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An insider's guide on the top tips for becoming an expert at selling in online auctions, part two.
4 Mins

Top tips for selling at online auctions: part 2

Jacob Margiotta
Jacob Margiotta

Welcome to the second of our two-parter on nailing your online selling. Here we share some more of our insider tips to help you perfect your auction sales skills.

Be sure to run your spell check

Ensuring your spelling and grammar is correct is a crucial element of any listing.  It’s not a test, but poor spelling and grammar look unprofessional and make bidders think twice.

If a seller is careless with their spelling, are they careless with their goods? Don’t give them cause to doubt you! 

Grammarly or spell checker will help you keep on top of this if it’s not your strong point.

Let’s talk money

The biggest single reason why an item may be passed in auction is because the reserve price is set too high.

If you’re going to the trouble of listing an item, then you want to sell it. We will do everything we can to bring bidders to your virtual doorstep – and you don’t want them to waltz past to look at something else because your item looks overpriced. 

Bidders don’t see your reserve prices, but they can see if the current bid has met or exceeded the reserve price, so if there are 10 bids on your item and it’s still not there then they may well overlook it.

It’s an old adage that something is only worth what someone is willing to pay. The market will dictate the value of items more honestly than the owner.

Create competition amongst bidders by offering your items with no reserve or low reserves.

Wait a minute Mr Postman!

In this day and age with internet shopping creating buyer power, extra choice, and extra quick delivery – browsing shoppers will be more likely to bid on your item if you offer attractive delivery terms.

Consider offering free and tracked delivery. You should be able to obtain a quote for this service from a variety of couriers including Royal Mail for sending your item to mainland UK postcodes. If you are setting a reserve against your item, then add this quote to your reserve and include the Free Tracked Delivery in your description. 

If your item is offered with no reserve, then inform bidders in the description of the delivery estimate. It’s best to offer this at cost price – don’t look to make additional funds from the delivery as bidders can obtain their own quotes and will know if this is the case – another sure-fire way of turning them off.

Some items will clearly require a collection and or specialist transport. In that case arm the bidder with clear information that they will need – but remember collection only will limit the number of viewers who will be willing to bid and travel. Best to consult a haulier and obtain prices for delivery. Unless your item is specialist, you risk losing interest if you can’t deliver it.

Crucial customer service

You may have the best item ever offered in auction, and you may be letting it go at a bargain price – but if you don’t treat bidders with respect then you’re sure to lose out!

Be sure to respond promptly and patiently to enquiries. Nothing upsets a bidder more than not getting an answer to their question in the run up to the big day. A very slow answer isn’t much better. 

A staggering 82% of respondents stated that they would not bid on an item if they had submitted an enquiry which goes unanswered or is answered at the 11th hour. You have to build trust with bidders and communicating politely, patiently, quickly and clearly is the key to building confidence.

This is just as true after the sale as it is before, and where aftercare is appropriate, then simply listening respectfully will bring any unresolved issues to a close swiftly. 

Auctions are no longer a dumping ground where sellers can offload unwanted goods and then turn their back on them. The marketplace has developed, and customer care is a great way to get ahead of the competition, particularly if you are looking to become a regular seller who buyers will return to time and again. Don’t overlook this aspect of the selling process.

Get your customer service right, and you will be flying!

Shout about it!

We don’t charge anything for listing in our collective auctions, and 0% seller commission always. This allows sellers to list with fair prices knowing that you won’t lose the hammer price to the auction house. 

It also allows you to consider putting together a modest budget for additional marketing to get your lots in front of as many eyes as possible. This is where we really stand out from the crowd. Our in-house design team will create bespoke campaigns for your lots to suit a variety of budgets and these packages create results. 

A small spend here will bring more bidders to your lot – and create the perfect environment for them to compete while you sit back and watch the £££’s roll in! 

You can find out more about our marketing packages and register to get started on our page for sellers or contact us and one of our account managers will be in touch.