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An online auction (or also electronic auction or e-auction or eAuction) is an auction which is held over the internet. Like auctions in general, online auctions come in a variety of types like ascending English auctions, descending Dutch auctions, first-price sealed-bid, Vickrey auctions and others, which are sometimes not mutually exclusive.
The scope and reach of these auctions have been propelled by the Internet to a level beyond what the initial purveyors had anticipated. This is mainly because online auctions break down and remove the physical limitations of traditional auctions such as geography, presence, time, space, and a small target audience. This influx in reachability has also made it easier to commit unlawful actions within an auction. In 2002, online auctions were projected to account for 30% of all online e-commerce due to the rapid expansion of the popularity of the form of electronic commerce. Online auctions include business to business (B2B), business to consumer (B2C), and consumer to consumer (C2C) auctions.
The largest online auction site is eBay, which was the first to support person-to-person transactions.