10 tips for winning an auction



Buy-nows are starting to dominate bidorbuy.co.za, the marketplace which was launched as an online auctions-only platform back in 1999. Currently, auctions make about 16% of all items listed and about 59% of all items sold on the site. The rest are buy-nows. (We left classifieds out of this equation; read more about the types of bidorbuy listings here.)

But what if you are passionate about acquiring rare objects like collectibles? Or if you are a dedicated bargain hunter? Or if you really enjoy the excitement of the bidding process?

Then this post is for you. First, we suggest reading our post on general bidorbuy shopping tips, called 8 shopping tips from experienced bidorbuyers. Then come back here and learn how to plan and execute masterful auction-winning campaigns.

In principle, nothing could be easier than winning an auction on bidorbuy. All you have to do is offer more than your competitors.

The catch, of course, is that you want to win an auction and get a bargain. Not to worry. That can be done too. It’s done on bidorbuy each and every day, even as you read this!

While not 100% sure-fire, these tips will help you get your hands on what your heart desires without breaking the bank:

shopping on bidorbuy

  1. Automate your bids. This works best for people who know what they want and how much they are prepared to pay for it. The bidorbuy system allows you to automate your bidding by specifying the maximum amount. bidorbuy will increase your offer to beat the competition, but only to the limit you set. The advantages are twofold: 1) you do not need to constantly watch the auction and 2) you can participate in two or more auctions that end at the same time.
  2. Bid late. An auction that has bids on it becomes hot and attracts the attention of other bidders, thus raising the price. So, try to place your bid in the last five minutes.
  3. Offer an odd amount. When making a bid on an item, most people go for a round number. By offering just a few rands more than the bidding increment, you significantly improve your chances of winning the auction. For example, if the increment is R100, offer an amount that’s R103 (not R100) higher that the current highest bid.
  4. Search by lowest price. The bidorbuy R1 auction events that end at a preset time (Crazy Wednesday and Snap Friday) have hundreds of items listed. It can happen that something you want escapes the attention of other bidders. Wait until the last hour and then search by lowest price to see if you can grab a bargain.
  5. Add shipping fees. It’s no use to get the item you want at the best possible price… only to discover that it the seller is overseas and that shipping is consequently too high. Always factor in the cost of delivery to see if you are really getting a bargain. It is against bidorbuy rules to overcharge on shipping fees, so if the rate seems unreasonably high to you press on the Report a problem button included in every listing.
  6. Buy local. You can buy items from bidorbuyers who live near you, thus saving on shipping fees. Just filter your browsing or your search by Location (find this filter in the left hand column).
  7. Snatch overlooked items. In other words, cash in on seller’s carelessness! A misspelled word in the title can result in fewer views and fewer bids, which is your chance to secure it at a great price.
  8. Browse other listings. Items that the sellers placed into a section called Other (almost every category and subcategory have them) usually get less bids. That is your chance to find a bargain, so devote some time to browse these “Other” sub-categories.
  9. Set alerts. Click on the Watchlist link included in every listing to have outbid alerts SMSed to you, courtesy of bidorbuy’s SMS alert service.
  10. Get the app. Of course, the best way to conduct your auction-winning campaigns is to download the bidorbuy app on your smartphone through the App Store or Google Play. Then bid on items wherever you are and never miss out on a bargain just because you’re away from your computer.

All that remains is for you to apply these 10 tips. Let us know on our Twitter account what great bargains you snatched. Just hashtag your tweet with #bidorbuyFind.