The logic of bidding


auction buttonDifferent people have different bidding strategies, and all have their pros and cons.

Bid early, bid small, bid often. When you see something you like on a bidorbuy auction, do you immediately go and place the lowest bid possible? And then manually place a higher bid every time you are outbid?

If you answered yes, some experts would put you in the category of novice bidders (in other words, bidders who do not know any better) because, they claim, this bidding strategy only attracts competition.

Not so, say other experts. According to them, the fact that an auction already has a bid sends a clear message to the potential competitors to stay away and look for easier prey (pardon, bargain).

In any case, if you subscribe to this bidding strategy, beware of the biggest pitfall: you might get carried away and start bidding against competition (as opposed to bidding for an item).

Place one big early bid. Did you ever try placing one impressive bid as the auction opens? Those who did say it can scare off the competition, allowing you to sit back undisturbed until the auction ends… with you as the winner. The emphasis here is, of course, on the word can.

Place one big late bid. This one-bid strategy involves bidding the highest amount you are willing to offer a few seconds before the listing ends. The rationale behind this is that your competition will not have time to react, leaving you the winner.

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Sniping, as this method is called, only works with online auctions that have a definite ending time (a “hard close”). Sellers on bidorbuy can (and most do) opt for a “soft close”. These auctions cannot be sniped, because the closing time extends automatically until several minutes have passed without a bid.

Automate it. When you set up your auto bid on bidorbuy, you tell the system to bid for you, much along the “bid early, bid small, bid often” strategy. The advantage is that you need not baby-sit the auction. Instead, you can sit back and let the automatic bid feature do the bidding for you. Plus, the system will not get caught up in “bidding wars” and over the maximum amount you specified.

The downside being, you might lose a coveted item by a small margin…

Conclusion. Whatever strategy you decide to embrace, the hard truth is that the prize goes to the highest bidder. Online auction sites stats also show that 30% of bids are placed in the last 5% of the auction’s lifetime. The takeaway being: make sure your time is in agreement with the bidorbuy official time; refresh the auction page often; and opt to have outbid alerts SMS-ed to you.

Even with the best of strategies, you may not always win, so better enjoy the process! And if you don’t… consider steering clear of auctions and buying at a fixed price, the items that have a Buy Now icon next to them.