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An article on how to start your own business by buying and selling at online auctions with William George
3 Mins

How to become your own boss

Ben Smith
Ben Smith

How to become your own boss

It’s a dream for many of us – throwing off the shackles of ordinary employment and setting up business to become your own boss, ditching your hopeless superior who is always telling you what to do. 

Setting up business from your own home means you can work at whatever time of day suits you, fitting it round other commitments like childcare, school runs and maybe the odd spot of gardening. 

More and more people are turning to buying and selling to make a living, and as we’ve seen in previous blogs, the second-hand market is on the rise so it’s a perfect time to start working for yourself.

But where to begin?

Building up stock

If you’re going to start online trading, then you need something to sell. There’s no better place to start building up stock than our many retail returns auctions. These weekly sales are items from major retailers that have been returned to a store or online for a huge variety of reasons. It might simply be the customer has changed their mind, or the product is slightly marked or it could be faulty or broken. If you’re buying raw or ungraded returns you won’t know the condition until you take delivery, which is part of the reason you’re getting such a good price. But remember, even if something is broken that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s beyond repair so you could still make a profit from it if you’re prepared to fix the item. And if it is too far gone, there is a burgeoning spares and repairs market for people who make a hobby of fixing things.

You’re probably best buying a pallet for the best chance of making a decent return – you’re buying in bulk which helps keeps the cost down of both the items you’re picking up and the delivery charge.

The growing problem of retail returns (which costs UK retailers an estimated £7 billion a year) provides you, the savvy businessperson, an opportunity to make some cash.

Once you’ve taken delivery of your pallet, go through each item and check its condition, so you can write accurate descriptions for resale, then make any necessary repairs. This might be simply replacing the box or giving it a polish or it could involve something more complicated.

Consider where to sell

Once you’ve got something to sell you need to find somewhere to shift your goods. If you do your research, look around the web and check out local car boots you’ll quickly realise the best place to sell is here at William George. 

We’re a member of the National Association of Auctioneers so you can be assured we vet all our sellers according to our high standards and that we’re a company that cares. We stay on the lookout for fake items and ensure there is an excellent level of customer service. We hold money until a buyer has received their goods, helping to maintain high levels of trust between us, the buyers and the sellers. But don’t take my word for it, check out our Trustpilot score and reviews.

Not only do we offer an excellent service, we’re currently not charging any auction fees for listing and we offer no seller commission, so you get the total hammer price. 

Make the most of our services

One downside of being your own boss is having to do everything, from making all the tough decisions to brewing the next pot of tea. But if you sell through William George, you can take advantage of some of our skills and expertise. If you hold a private auction rather than joining a collective one, not only do you get more control on how it is run, you’ll get a dedicated account manager to help you on your way to building a reputation for customer service.

And there’s more. We have a marketing team bursting with ideas and waiting to help you sell and make even more money. For a modest budget you can make the most of our in-house experts who can tailor a bespoke package for your needs. This can include email campaigns, bringing your goods to the attention of a discerning audience eager to learn about the latest auctions; having a banner on our homepage created by our designers and highlighting the best you have to offer; or tapping into our social media presence and reach a global audience.

So to summarise, if you’re looking to unchain yourself from the 9-5 desk and start life as your own boss, there are few finer places to make that work than William George.