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Top tips from successful auction vendors on selling at online auctions.
3 Mins

Selling tips from top auction vendors

Jess Gibson
Jess Gibson

Looking to a make a little extra cash? Building a business from scratch? Choosing to recycle rather than just replace? Decluttering your space?

Whatever the reason you’re looking to sell is, there are many things to think about before, during, and after an auction.

Luckily, we’ve collected a few tips from some of our top auction vendors to help you along the way…

Know the rules and where to start

Once you’ve decided to start selling in an online auction, you need to choose which marketplace to sell with. Each organisation has its own systems and rules, and so it’s important to familiarise yourself with them – it’ll save you time and prevent any issues in the long-run.

At William George we’re transparent with fees and make the whole process as smooth and enjoyable as possible so you’re in safe hands.

Do your research

Unless you’re an expert about the items that you’re selling, it’s best to do some digging to find out more about them, identify the most effective copy to use for particular items to ensure a sale, as well as helping you decide on where to pitch your reserve prices.

Check out the different tricks that other vendors use – those with experience will know the best ways to make a sale. Have a look at their descriptions - you can learn a lot from a little investigating.


If you want to help bidders navigate their way to your listings, looking into the right sort of keywords to help them out is important. This way, your items are more likely to come up first when bidders search using certain keywords leading to a good audience. Make sure you front-load your title and the description with these all-important words.

Branded Items

More often than not, branded items are more likely to sell over non-branded items. Customers trust brands they’re more familiar with, especially if they have a good reputation, and are far likelier to be drawn towards them.

So, if you want to make sales, it’s a good idea to show off your branded goods.

Commodities – rare and unusual

As with branded items, bidders are going to find themselves enticed by rare and unusual items. Putting adjectives such as these in your descriptions will help point bidders in the direction of your wares and increase the likelihood of a sale.

Detailed descriptions

As well as making sure you fit in vital keywords throughout your copy, it’s also recommended that you write detailed descriptions. They should be both informative, interesting and honest.

Be careful to steer clear of exaggeration – overhyping something may win you sales, but it will also earn you a disgruntled customer if they don’t receive what was promised.

Another key thing to remember before you post your description is to ensure you’ve used spellcheck – bidders will be more likely to dismiss your listings if there are mistakes as it erodes trust.

Quality photos

Clear, accurate photos are crucial in online auctions. As bidders don’t get to see the item in person, they aren’t guaranteed to see every aspect of a piece. So, including a variety of photos, especially ones where particularly interesting details or flaws are on display, will help clinch you sales. It may help to include something to demonstrate scale if it’s not obvious so there’s no confusion.

If you have brand news goods to sell, you could include stock/catalogue images but buyers generally like to see actual photos of the piece in question so don’t rely solely on them.

If you want to be really professional, you can buy supplies such as a white background and special lighting to make your photos stand out.

The finishing touches

Once you’ve sold an item, you want to be sure it reaches its new home in tip-top condition. Ensure that you’ve packaged it correctly, as well as helping it to look its best. If it’s particularly fragile, invest in some appropriate packaging that will add cushioning and help to prevent any damage on route.

With this list in hand, you’ve got everything you need to get started selling in online auctions and earning yourself some money. Now head to our Seller Hub to get in on the auction action!