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Top tips on how to make money from selling in online auctions.
4 Mins

How to make money from online auctions

Jess Gibson
Jess Gibson

If you’re looking to make some extra money, or start your own business buying and selling, online auctions are a great avenue for you to take and there are plenty of savvy sellers out there who’ve found they can turn a pretty profit via these marketplaces.

Of course, as online auctions steadily increase in popularity, more people want to get in on the action to ensure that they earn a piece of the proverbial money pie and there’s always room for more people to join the fray. The key to making a success of it is to recognise that, in order to make profit via auctions, it’s all about the work you put in.

Below are a few tips to help get you started…

Buy in bulk

One way of making money when selling at online auctions is to remember the economy of scale – i.e. buying items in bulk batches can be much cheaper than trying to source lots of individual items separately. For example, here at William George, we have weekly retail returns auctions featuring a vast range of items sourced from retail giant John Lewis to suit any taste or desire, with entire pallets of items that are often new and unused for your perusal (including kitchenware and electricals).

Once you’ve purchased a pallet of these good, you then have the opportunity to invest your time and use your know-how to examine the pieces included and decide which items are likely to earn you a profit when selling individually. Using this method helps to decrease your overheads and maximise your returns effectively.

So many people have accumulated piles of things that they’ve left unopened, and plenty of shops have faulty or damaged items that can’t be sold in store, that it makes sense for you to use your business acumen to get involved in the auctioning process without any of the related hassle of sourcing items individually.

Rare and unique

If you possess a burning passion for discovering hidden treasures that are rare, unique, or fashionable, then you can spend your time fruitfully and scour through various online auction lots to find items that catch your eye. Chances are, you aren’t the only person wanting to source such items (especially if the lot is related to a ‘special interest’, perhaps collectables), meaning that there will be people willing to continue bidding, thus pushing the final sale price higher. So, why not capitalise on this and look out for items that are bit unusual or niche? Your chances of making a profit this way are fairly high.

The trick here is to find items to sell in an online auction that are low cost but good value, with the overarching principle being to reduce your overheads and sell at the best price to maximise your profits. You can source your items from anywhere you want, but it’s key that you consider what is likely going to be in demand and cause a flurry of bids – what would you and people you know be searching for, what is popular? Nail this aspect, and you’re sure to be making some good money.

Looking ahead

Once you’ve sold some items via auctions, you’ll have built yourself a small customer base who can provide feedback, helping you gain more customers. Investing in brand name stock is always going to interest people, so this can be a good place to go after you’ve sold some cheaper items. Start items off at lower prices, research the cost of similar items and the types of descriptions likely to increase the sale potential and consider which words customers are going to use to find such an item – these are all actions that will help you increase your profit margins.

As we said, there’s different ways of making money from online auctions, but the long and short of the matter is that you need to invest time and energy in locating bargains and making sure your copy and photos really shine. Which method of money-making you choose, however, is entirely up to you. Why not give it a go?

Visit our Seller Hub to find out more.