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An overview of how online auctions work, how to bid in them and the benefits of shopping in an online auction.
3 Mins

How does an online auction work?

Jacob Margiotta
Jacob Margiotta

The short answer is, it works very well! Especially in the current climate. Picking your way around a dark, fusty room looking for trinkets isn’t what we’re about at William George. All that dust makes people cough and sneeze and you don’t want to be anywhere near that at the best of times.

Online auctions mean browsing a wider selection of goods, and less germs.

We’re able to bring together larger catalogues giving you more choice, more often.

With upwards of 3 auctions a day, 6 days a week across a huge range of exciting categories means you can still enjoy the thrill of the search but all from the comfort of your own home – or wherever else you happen to be.

William George host timed online auctions meaning the catalogue is published for a set period of time, usually around 2 weeks. Some of our catalogues are hosted by single vendors offering their items via auction, and some are a collection of various sellers, curated by our in-house team to bring you a great selection of items.

We present the details and images of the items, from classic cars to vintage watches and much more beyond. You can review them at your leisure, submit any enquiries to satisfy your curiosity and conduct research to make informed decisions, all of which you can’t do in a live auction room.

What does that mean? It means less impulsive purchases that you might regret, and more genuine bargains and rare finds to celebrate!

Add to that the fact that our seller’s commission is set at 0% and that means we can bring you goods at better value. We don’t have a large team of porters and storage costs and these savings come to you in the form of competitive buyer’s premiums and lower reserves than traditional salerooms.

In our online catalogues each lot has an end time, which is staggered so you won’t miss a single lot. Our advice is to check the delivery and other information specific to your chosen catalogue and register as soon as possible to give yourself more time to familiarise yourself.

You can place maximum bids early on, or you can set reminders to come back and participate in the final exciting seconds of the action!

If you’re lucky enough to win a lot by placing a bid that meets or exceeds the seller’s reserve price and sees off fierce competition from other bidders then congratulations!

You’ll then receive an invoice via email which you can pay online with your card (£1000 or under) or by bank transfer if you prefer.

Once the payment is made, you’ll receive a collection note which contains the vendors contact information and you can arrange the delivery or collection of your lots.

We’re here to help every step of the way, so if you want to know more you can send an enquiry or join our live chat in office hours – we’re on hand to answer your questions and make the process a thoroughly enjoyable one!

Won some lots and want to try your hand at selling? You too can benefit from our 0% seller commission, so why not check out How to sell online