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4 Essential Bidding Strategies

Auctionopia offers your "perfect auction experience" – and experience is fun, but you want to WIN.  Getting a good deal from the seller is only part of the process; you also need to know how to bid competitively against other buyers.  Some buyers prefer squatting – bidding on an auction early in its duration and countering each new bid with a higher one, all the way through the auction.  Other buyers snipe, lying in wait to sneak in and win the auction with a last-minute bid.  So which is the best move?  Here's four essential strategies to bring with you into your next bidding war.

#1 - Set your maximum bid and stick to it.  Decide how much you are willing to spend on the product.  Think about how much it is worth to you; consider how much you want or need the item, as well as its market value.  Once you have set your maximum bid, do not go over it, and never spend more than you can afford on a product.

#2 - Know when to squat.  If you are bidding on consumer goods, when similar items or even more of the same item may be available in other auctions, squatting is often a good strategy.  Because competition tends to drive up price, many bidders will choose an auction with fewer bidders when the choice is available.  Choose the auction with the fewest bidders and stake out your territory.  Bid close to your maximum, but leave yourself some room for last-minute bidding wars.

#3 - Know when to snipe.  When bidding on antiques, collectibles, handmade items, or jewelry, similar items may not be available, so competition is unavoidable.  Sniping can be a good strategy in this situation.  Bidding too early will drive competition and raise the price, especially if other bidders are using a squatting strategy.  Potential bidders look at the current bid and the number of bidders in order to obtain information about the item’s value; try not to give your competitors information sooner than you have to.

#4 - Be there for the endgame.  No matter which bidding strategy you adopt, pay close attention at the end of the auction.  Almost a third of bids in most auctions are placed in the last five minutes.  If last-minute bidders are lying in wait to snipe your auction, you need to be there to counter them in time.  Only the last bid in an auction matters.

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Providing ongoing advice and info for both buyers and sellers, as well as insider commentary on all things e-commerce. Join your fellow 'Opians here and get in the conversation!