How to Make Money From Online Auctions

Make Money From Online Auctions

In this economy, it seems like everyone needs multiple side hustles. If you own valuable material items, or have access to such, you may be able to make money from online auctions.

However, nothing in life is ever that easy.

You must have quality material to sell, know where to sell it, how to sell, and know how to maximize your profitability potential.

Don’t have anything valuable to sell? Well, if you have storage space, there are many ways for you to source items free, or very cheaply, for you to then turnaround and then sell for profit.

If you become a dropshipper then you never even have to handle any merchandise or inventory and still make money from online auctions.

Still, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

You need to be realistic about your profitability potential with online auctions. Unless you have a lot of unwanted, valuable, or desirable items to sell, it will take time and strategy to profit.

Let’s start with the basics.

Make Money From Online Auctions 101

An online auction is a like a digital flea market on an internet platform. An online auction site facilitates between bidders, sellers, and the items to be sold.

The online auction site will take a small percentage for facilitating the auction and connecting bidders and sellers.

Individuals, businesses, and national retailers can sell items or surplus inventory on online auction sites.

You’ll be required to register, create a profile, provide a credit card and/or bank account number to get paid for winning bids.

Here are several online auction sites you can utilize:

Every online auction site has its own registration and fees process, so research thoroughly.

For example, Catawiki charges a 9% fee for every winning bid.

Make sure you understand these fee nuances for each site before you register.

Also keep in mind that you must stay updated on auction progress, updated bids, and network with bidders. Don’t just list an item and then forget about it until auction closing time.

Look at what bidders are buying on these websites. Get an idea of what people want and bid on so you can strategize what to sell.

Sourcing Items

Want to make money from online auctions? Well, you need something to sell first.

Inventory everything you own that might be of some value. Clothes, electronics, automobiles, everything in your storage unit – make a list of every sellable material item in your life.

Make Money From Online Auctions

Don’t mistake personal sentimentality with monetary value. Unless you’ve official appraisal authentication, don’t assume anonymous online bidders place the same monetary value on a prized family heirloom as you.

Don’t have any personal items to sell? There are many ways to source free, plentiful, and potentially valuable items.

Just make sure you have a truck, van, storage space, and patience.

Hit up every garage sale, and flea market in the vicinity. Network with everyone you know in your neighborhood to find out who is moving and giving away furniture and items.

Check every online classified site to look for individuals and businesses giving away items and/or surplus inventory.

You can also research local or nearby estate sales at Estatesales.net and Estatesales.org.

Estate sales are the state-sanctioned liquidation of residential properties due to bankruptcy and other court decisions. Do some detective work – some estate sale organizers give away lots of items they couldn’t sell.

Be creative. Did you know that unemployed, “nonessential,” workers are selling their office wardrobes to, “essential,” workers still working in offices?

Don’t get the idea that the gaudy velvet painting in your living room is going to sell for big bucks.

If you want to make money from online auctions, you must source enough quality materials to sell to bidders.

Speaking of which…..

Know Your Buyer (Bidder)

You must know your bidder, the potential auction buyer, before you make money from online auctions.

Bidders and sellers have to create online profiles to use an auction site. A public record of their activities, sales, buys, and reviews should also be publicly viewable on the auction site.

Check the profiles of people who bid on your items. Make sure they pay by an online payment service, credit card, or escrow arrangement.

Most importantly, check out what people are buying on the auction websites you sell items on.

You will get a good idea of what to charge for your items by doing this kind of research.

You must know your buyer before you can make money from online auctions.

However, there may be a way you can make money from online auctions without even having to worry about inventories.

Dropshipping for Auction Sites

Dropshipping is business method where a business facilitates their orders through a 3rd party orders vendor.

You may be able to work as a dropshipper for auction sites without having to deal with merchandise.

As a dropshipper, you are in charge of marketing, taking orders, shipping those orders, and keeping track of logistics for a business, retailer, or wholesaler.

Dropshippers may also be in charge of a website for the business and manage online traffic for orders.

You don’t have to keep items or inventories in stock. It’s your responsibility as a dropshipper to keep records and ship orders to customers.

The problem with dropshipping is that you must move a lot of orders to justify the work or make good money at it.

You don’t control the merchandise, so the auction site or seller controls how much profit you make per winning bid.

Make Money From Online Auctions

It won’t be a lot. Many people work as dropshippers – there may be multiple dropshippers working for the same auction site you serve.

Profits (Curb Your Enthusiasm)

OK – you’ve read through a lot of online auction strategies, techniques, and tips.


To help you deal with the hard reality easier.

Unless you hustle and are patient, you won’t make a lot of money from online auctions.

The first thing that you must keep in mind is that most people shop at online auctions to find bargains.

In fact, over 43% of online auction bidders are looking for bargains. Only about 21% of online auction bidders are looking for collectibles. Another 23% are looking for rare and hard-to-find items.

About 75% of bidders rarely spent $100 or more on online auctions.

Yes, that means there is a small percentage willing to pay more – but you must know what they want.

Know what you are selling and know what your potential buyers buy before selling anything.

This is a good reason to research various online auction sites and doing deep-dive research into what bidders buy and don’t buy.

Want to Make Money from Online Auctions? (Do Your Research)

Everyone needs to make extra money in this economy.

Just don’t waste your time with misguided efforts.

Source quality items to sell if you want to make money from online auctions. The more the better.

Remember that this will be a time-intensive endeavor. It will take time to source items, inventory them, list them for auction, and then to track auction progress.

Know your buyers, track their records on auction sites, and learn what sells and what doesn’t.

You can make money from online auctions.

It just won’t be overnight.

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Posted in: Career, Money, Online Income, Personal Finance

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