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A guide on how to successfully sell online from William George, the UK's leading online auction house.
4 Mins

How we can help you sell online

Jess Gibson
Jess Gibson

It seems as though the need for bricks-and-mortar stores is slowly diminishing, with a huge focus being placed on online retail services and an emphasis upon sustainable, eco-friendly being sought by the vast majority of shoppers. Alongside this, there’s a much bigger concern for the cost of items, with the public expecting to purchase items where the price point isn’t extortionate but that allows for retailers to still turn a profit. The current climate for high-street retail – impacted heavily by worldwide shut-downs caused by the ongoing pandemic, the effects of austerity after the 2008 recession, environmental concerns, and the evolution of technology – is precarious, to say the least.

Although there’s still somewhat of a need for high-street retail businesses to continue existing, it appears that, gradually (and especially considering the habits of Millennials and Gen Zers) physical shops are becoming less and less popular. Many thrifty consumers would much rather shop around online to find the best deals available, or identify independent sellers with unique, constantly evolving item ranges whose income is reliant on reducing overheads (such as those caused by owning or renting a store). The issue with much of this online retail, however, is that whether second-hand or brand new, many items still cost a considerable amount more than many consumers can justify spending.

So, what if you have decided on a whim (or on the advice of loved ones) to embark on a retail adventure of your own? How are you going to navigate the treacherous waters of the constantly changing retail climate and make a profit whilst creating a viable business? Well, that’s where we can help.

What are you selling?

Whether you enjoy collecting classic, vintage cars, creating your own quirky jewellery, upcycling and reselling furniture, or you want to be a purveyor of trade tools and supplies to help smaller, independent businesses get off the ground, there are a variety of different avenues for you to search and investigate. Some of these initially appear to be ideal: they have a wide audience, a large share of the market, and allow you to customise your marketing techniques.

Unfortunately, most of these online hubs charge for you to maintain a presence on their platform and take a cut of the sale price, whilst requiring additional charges for extra services. Each of these can cut into your overall profit margins and, in the end, leave you out of pocket. They also tend to be overstuffed with sellers who each peddle similar wares – particularly if your items consist of used furniture and handmade craft projects – which can reduce your visibility and leave you lost amongst a slew of sellers.

At William George, we host regular weekly and monthly online auctions that are organised by category and use, meaning that you can ensure your items are visible in the correct category that will enable significant visibility for you. Our auction categories range from jewellery and high-street goods, to arts, antiques, and vehicles, meaning that not only will you find the auction that’s right for your wares, but that consumers will be able to quickly locate the items they desire via searching for auctions in those categories – putting them in touch with you much more effectively than other routes.

Reducing costs

Other online platforms for selling require commission fees, have high buyer premiums, and charge for each listing you have on your dedicated page or account. When you’re attempting to start a viable business, or expand your retail exposure, such overheads can be seriously limiting to your profit margins. And, if your profits are low, then your ability to continue as a business becomes challenging.

When you register on our Seller Hub you’re welcomed with a variety of benefits that can help you to start or grow your selling efforts. For example, no matter how many items you’re selling – whether it’s just one or a huge collection – you will never be asked to pay a penny in seller commission, and, when listing items in collective sales, you have no fees to pay, meaning that you can only gain from selling in such a way!

How we’re different

Oftentimes, larger selling platforms have gotten so big, so fast that they are unable to pay due care and attention to their various sellers. Instead, they send out generic advice and support to all sellers and are notoriously difficult to contact when you require additional support. This can make the selling process stressful, particularly if the customer claims that you’re the one in the wrong or that your items were marketed and described incorrectly.

Selling via William George means that you create an account on the Seller Hub, which is then managed by a dedicated account manager. They keep an eye on your listings, the various bids for them, and can advise you of ways to tweak and adjust your listings to make them more popular. In other words, you receive the care and attention you need, whilst always having someone you can speak with regarding any queries or difficulties that may ensue.

Further to this, we are able to utilise our various partners and networking links to send out reminders for our upcoming auctions, ensuring that regular purchasers are in-the-know when it comes to new auctions and particular items being listed. Our marketing also extends to ads that are displayed on popular social media sites such as Facebook, spreading the word about our auctions and providing snippets of our available lots for potential consumers to consider.

Whether you’re new to the selling biz or hoping to expand your business and improve your profit margins, we’re here to help you every step of the way! So go on, what are you waiting for?