When you hear the term “online auctions” brought up, one site that probably comes to mind is eBay. Being the longest-running online auction site in the UK and around the globe, it’s very popular to buy and resell job lots on eBay. As a reseller or sole trader in the UK, it’s good to know the old reliable sites like eBay, but it doesn’t hurt to diversify your buying and selling channels. While the general premise is the same with online auctions, there are always slight differences between sites.

In this post, we’ll break down a few different websites to help you find the best auction site for your inventory needs.

i-bidder

I-bidder has surplus auctions across consumer goods like electronics, mobile phones, homewares, tools, general merchandise, and apparel. Bidders can also browse much more like collectables, plant & machinery, food & beverage equipment, industrial, and even cars. This site’s setup is different in that they feature auctions from different auctioneers or associations listing on their platform. There are also live webcasts and timed online auctions within the United Kingdom and the United States.

eBay

As we mentioned earlier, eBay is far and wide the most well-known online auction site since its founding in 1995. According to the Department for International Trade, 80% of products sold on the platform are new. This means if you have ex-catalogue inventory or surplus stock that you’d like to sell on eBay, you’ll be a hot commodity. And if you’re looking to source, you can count on trustworthy seller ratings. However, bear in mind that there are 152 million potential buyers. That’s a lot of other interested parties that might be looking for the same inventory.

UK Auctioneers

UK Auctioneers has live auctions and also those that are not broadcast live. For those not broadcast live, you can choose to forward your bid online and avoid the live bidding fee. On this site, you can also set up lot alerts that will be scanned for in every catalogue uploaded to the site within a 24 hour period. The biggest drawback is that there is no emphasis on bulk buying. So if you’re looking for pallets or job lots in the UK, this isn’t the site for you.

John Pye Auctions

John Pye lists public, luxury, and property auctions for inventory like returns, overstocks, ex-display, and police seizures. Depending on the inventory type, it can be previewed on their site before bidding, or in person. Grade A stock, which is sealed and boxed, cannot be viewed; while Grade B stock, which includes returns, can be publicly viewed. Different auctions will be listed from different salesrooms, in one, you could have clearance stock like bike wheels and helmets, and the next you could have furniture and kitchen appliances. (See an example below.) Finally, the buyer’s premium fee is usually 22% to 25%.

online auction site

eBid

eBid is a site out of the United Kingdom that competes directly with eBay. The site has a basic fee of 3% of the final sale price without the costs of shipping. You can buy and sell within categories like antiquities, books, office supplies, clothing, footwear, accessories, computers, tablets, health & beauty, home & garden, sporting goods, and so much more. One of the greatest things about eBid is the ability to sell or buy in different niches. This online auction site also has BuyNow options, as well as the ability to “Make an Offer,” which can be an appealing option for those items you don’t want to enter into a bidding war over.

Choose between Seller or Seller+ account plans and enjoy different advertising options, free photos, and customer invoicing systems. Finally, the site allows you to maintain up to five stores, which helps you to target your preferred audience faster.

B-Stock Supply Europe

B-Stock Supply Europe is a multi-seller marketplace where approved buyers can purchase returned, excess, and refurbished inventory from hundreds of different sellers all in one place. Sellers on B-Stock Supply Europe range from Fortune 500 companies to small or medium-sized businesses. Buyers also have access to comprehensive manifests that easily shows you the inventory and its real value, consistent product conditions, and dedicated support. Plus, you can browse a variety of inventory from cell phones and furniture to apparel and grocery!

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Are online auction sites right for me?

Depending on how much inventory you’re looking for, and in what condition, the answer could be yes…or no.

If you’re looking to secure a lot of inventory at once but without the bidding, there are plenty of sites that cater to wholesale buyers in the UK. However, you are subject to markups and fixed prices. If that doesn’t send like your cup of tea, you can go with liquidation pallets! Ex-catalogue stock, also known as surplus stock, as well as clearance stock and retail customer returns, are available by the pallet and at auction prices. You end up saving a significant amount this way than individually buying goods to resell.

On B-Stock, we have some of the UK’s leading retailers that list their liquidation or retail clearance up for auction—this ensures you only pay what you want! Plus, with lot manifests you can see exactly what you’re buying and how much of it. This helps you manage your inventory better and calculate your potential reselling profits. Get registered on B-Stock Supply Europe when you submit a valid VAT number and start browsing online auctions today!

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"I feel so confident shopping and bidding on items knowing that I am going to get what I paid for. And if not, there’s a killer customer service team that’s going to make sure everything’s alright in the end. That’s huge. It’s hard to take that risk when you’re first starting out."

Amberly Bliss, Owner

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