A short review of the Enuuk PHP Auction Platform

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RWAP
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A short review of the Enuuk PHP Auction Platform

Post by RWAP » Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:12 pm

There are various reasons as to why you may want to create your own auction website - in our case, we wanted to target a specific market (the retro / vintage electronics and computers market), provide the ability for traders to use it to advertise their own sites without actually listing any products, and also to cut down the £100s per month we were spending on ebay listing fees.

We also found that many sellers are now turning away from eBay despite the number of people using their site, as listing fees are typically around 10% of an auctions sale price. That is coupled with the fact that many of the categories in which retro computers and electronic equipment would naturally appear, no longer allow you to add postage on top of the sale price!

Having looked at various products available on the market, we decided to plump for Enuuk.

Enuuk is a brand new PHP based auction platform from the development team who brought PHPAuction to the market - phpAuction has been around for approximately 10 years, originally under the GPL licence, but then developed as a low cost commercial platform.

Enuuk has been redeveloped completely from the ground upwards, taking account of the latest trends in internet technology, with the code well laid out and easy to follow, and easy to modify to add different views of auctions (including XML, Jason, HTML and CSV).

The latest version is a stable release, although we have encountered some problems with the speed (which were rectified by some code changes on our part, but mainly by switching to a different high speed server provider - uk2.net.

You have the options of purchasing either the protected version or the version with the sources (non-obfuscated) - the later is worth the investment to ensure that you can easily modify the code to suit your own website. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why we decided on the Enuuk auction platform for our new website, as we did not want to have to pay developers $100s to make small changes to the code to meet our needs or preferences.

Even with the sources, the cost is less than $1000 and well worth the money.

Setting Enuuk up on your website is fairly straightforward, although it is worthwhile checking the server requirements with your proposed hosting company and we would recommend that you use a host who have cron jobs enabled, and support the Zend engine, with optimiser and eAccelerator to help speed up the PHP code as much as possible. More discussion about suitable hosting providers appears in the thread viewtopic.php?f=2&t=44&p=234#p57

We have come across a few minor issues with the code, some of which we have been able to fix directly with one or two code changes, and others where we have had to raise a ticket with PHPAuction's support. We find their support service very helpful and responsive, although if you have implemented your own modifications you are best to ask them to email you the amended files and highlight the code changes required.

One of the main problems with any code for a website, is security and there were some holes in earlier versions of Enuuk which could be exploited by others to corrupt your website. However, these have been rectified in v1.6 and in some cases, although the controls protection provided needs some fine tuning, as we have found that it has sometimes reported a suspected attack when someone enters auction information or information into the wiki which we have added to our site.

If you want to see Enuuk's PHP Auction platform in action we recommend that you try out our own website - http://www.sellmyretro.com

RWAP
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Re: A short review of the Enuuk PHP Auction Platform

Post by RWAP » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:57 pm

v1.8 of the Enuuk auction platform has added greater benefits to people using this on their website, as you can now set up an auction website running Penny Auctions.

The Penny Auction market is aimed squarely at all auctions being run by the person who owns the auction website. This means that the default user has to be set to buyer only and you then control the number of sellers. Although not mutually exclusive, the owner of the website should run the penny auctions.

So what is the benefit of this type of auction?

Pure and simple - it is linked to greed!

The idea of a penny auction is that buyers will see items which are worth £100s going for less than £10 in many cases.
This works because each time a bid is placed, a fixed amount is added to the current price of the item (normally 1p).
In order to bid, the user has to purchase so many bids from the website owner (normally as a package).

So take a simple example of a £10 Argos gift card - which might sell for only £3 and be perceived as a great saving.

The £10 Argos gift card is listed with a £0.01 starting price.

In order to bid, the user has to purchase a package of bids - say £5 for 50 bids to use on the site.
The user then places a bid on the item so the price of the gift card increases ot £0.02

As each user bids, the price increases by only 1p - say increasing to £3

The auction finishes, the winning bidder pays £3 and goes away happy - having only paid £3 for a gift card worth £10.

But where is the profit for the site owner?
That lies in the bids placed. Remember that before they could bid, each user has had to purchase 50 bids for £5, which equates to 10p per bid.

So in order for the price of the gift card to reach £3 from a starting price of £0.01, 299 bids will have to have been placed, at a cost of 10p each.

The site owner therefore receives:
299 bids at 10p each - £29.90
Winning bid £3
TOTAL received £32.90

All for the sake of a £10 gift card. The buyer goes away happy as they feel that they have only paid £3 for it - even if they think about the cost of the bids, they might have only placed 50 bids so total layout was only £8 for a £10 value item.

What a great way of enhancing profits from an auction website and certainly another boon to people considering using the Enuuk Auction Platform!!

RWAP
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Re: A short review of the Enuuk PHP Auction Platform

Post by RWAP » Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:27 pm

Enuuk v3 was released in September 2012.

As well as the GPL version, Enuuk has now been split into two products -

MarketLink - this is the basic version of the platform, which is supplied without access to the source code.

MarketLink is available for $499 and includes the ability to use BASIC, STANDARD, FIXED PRICE and LOT AUCTION Types. It supports just the English and Spanish languages and lacks the RSS feeds which existed in previous editions of Enuuk. It also only has one standard theme installed.

MarketLink can also be purchased using SaaS (Software as a Service) - whereby the software runs on phpAuction's own servers and you pay a monthly fee. This means that phpAuction will be responsible for all of the maintenance on the software and installing updates for you.

New for v3, the BASIC auction allows users to just list items for simple auction, with no option for setting a reserve price or a but it now option.
The STANDARD auction has also been updated to not only allow you to set a reserve price and a buy it now option, but you can also set up a queue of items (where you can auction several of the same object) - so that as soon as one auction finishes, presuming the item sells, another auction will begin for the same item.

You can purchase additional modules which can be plugged into MarketLink, which include:
- Turkish Language
- Italian Language
- French Language
- Portuguese Language
- 10 additional themes
- RSS feeds
- Facebook Module (which allows users to sign up to your Enuuk site using their Facebook account)
- Penny Auctions
- Reverse Auctions
- More payment gateways - Amazon Payments, 2Checkout, Authorize.net and Mercado Pago (this is widely used in Central and South American countries).

ProLink - this is the full version of the platform, including all of the above modules and the full source codes.

ProLink is available for $979 and is the best solution if you intend customizing your site, creating your own templates and implementing some of the various mods and features detailed on these discussion forums.

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