A web auction is when a consumer or business lists an item or service on the Internet for sale to the public. The auction includes a starting price and allows bidding by consumers who are interested in purchasing the merchandise. The web auction can take place using a service provided by another company or on a private website.

Time Frame

A web auction can take place for a few hours up to a week. In some cases the more days an item is listed on an auction, the more bids the item gains. In other cases a longer auction may not benefit the item if it is an item that is difficult to sell. Once the item is sold, the seller is typically charged a small fee for using the website.


A web auction can benefit a seller who may not have space or time to sell an item on their own. This can mean extra cash for a person or business needing extra income for personal or business use. Another benefit of a web auction is exposure to a larger number of people. This also includes the ability to list more details about an item and displaying photos.


Web auctions have the potential to earn large volumes of income for those who wish to sell online. Some sellers buy used or discount items and sell them in a web auction to turn a profit. For example, a seller can find an item at a resale shop for $1 and put it in a web auction for a starting price of $3.


Web auctions have the ability to include people form various nations and culture. Many textbooks are sold in the international marketplace on popular web auction providers. It is also possible to list an item in multiple languages. The auctions that include include international buyers usually have an increased shipping rate and extended expected time of arrival to accommodate the international buyer.

Expert Insight

According to the seller advice website whatdoisell.com, new sellers who desire to sell online should work at the task everyday and treat it like a business. The website says that success in a business means that you have to work at it daily. The website also advise against solely working on the business like a hobby.