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Top tips for bidding in buying in online auctions.
3 mins

Top tips for buying from online auctions


First of all you want to be sure you’re bidding somewhere you can trust, so as you’re reading this on our website, you’re already off to a good start! 

Here at William George you’ll find essentials you need for your home, as well as those extra special pieces you can’t find elsewhere. Take a look at our top tips and you’ll be bidding like a pro…


It’s a date


Once you’ve got your eye on an auction catalogue then register to bid, make a note of the lot numbers you’re interested in and the end day and time of the auction. We’ll send you a reminder on the day the auction ends so you can’t forget! If you won’t be around when the auction ends then you can place a maximum bid and let the system take care of things in your absence. If someone else places a bid, the system will automatically outbid them up to your maximum bid amount.


If you are free on the date and time that the auction ends then whack open your laptop and start placing your bids, it’s best not to cut it too fine but bidding in the final hours could give you a head start on those who have forgotten to check back! If someone places a bid in the final 10 minutes of the end time, then the timer will reset to a full 10 minutes to give the chance to respond. This replicates an ‘in the room’ auction, ‘going once, going twice, gone!’.


Most auctions run for a minimum of 2 weeks so you’ll have plenty of time to familiarise yourself with the lots and do your research…

Get familiar with the format


Is the auction no reserve? If so then the lot will go for whatever the maximum bid is when it ends. If there are reserves, then this will be blind at William George, meaning you won’t know what the reserve is until you meet it. If you bid below the reserve, bear in mind that the lot will not sell until the reserve is met, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to get your hands on it once the auction ends even if it didn’t meet reserve during the auction.


Do your research


Take a look at the items you’re interested in, and compare them with some similar auctions in the same category to get a feel for what’s on offer and at what kind of price. You might also be able to find the original RRP online to give you a gauge for how much of a discount you could be getting!


Some auctions have duplicate lots, like household goods, which is great news as you’re more likely to fend off any competition and secure your lot! You won’t have this benefit with art, jewellery and antiques so you’ll need to employ some of our other tips to win these at the right price…


Want to know more?


With certain special items you might want a detailed condition report, or measurements and these don’t appear on the listing for any reason then get in touch. We’ll ask whatever it is you need to know and get you the info you need to make those all important decisions about placing your bid.


Take a chance  


Buying raw returns is a gamble but if you’re willing to take a chance then it’s a great way to get hold of stock at rock bottom prices. Pallet auctions can also be a great investment as you can bag bundles of stock at once, and if you’ve got the space then why not go for a whole truck load to get the best value?! That’s around 25 pallets of stock with less bidders as you’ll need a storage unit or warehouse for that level, meaning even lower winning bids!  


Dust the toolbox off


Just because an item is listed as used, don’t scroll by without taking a closer look. It could be that it is an item with some history, like an antique or it’s simply a customer return which may have been opened/assembled but is in great condition. If it means you can get a bargain, then ask yourself if you mind if something has small imperfections?


Some items may be in need of some TLC, if you are DIY savvy then you can get some massive discounts and after a bit of tinkering your item could be as good as new. There’s likely to be less competition too as bidders who don’t know a hammer from a spanner are less likely to bid, which is a bonus!


So what are you waiting for?


Our inbox is always open for questions about any of our lots in auction, or just for a chat about buying in auction, so feel free to contact us anytime and we’ll be happy to help.


Now you’re fully up to speed on how to bid and win at great prices  take a look at what you could be bidding on now in our live auctions!