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Top ten tips from the UK's leading online auction house on selling at auction.
3 Mins

10 top selling tips from online auction experts

Vikki Wilkinson
Vikki Wilkinson

If you’re finding this lockdown a bit tough and needing a bit of revived motivation, creating your own online business could be the solution you’re looking for.

Even if it’s just to make a bit of extra pocket money, you might find that it becomes something more than just a new hobby… it’s all about that side hustle!

I’ve pulled together some top selling tips from our very own experts that’ll help you kick start your own business.

1. Have the potential buyer in mind

This is our number one tip and we always find the sellers who do this are the most successful. Ask yourself “if I were to buy this item, what would I want to know?”. If you can honestly say you’ve covered this when listing an item, you’re onto a big win.

2. Make sure you have clear photos

The quality of images is hugely important and we advise our sellers that the pictures that accompany each listing are like your very own shop window. Plain backgrounds, in good light and from a variety of angles – take your time and get this part right. It’s crucial!

3. Add as many as you feel necessary

We don’t limit the number of images per listing, as for us, photos for auction lots is like chocolate on a cake… the more the merrier! Show off best features, unique aspects and even imperfections of your pieces – people value transparency and it saves time on questions in the long run.

4. Describe it well

What with lockdown and the rise of online sales, there’s more and more competition out there nowadays. Your job is to sell the item through a detailed description to allow bidders to make informed decisions. You have no idea who could be bidding on your particular item; always write this part as if the person reading it knows nothing about it.

5. Be thorough

Precise measurements are vital as well as detail of the material, colour & provenance of a particular item. If it’s a vehicle, state its service history. If it’s a watch, include its paperwork. And if it’s a diamond, affirm its certification – bidders love detail!

6. Don’t exaggerate

It’s no time for hyperbole, bidders like clear facts and no skeletons to be left in the closet. Upfront and concise selling is what we champion here at William George and we find that it works best for both parties.

7. Spell check

It might sound obvious but ensuring your spelling and grammar is spot on is imperative for your listing and to be successful selling at auction. A potential bidder might spot a spelling error and therefore assume the seller to be a careless individual and be put off.

8. Think about your reserve

The biggest reason why an item might be passed at auction is because the reserve price is set too high. Take the time and think, does my item really need a reserve? Can I afford to set this a little lower and create some competition amongst bidders? It’s worth playing around with this and seeing how the difference works for you.

9. Consider offering a free & tracked delivery option

Think about the choice out there and what really sets you apart; if you were the potential buyer, why might you choose this particular item over something else similar? A free and tracked delivery is a great incentive and a nice added touch.

10. Be nice to your customer

You could have the best item on offer at auction at the most competitive price but it’s true… people buy from people they like. If an enquiry goes unanswered or is responded to in a rude manner, we’ve found it’s much less likely to end in a positive result. Be polite and build the trust with your customer – it’s worth its weight in gold and will most likely end up in them wanting to buy from you again in the future.

To find out more about selling with us, visit our Seller Hub.