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Are you making any of these online selling mistakes? Improve your online selling results by avoiding these common mistakes made by online auction sellers.
4 Mins

Selling at Auction: Mistakes to Avoid

Lewis Findley
Lewis Findley

Selling at Auction Advice

Selling in online auctions give you the opportunity to reach a massive audience. However, it requires a different thought process compared to other types of online selling.

In this guide, you'll learn about the online auction selling mistakes you need to avoid if you're an online seller - so you can increase your online sales.

It’s not uncommon for online sellers to experience low engagement with their items. The reason for this can range from timing, price, location and more.

It’s necessary to ensure you’re maximising the potential of your online selling by constantly evaluating how you position your goods online.

Selling at Auction Tips

Online auctions are a fantastic way to sell online. With an increasing number of bidders joining online auctions, it gives you the opportunity to go grow your online business.

To help maximise the potential of online auction selling, we've created this guide which lists the most common mistakes found in online selling and how to avoid them.

1) Poor Quality Images

Online selling mistakes - poor quality images

In online auctions, bidders cannot physically interact with the lot which places a greater emphasis on the need for high-quality images.

By using high-quality images, online bidders can gain a greater understanding of how the lot looks. 

It's beneficial to use different angles to give them a complete idea of how the lot looks.

Online bidders like to bid with confidence and high-quality images are one of the ways to inspire that.  

2) Not Enough Images

Online selling mistakes - not enough images

Not all auction houses are the same, so the number of images you'll be allowed to use will vary. 

A single image can easily manipulate the buyer as they may not be able to see any damage, defects or missing pieces.

If you can, use as many as you're permitted to because online bidders will scrutinise images to get as much insight as they can. 

By using multiple images, from different angles, you're not denying the online bidder and ultimately, yourself. 

Online sellers at William George can use as many images as they like. 

3) High Opening Bid 

Online selling mistakes - high opening bid

It’s not uncommon for sellers to overprice their item before an auction.

This can be for several reasons such as sentimental value, the seller having a greater understanding of the value or an aggressive strategy to ensure the reserve is met.

A high starting price can discourage online bidders because you may have out-priced them.

However, if a lower opening bid is offered, it can encourage more online bidders to interact with the item and potentially drive the price up. 

Although, don't set the price so low because they may start asking questions!   

4) High Delivery Costs

Online selling mistakes - high delivery costs

The final hurdle. You have the right images, informative description and an optimal starting price but then you're let down by the high delivery costs.

You'll be surprised at how much delivery can impact the online bidder's decision making. If they consider the price to be an injustice, it can stop them from bidding on your item altogether.

There are many things you can do though:

  • Incorporate the delivery cost into the reserve and offer free delivery.
  • Use competitive rates from different couriers.
  • Provide collection.

These methods can lead to your lot(s) presenting an attractive option for an online bidder. In addition, with our 0% seller's commission, you won't need to add premiums as well!

5) Spelling & Grammar Errors

Online selling mistakes - spelling and grammar errors

Spelling and grammar errors can significantly affect the overall presentation of your item.

If a lot looks unprofessional, due to visible mistakes in grammar or spelling, online bidders can question the credibility of your lot.

There are various online tools to check grammar and spelling and this can reduce the number of potential mistakes in your online listing.

A professional presentation, free of errors, can increase the levels of trust and confidence a bidder has in your lot.  

6) Poor Customer Service

Online selling mistakes - poor customer service

Experience can play a huge role in returning bidders. This makes interacting with them a crucial opportunity. 

If an online bidder wins one of your items and you're tasked with preparing shipping or collection, it's important that you interact with them in a professional manner and ensure the experience is smooth.

Bad experiences can sour relations with the online bidder and the auction house.

In addition, if an online bidder sends an enquiry, it's another opportunity for you to provide a positive customer service experience and this can encourage them to interact more with your lot(s).

7) Bad Descriptions

Online selling mistakes - bad product descriptions

Bad product descriptions can misinform bidders and this can be enough for your item to be skipped or receive little engagement.

Having a strong product description, accompanied by images, can give the buyer enough information to make an informed decision. However, don't forget point 3!

Now, writing an effective product description can be challenging. However, one question you can ask yourself is what information are they looking for? 

Final Words

Online auctions are becoming a popular alternative for online buyers.

This presents opportunities for online sellers, like yourself, to introduce more revenue streams into your business.

However, to maximise these opportunities, it's imperative that these small mistakes which can have big consequences are avoided.

If you're interested in selling online in auction, here are some benefits. 

At William George, our online sellers enjoy 0% seller's commission and their first auction is completely free.

To explore how we can help you to increase sales your online sales, hit the button below!