Buying WholesaleE-CommerceSalesSourcingSuppliers

Choosing a Supplier Series – Auction Houses

£ We want to help you understand the advantages, disadvantages of the different and making a supplier work for you to make your online business successful. Whether you sell on eBay, Amazon, OnBuy, your own Shopify site or one of the many other routes to market. Your success will start with the products you buy and who you purchase them from. We’re shining the spotlight here on Auction Houses

Advantages: You may the minimum market price, and often VAT free goods because it doesn’t apply if it is a house/estate clearance. Bargains are available frequently due to a short life cycle. Tier 1 retailers such as John Lewis or Amazon often go through auction houses because they will debrand/sell fast and they don’t need to worry about their premium brand disruption.

Disadvantages: No right to return (so long as viewing is available to inspect the goods). The goods can be in any condition, and that won’t necessarily be obvious from the listing. Auctions are time-consuming as even online you have to wait for your lot of interest to happen and there’s no set time except for the start. Delivery can also be difficult as few auction houses deliver themselves and expect you to organise with a courier.

Making an Auction House work for you.

Set up product alerts on the online platforms

Look carefully at the VAT and online fees

Be VERY AWARE you may not have a right to return

If something is not on a description, then it probably isn’t there, and beware “Like….” and “In the style of…”

Where to find: low end or high end

See the full blog series at the supplier section of the blog

Helen Parker is the Director of The Wholesale Forums
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