Step 1: Subscribe as a Seller
The process varies slightly depending on whether you are upgrading an existing Buyer Account, or signing up from scratch.
To sign up from scratch, click on Seller A/c in the top menu. Create a Username. This is your public "face" when you list auctions on the website - so take a moment to decide whether you wish to present a business name, a full real name, or a more anonymous "handle".
Enter a valid email address, choose a login password, then check the "I am a Seller too" radio button, which opens up additional Seller subscription fields. Enter your personal details and a Seller Shop Name: many private sellers will re-use their Username for simplicity; whereas business representatives may opt for their business name. Now click in the Shop URL box to create your shop webpage (the website address will be the same as your Shop Name, but in lower case letters).
Read & agree to our Terms & Conditions, then select either a Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum Subscription Pack from the drop down list, before clicking the REGISTER button.
Complete the Billing Details form, select Credit Card as the payment method, fill in your card details, then click the PLACE ORDER button.
You should receive immediate automatic email confirmation of your payment. Within 12 hours you should receive a follow-up email confirming activation of your live Auction Listing capability. After receiving this second email, if you login to your Seller Account, the left hand menu of your Seller Dashboard should now include a new item, "Auction Credits", which indicates how many new auction listings you have remaining.
To upgrade an existing Buyer Account, first login to Cellartrade via the Buyer A/c menu link. Then click the "Become a Vendor" link at the bottom of your Buyer Dashboard. Fill in your personal details similarly to above, then press the Become A Vendor button to submit those details. Now click on the Seller A/c button to visit your new Seller Dashboard page. To choose a Subscription Pack, click on the Subscription link in the left hand menu to view the four options, then press the Buy Now button for your chosen option.
Step 2: Create Your Seller Profile
Each Seller is assigned a public Seller Profile webpage on Cellartrade which is accessible to all Buyers looking at your individual auctions. So it is important to configure this webpage with your general terms & conditions of sale before listing any auctions. Take a look at existing Seller Profiles to get some ideas about the sort of information you might want to include. We would recommend that you consider at least the following information categories: acceptable payment method(s), UK delivery & collection options, refunds & returns policy, packaging & shipping methods, packaging & shipping charges, delivery timescales, insurance options, shipping consolidation policy (eg. reduced charges for shipping multiple auction lots together, maximum holding time for consolidation etc.), shipping overseas policy.
To set up your Seller Profile, login to Cellartrade via the Seller A/c menu item, then click on the Settings tab at the bottom of the Seller Dashboard menu. This presents you with a simple form for entering and editing your profile information and terms & conditions. After filling in the form, click the Update Settings button and then visit the Seller Profiles webpage to find and inspect your public profile and check that you are happy with it. If not, repeat the above process until you are content.
It's worth taking proper care about this, to avoid the need to re-visit and amend T&Cs after you've already listed some auctions. If you do need to amend T&Cs later on, please include a prominent "T&Cs change alert" message in your next few auctions, as a courtesy to Buyers.
Step 3: Create Your Auction Listings
To create a new auction listing, log in to Cellartrade via the Seller A/c menu item. In your Seller Dashboard, click on Auction in the left hand menu to visit your Auction Listings page. Then click on the Add New Auction Product button - this will load Cellartrade's simple but powerful Auction Creation form.
Start by clicking the Upload Product Image button, which brings up a new dialogue box. Click on Upload Files in the top left, then click the SELECT FILES button to access your computer's file directory and find & select the photo that you want to use. Once the photo has finished uploading, a tick mark appear next to it. You can now press the SET FEATURED IMAGE button to add this photo to your auction.
If you want to add supplementary photos, click the "+" box below the main image, and follow the same file upload sequence again. If you make a mistake and want to delete an image, hover over the image and a red cross appears, which you can click to remove it.
Enter the Auction Title and Lot Size into the boxes provided. Then select the correct Wine Category and Tax&Duty Status using the drop-down lists provided.
Enter your Starting Price and Minimum Bid Increment - these are mandatory fields. If you wish, you can also set a Reserve Price and/or a Buy It Now Price - these are optional fields.
Click in the Auction Start and Auction End boxes to bring up date & time pickers. You can start your auction using the "Now" and "Done" buttons, or at any specific future date and time of your choosing.
Use the large box at the bottom of the form to enter whatever additional information you wish - eg. provenance & condition information, critic scores.
Please double-check that all the information you've entered is correct and complete before clicking the Submit Auction button, because, once submitted, there is no user facility to amend or add information to your auction listing.
Step 4: Manage Your Sales
At the end of your auction, the winning bidder receives an automated email requesting them to submit their Buyer Details to you. (Daily reminder emails will continue until they do so). When they submit their details, you receive an email alert, and the new Order appears in the Orders tab of your Seller A/c Dashboard. (If you look in the Auction tab of your Dashboard, you will also notice that the Auction now displays as Out of Stock, confirming that it has been converted into an Order). At this point the new Order is set at On Hold in your Seller Dashboard.
You can now manage completion of the sale via the Orders tab of your Seller Dashboard. Click on the Order number to display the Order Details page. From here you can communicate directly with the Buyer by adding Customer Notes to the order - eg. confirming bank account details, confirming delivery charges, agreeing a delivery date, confirming dispatch etc. Each Note will generate an email to the Buyer, as well as being archived in your Seller A/c Dashboard and the buyer's Buyer A/c Dashboard.
The Order Details page includes a useful Tracking Number button through which you can record and share the courier details when you dispatch the wine.
Finally, don't forget to update the Order Status from On Hold to Complete when you do dispatch the wine!
Step 5: Deliver The Wines
There are a wide range of packaging and courier options for the shipping of wines within the UK, so we can only offer some general introductory advice to help inform your own research. Whatever you decide, we recommend that you clearly identify your delivery methods in your Seller Profile T&Cs.
Insurance against breakage of liquids in transit is hard or impossible to arrange, so it is vital to use good quality protective packaging. The three main options to consider are inflatable polythene sacs (eg. Airsac , Airpack , Airshock), expanded polystyrene (eg. Polysafe), or multi-layered cardboard (eg. Mailsafe).
Courier prices vary widely based on weight and/or volume, and guaranteed or best-endeavour delivery timescales. Some couriers to investigate are APC, UKMail/ipostparcels, Parcelforce/senditnow, and Royal Mail.
Step 6: Settle Up Commission Fees
Auction commission fees are payable monthly in arrears. On the 1st or 2nd of each month we will email you our invoice for the previous month's auctions, in accordance with the rates applicable to your current Subscription Pack. Payment terms are strictly 14 days by bank transfer to Cellartrade's account. Late payment will result in temporary suspension of your new auction listing capability until payment is received.