VPS hosting which is a little more advanced, but also very suitable.
When you got all this, you’re ready to create your very own multi-vendor auction website like eBay. Good luck with your ventures.
A Few Other Good Plugins
There are other good WordPress plugins for starting a website like eBay, but I haven’t got any real life experience with these.
- YITH WooCommerce Multi Vendor
- WC Marketplace
- WooCommerce Product Vendors ($79)
Know any other good plugins for starting a website like eBay with WordPress? Please let us know in the comments below!