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Overview
The steps for a new user
A Note about Your Password
Opening Bid, Reserve Amount and Bid Increment
Auction Terms and Bids
Creating a new auction item
The steps to create a new item for bid.
Image Preparation for Bid Screen
Typing the Description Copy
Linking to a Specification Page
Remove an Item from the Auction


Dagra Auction Documentation

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Overview

The intent of this system is to provide the entire environment to operate and maintain an Internet auction site on Lightlink. Most of the system runs as a series of CGI scripts connected to HTML files that provide the user interface. The goal is simply to connect sellers with buyers. Once the connection is made we leave it to them to complete the deal.

Unlike most Internet auction software we planned this system to run from and be isolated to a specific account. In other words the software is all contained within one account, not integrated into the server. This plan will allow more than one auction site to be running on Lightlink at the same time without any conflicts or interference.

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The steps for a new user

  1. The concept is to accept bids and items for auction from registered users. You must register to receive your permanent ID number. You will be asked for your name, address, email and an ID hint that will uniquely identify you.

  2. Once registered you may bid on any item that is offered on this auction site by typing your password, ID number and bid amount into the bid form of the item. You may also list an item to be sold at auction.

  3. When you place a bid an email confirmation will be sent to your email address at that time. You can see it immediately by hitting the back button, then the refresh button on your browser.

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A Note about Your Password

You may wonder why we ask you for a password when we are about to assign you a registration ID number. Experience tells us that it would be really easy for someone to make a typographical error typing an ID number. The additional verification against the database will trap such an error and give you a chance to fix it thus avoiding the problem of the wrong person being credited with the bid.

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Opening Bid, Reserve Amount and Bid Increment

When the seller places an item at auction the opening bid is established, an amount below which no bid will be accepted. The bid increment is also established, each bid must be equal to or greater that the previous bid plus the bid increment. Finally the seller can optionally establish a reserve amount that indicates the minimum that he/she plans to sell the item for. The seller reserves the right not to sell an item for less that the reserve amount although he/she can certainly decide to sell. Why a reserve? The seller can place a reserve amount on an item that is higher than the opening bid. That way he/she can see what the market is willing to pay but bidders know that the seller is reserving the right not to sell to the highest bidder unless the reserve has been met.

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Auction Terms and Bids

When an item is placed at auction a closing date and hour is established and the bidding can start at once. The system will not allow an auction to be established for less than one hour. Bidding will continue until the auction closes at the designated hour, local time (Eastern), on the stated closing day. The auction will not close until 15 minutes have elapsed without a bid after the closing time. Bids will be accepted in even dollar increments only. Your bid must be at least the current high bid plus the stated bid increment. The seller can place a reserve amount on an item that indicates the lowest amount he/she plans to sell the item for.

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Creating a new auction item

Any registered user can place an item up for bid. There are a few things you will need to know before you begin. The fill in form will ask you for:
A short descriptive title for the item (30 characters maximum).
A longer description of the item - this can be a full explanation that runs for up to 4000 characters.
The name if the image (.gif or .jpg) file to display in the bid screen and the full URL to it.
The starting bid, this can be 0 or any amount that you wish to start the bidding at.
The ending date for the auction.
The HTML bid file is created when you submit your entry by merging your data from the form with a template.

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The steps to create a new item for bid.

  1. Create the image to be shown in the auction page and store it somewhere within your account space, note the full URL to it. eg. http://www.yourspace.com/gif/image.gif The image should be about 200 x 200 pixels, see image preparation.

  2. Write the copy that will go into the description space, you have the option of using HTML codes or preformatting.

  3. At the auction site, click on Create a new item for bid

  4. Fill in the all of the blanks on the form that marked with * as these are required, and any of the optional ones that you wish. Submit the form to create the auction item.
    See Image Preparation, Typing the Description and Linking to a Web Page

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Image Preparation for Bid Screen

The template provided allows for an image that shows the item at auction. The template will accommodate an image that is approximately 250 pixels wide and about square. If you have no picture for a particular item you can leave this entry blank. You can use any .jpg or .gif image that is stored within the space of your own account and can be accessed by a standard URL. For example http://www.yourspace.com/gif/image.gif

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Typing the Description Copy

The Description textarea will accept input by typing directly into it or by pasting prepared copy into it. You have the choice of how what you type will be displayed.

Line by line Just above is a check box, check it if you want your copy to be displayed line by line as you type it. The textarea is similar in width to the area on the bid screen that will display your copy.

A simple descriptive paragraph Leave the line by line box unchecked and what you type will be reformatted at display time as with any other HTML data.

Use HTML codes, you are free to use HTML codes to form headlines, paragraph breaks, bold or italic sections. Data can be created on your own computer then copied to the clip board and pasted into the textarea. The area will accept approximately 4000 characters. Your entry will be silently truncated at 4000 characters if it is longer than that. We suggest that you keep it simple here and link to a specification page as described below.

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Linking to a Specification Page

If you want to display other photos or a detailed set of specifications you can create a standard web page within the space of your own account and link to it from the Additional Info field on the new auction item form. This can be a regular part of your web page or a file created especially to support the item at auction. Simply type a standard URL into the additional info field. For example http://www.yourspace.com/where_it_is/file_name.htm

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Remove an Item from the Auction

1. You can remove an item that you have created. Click on the Kill an auction item link. You will be asked for your registration ID, password and the the item number.

The process that removes an item from the auction essentially reverses the set-up process. The HTML file for the item, [ItemNumber].htm, is deleted. The include file for the item, [ItemNumber].txt, is deleted. The link to the item is removed from items.txt, the include file for items currently at auction page.

The record for the item is not removed from the auction database file, and all activity that was recorded in the auction history database file will remain.

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