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A guide on how to start selling in online auctions, from the UK's leading online auction house.
3 Mins

How to start selling in online auctions

Jess Gibson
Jess Gibson

There’s been a huge upswing in the number of people enjoying the thrill of online auctions over the past 18 months, with DIY projects, side-hustle start-ups, and online business expansion helping to fuel the sector’s popularity.

Shoppers – always on the lookout for a bargain – have flocked to register with online auctions, recognising them as the premium home of high-quality liquidated stock, raw returns, and valuable second-hand pieces. And, from the numbers, it seems like consumers intend to continue utilising such sites to purchase their goods for the foreseeable future!

So, great news for those in the selling game – and for those hoping to dip their toes into the realm of auction site selling! If you’re part of the latter group, here’s your chance to learn more about the entire process, alongside a few tips and tricks to help steer you in the right direction with both consumers and legal matters.

Pick your price point

You’ll need to decide how much you want to sell your goods for. Should you have a reserve price? Or a starting point? Be realistic and don’t aim too high as we want to encourage as many bids as possible and starting low will attract a bigger audience. Additionally, you can trust us to guide you through the consignment process if you need help (submitting your items for an auction), removing any uncertainty on your part.

Healthy competition

Auctions have the unique ability to drive healthy competition, which in turn helps to generate an abundance of bidders to hike up the bidding prices so that each lot reaches its market potential. This equals better returns for you as the seller, expands your bidding audience, and increases the likelihood of making a sale.

Seller benefits

Depending on which auction house you list your items on, there are certain benefits that you, as a seller (whether individual or as part of a business), can enjoy.

If you sell your items with William George, you never have to pay a penny in seller commission, you benefit from dedicated account managers, and we feature low buyer premiums. Not only this, but we can also offer marketing for your consignments via email as well as other avenues, such as Facebook campaigns, manage all the payments and communication between yourself and the buyer, and offer free listings if you choose to place your items in collective sales.  

Title, description and photos

One of the key parts of the selling process, it’s vital that you spend time considering the title, description, and photos you use to list your items. Using specific keywords in the title, and repeating these in the description, will help guide potential buyers to your items.

Your description should be as complete as possible, including information about why an item deemed rare, valuable, or unique is worthy of this title, or stating anything missing or damaged. Honesty is essential in the description!

Photos accompany the title and description, and are often what help to seal the deal for consumers. If you’ve mentioned that a specific item has any pieces missing or is damaged in any way, you should provide visual evidence of this to enable consumers to make a purchasing decision.

Shipping costs

A final point to consider is the cost of shipping items. Larger items, or bulk collections, may be more expensive to transport, with a variety of options available. It’s a good idea to list all of the possibilities open to consumers and clearly state the differences in price – including expedited shipping options. You should also ensure that your costs are reasonable, as overcharging on this may hinder your chances of making a sale!

Selling your items via online auctions is a fun, rewarding experience that takes the hassle out of building a business and an online presence. You can be party to a number of great benefits whilst still accumulating a healthy profit, with items often selling for figures beyond your expectations.

Want to find out if this could be for you? Then head over to our Seller Hub and see how we can help you. Good luck!