Online auctions have been around for a long time, but maybe you’ve been hesitant about becoming a buyer until now. You can find just about anything now in online auctions – from clothing to cars, real estate, and industrial equipment. The best thing about it is that there are many opportunities to score deals on new items, used items, and even that rare item you’ve been on the hunt for.
Here are a few tips to help you get started…
Go to smaller online auction sites. Sure, you could probably still find bargains in larger markets like eBay, but it’s the smaller sites that have the hidden treasures because there’s less bidding competition. A good place to start is to do an Internet search for companies in your local area that run auction sites.
Put in an initial bid to gauge interest in an item. There are two types of auction bidders: 1) the bidder who likes to be one of the first people to bid and 2) the bidder who waits until the last day or last few minutes to bid. If there’s an item you’re interested in, put in an initial bid to see if there are other people watching the item. Many people feel that “need” to have the current winning bid, so they will start putting in their bids. The more activity there is on an item, the more challenging it may be to score a good deal.
This brings us to our next tip…
Don’t get sucked into a bidding war. When finding good deals through online auctions, the last thing you want to do is get caught up in the excitement of bidding. This happens all the time, especially towards the end of an auction and people end up spending much more than they should have on an item.
Set a max bid and stick to it. Most online auctions sites allow you to set a maximum bid so that you don’t have to keep checking on an item to see if someone has outbid you. The system will automatically bid on your behalf up until your max bid. It’s basically a set it and leave it system, which prevents you from overbidding on an item. They key here is actually sticking with that max bid, though.
Check the shipping price before placing a bid. It may look like a bargain, but it’s actually not because the shipping cost is too high. On sites like eBay you’ll often find sellers who charge a very low “Buy It Now” price to entice people to bid on/purchase an item, but come to find out they are overcharging for shipping.
Stay away from penny auction sites. You’ve probably seen the television ads for these types of online auction sites where you can get brand new electronics and other high-ticket shiny items for pennies on the dollar. These auctions are very enticing because they start at $0.00. You have to buy bids, though, and they offer packages like 100 bids for $50. If you don’t win an item, you lose money from all those bids you placed. Even if you do win an item, it only gives you the right to buy the item at the final winning price.
Scoring good deals through online auction sites takes a little research, time, and patience, but as you become more comfortable with the process you’ll find that it’s really fun! We invite you to browse through all of our online auction events where you’ll definitely find treasures and bargains.