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A list of frequently asked questions about selling in online auctions.
4 Mins

Selling at auction: FAQs

Jess Gibson
Jess Gibson

Are you interested in making yourself some extra cash? Maybe you’re looking for a way to expand your business, to take it to the next level? Or do you just need to declutter your home to free up some space?

Whatever the reason you’re looking to sell, there are no other ways that are as easy, hassle-free, and fun as using an online auction! And, with so many categories to organise items in for sale at auction, there is a home for almost any piece you want to sell.

So, if you’ve been thinking about selling at an online auction but don’t know where to start, well, you’re in the right place – we've put together a list of our most frequently asked FAQs for you!

What exactly is a live online auction?

A live online auction is one that’s held over the internet in real time – meaning that you can bid or sell from the comfort of your very own home.

With the benefit of technology, bidders from around the world can log into the auction at any time they like throughout the course of its duration and place a bid.

The length of time a live online auction can last will depend on the auction house. Here at William George most of ours run for a minimum of two weeks.

How does a timed online auction work?

This is when an auction has a designated date and time that bidding closes and items are won by the highest bidders.

Each auction clearly states when it starts and finishes, so you’ll be aware of how long you have to sell your items and when you should expect to make a sale.

How do I start selling at online auctions?

The first thing you need to do is register for an account. The process at William George is simple – you’ll just need to input some details to verify your identity and you can get started!

Once you have an account, you can upload and manage your own auctions as it’s a really straight forward process, but if you need some support to begin with, you’ll have access to a dedicated account manager who will provide advice if you’re unsure of anything.

How do I decide the reserve price for my items?

It’s entirely up to sellers where they choose to set their reserve price. However, this does affect the volume of bids an item receives – customers aren’t too fond of a high reserve price, so lowering it may win you more sales in the long run.

To ensure that you’re setting a reasonable price, you can liaise with your account manager and receive advice. It’s important to note that the valuation includes consideration of the amount of wear and tear, the age, and, in some cases, the rarity of the item.

What can I do to maximise the returns on my sales?

It’s important that you accompany your lots with a detailed description and clear photographs, to ensure that bidders have as much information at their disposal as possible. This is the first, and best, way of increasing your returns.

Keeping your sale items in good condition is also a good way to ensure you make sales – once bidders have confirmation that you’re reliable and sell quality pieces, they will be more inclined to purchase from you in future.

How much do I pay the auction house when I sell items?

Again, the percentage of your sale price that goes to the auction house depends entirely on who you choose to go with.

At William George, it’s completely free to sell in our collective auctions and you’re guaranteed to keep 100% of the hammer price!

If I sell items at auction, when do I receive the funds?

Once the customer has received their item and verified that it is true to the description and condition provided by you, the funds will be released from holding and transferred to your account.

What are the different ways of communicating with buyers?

Most of the communication between sellers and buyers is conducted by staff at William George. We endeavour to answer any queries customers may have so that sellers aren’t being contacted at all hours about things that we are easily able to answer!

What happens if a customer wants to return an item?

Once a buyer has placed a bid on an item, they have entered into a binding legal contract whereby they are obligated to accept and pay for the item they have bid on. This therefore means that there are very limited situations in which an item is deemed returnable.

Now that you’re armed with the facts, you’ve got all the knowledge you need to sell at an online auction, so head over to our Seller Hub to get going!