10 Tips For Successful Bidding
Knowing how to bid at an online auction is just as important as what you are bidding on!
Online auctions are a great way to purchase items these days.
Sites such as ALLBIDS, Ebay, UBid or Yahoo auctions can find you that perfect product you are looking for.
However, not everything you buy is top quality, nor is everyone who sells ethical. Before actually bidding on an item, there are 10 things you should do.
1. Know what you are bidding on, and what its value really is. If it is an item seen in retail stores, make sure the price is reasonable, especially if you are going to be paying shipping. Make note of whether the item in question is a new,reconditioned or used product. This will help you come up with your maximum price.
2. Check multiple online auctions sites before placing a bid. Professional auctioneers will list the same item on multiple sites, and those sites that are not as popular as Ebay may have a lower price for the same exact item. Often there are less bidders as well at these sites,which will give you a greater probability of getting your item at a lower price.
3. View the merchant’s rating. Most auction sites have a rating system for sellers which is based on buyer feedback. Note how many transactions that the merchant has had. A 98% satisfaction rating on a merchant with 400 transactions holds more weight than a merchant with 100% satisfaction rate with 3 transactions. Also, if you can view the complaints, see what they were specifically, such as slow shipping or if the item was not as specified.
4. Check what type of warranty the seller offers. Be wary if you have to accept a product when no replacement is offered if the item is defective. Reputable sellers will have some sort of replacement procedure if your item arrives broken, or if you are unsatisfied with it.
5. Understand the payment options. Some merchants only accept certain types of payments, such as PayPal. Others accept credit cards, checks,money orders, etc. You need to make sure that you are able to pay with the proper method of payment. If you win a bid and cannot pay, this can result in your auction account being cancelled.
6. Read the product description thoroughly. If there isn’t quite enough information for you, contact the seller. They should be happy to give you more information if you request it. You are spending money, so get all the information you need!
7. Know what your maximum price is for the item, and stick to it. Do not get into a bidding war, as you will end up paying much more than you should. Also take into account what the shipping cost is when calculating your maximum bid. Most sellers have the shipping cost in the product description, or will provide a UPS or USPS calculator for you to calculate shipping.
8. Take note of when the auction starts and ends. Also note the shipping time (which most sellers note for you). This way you can decide if the time it will take for you to actually receive the item is acceptable for you to place a bid.
9. Don’t be afraid to bid early. Putting in a bid will show others that you are interested in an item, enough to ‘stake your claim’, but don’t bid your maximum right away. This may make bidders who have a lower maximum bid move on to another listing of this item which has no bids.
10. Keep checking on your bid. Many auction sites have an option to do automatic bidding for you up to your maximum, however there are advantages to doing it manually. You can watch a bid right near where it ends and put in your bids to grab the item. Some bidders may not be paying attention to when the auction ends, or may have reached their maximum already. You can also invest in auction software called ‘sniping’ software. This automates the bidding for you in the last 5 minutes of an auction to get in the very last bid. Of course, others who use this type of software can making bidding frustrating for you!
Follow these 10 tips and you should have a successful bidding experience – even if you don’t win the auction!