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User Guide


An auction is a process of buying and selling goods or services by offering them up for bid, taking bids, and then selling the item to the highest bidder. The open ascending price auction is arguably the most common form of auction in use today. Participants bid openly against one another, with each subsequent bid required to be higher than the previous bid. An auctioneer may announce prices, bidders may call out their bids themselves (or have a proxy call out a bid on their behalf), or bids may be submitted electronically with the highest current bid publicly displayed.
Penny Auction Factory ofers webmasters three possible auctioning types:

  • Public: everybody can participate;
  • Private: The bids are hidden from all others except from the auctioneer and the respective bidders. The bidders on the auction are hidden from others users, only the auctioneer having the option to see them. Messages are also hidden, the auctioneer can see all the messages and each bidder can only see his own messages.
  • BIN only: if the BIN price is met, the auction ends immediately, and the bidder that offered the BIN price wins.


Here is the default menu from our frontend:



Creating and editing your account


To buy bids, or participate in any bidding, you will need to register. To make an account, click on Create an account button. Here you will have to add your account details like your name, username, password and your email address. Click on Register, when you are all done, and verify your email for the activation link.


Now that you have an account within Joomla, you will need to add more information about yourself to use all the features Auction Factory offers. In the Profile area you can add your full name and your phone number. Below you can add email addresses for PayPal and your phone number.


You can edit your personal data by clicking on the Edit user details button, found in the top right corner of this form.
From the Payment balance tab you can view the payments history and balance for your account, add or withdraw funds.


You can add money into a user's account by going in Components/ Auction Factory/ Payments and pressing the Add New Payment button found on the top left side of the page.
In the Messages received tab you can read and respond to messages from other users. Usually, they will ask questions about the products that you want to sell.


To send messages, you need to click on an auction. In the bottom of the page you will see 3 tabs: Description, Messages and Other items from this seller. After you click on Messages, press the Ask now button and proceed with your question.


By proceeding to the Default settings tab, you can set different details about your auctions, such as: display the Reserve Price or not, Shipment details, etc.


The My ratings tab displays the feedback from other users. In order to be reviewed, you need to have an auction that was successfully completed. The person that won the auction can give you a review.

Adding a new auction


To create an auction, click on New Auction in the Auction Factory frontend Menu, or go to the My Auctions menu.


On the top of the auction form you can see information about your balance and the listing price, if the paid listings are enabled.


Firstly you will need to choose the proper Category for the item you wish to sell and add a Title for it. Both fields are required.

Afterwards, select the proper auction type for your own auction. In Auction Factory, you can select from 3 different auctioning types: Public, Private and BIN Only.


Add a starting date for the auction (when it will become published), and an ending date (when it will close). For more time accuracy, you can also set specific times at which the auctions will start and end. If the hours seem off with your local time, make sure the proper Timezone is used in Joomla.


Price details are highly configurable. You can choose the used Currency and the Starting Bid price. Select if you wish to display the highest bid and the number of bidders to all the users.


The Reserve Price will allow auctions to end without a winner, in case this price is not reached. In case of an automatic auction, the CRON script will not choose a winner. With Display Reserve Price you can toggle to Show/Hide the actual price in case it has not been reached (e.g.: "Reserve price not met"/"Reserve price X not met"). When the Reserve Price is reached, this info will hide automatically.


If enabled from the backend, users can have the ability to add a Default Min Increase to the value of the new bids.


In case you have selected to have a "Buy It Now" price for your auction, a field will appear here on which you can add the BIN required amount.


Besides the item's price, there will be a Shipment price that can be added differently for various zones, if configured by the administrator. Clicking on Add shipping zone will create a field to choose another zone and to add the appropriate shipping price for it. On the Shipment Info text field you can add more information about the shipment process which can be useful for some bidders.


Additional Payment Info text field can be used to add various information regarding the payment process.



Before submitting your auction, you need to add a Short Description of the item you wish to sell. This will be viewed on the listing pages. Below the short description, you will find a WYSIWYG editor, where you can add a detailed description which can be viewed on the auction's page. If allowed from the editor config, you may also be able to add an <iframe> or other video embedded elements.

In order to have more visitors, thus more chances to sell your item, it is recommended that you add Tags related to it and Images(if allowed).

Checking the Save to Default Settings checkbox will save the values of certain fields that will be auto-filled on your future auctions.

Pressing Save will show your newly created auction and its information, or direct you to a payment form.


After you save your auction, it will look like this:


Searching for auctions


You can simply search for an auction by pressing the Search button in Auction Factory menu. You can choose different filters for your search, such as Category, Price range, etc.


From the Auction Factory menu, you can easily see all the available auction, by clicking on the List Auctions button. You can also filter the results by their Start date, Retail price, Seller username or Highest Bid.


On the Categories area you will find all the active auctions, displayed by categories. In case you are interested in creating a New Auction within one Category, press the black and blue button right to the RSS Feed Button. You will immediately be redirected to the New Auction form we just covered up, with the Category Box auto checked.


There are also a few modules that can help you search for auctions:


  • Auction Factory Category Navigation
  • Auction Factory Category Tree
  • Auction Factory Quick Search
  • Auction Factory Tag Cloud


You can find out more about setting up modules here.

Bidding


In Auction Factory you can not place bids with a negative balance, so keep that in mind when trying to participate in an auction.
Click on an auction to see all the details. Under the Current Bid tab you will see a box where you can enter your own sum. Keep in mind that, once somebody else placed a bid before you , you will have to bid his sum plus the Minimum Increase sum that the seller set up when creating his auction.


After entering your desired bid, you will have to confirm the payment.


If the BIN option is checked, you are able to end the auction immediately by pressing the blue Buy It Now button. You automatically win the auction.

Reporting an auction


In case something is inappropriate about an auction, you can click on the Report button and then fill in the fields. Click on Send and an administrator will take care of it from the backend.



Watchlist


For an easier access to the auctions you are interested in, you can add them to your Watchlist. In order to do this, click on an auction and then on the "magnifier" button found next to the Report this auction button. By doing this, you will easily see the progress of any auction added to your watchlist.


Here is a previews of the Watchlist page:


Blacklist


Auction Factory also has the feature to block or unblock users. If you have an available auction and some user sends you innapropriate messages, you can simply block them by clicking on the respective auction, click on Messages tab, found at the bottom of the page, and press the Add this bidder to blacklist red plus sign left to the user. You can view your Blacklist by clicking the button with the same name within the menu.


If you are the user beeing added to a blacklist, you will not be able bid, Buy Now or send any messages to the respective seller.



(!) Documentation based on Auction Factory version 4.5.0