Noname Antiques » 10 Best Strategies To Win An Online Auction

10 Best Strategies To Win An Online Auction

If you really want to try your luck and place your bids on eBay or some similar auction site, first you’ll need to do a bit of research on your own, and get familiar with the rules. For a newbie, online bidding isn’t exactly an easy competition.

Online auctions are far more different than in-person auctions. The process is thrilling and exciting, but to triumph in the bidding war, you’ll need to take some time and learn how to win an online auction.

Luckily, when there is a will everything can be learned and overcome. Here comes some practical tips that will help you win an online auction without breaking your bank account.

Things You Need To Know About An Online Auctions

We can all agree that online auctions can offer a fun and convenient shopping experience. Live online auctions allow you to bid against other buyers, for a particular product, in a limited time frame. In most cases, online auctions are a great place to buy expensive items for discounted rates.

But discounted rates don’t mean cheap, the bidding principle is the same – the one who offered the highest bid will receive the item. However, there are a lot of benefits that make online auctions superior to in-person auctions:

  • You’ll save a lot of time and money, considering you won’t need to travel to an auction house, which sometimes can be across the globe.
  • You’ll avoid crowded rooms, noises, and unnecessary mingling by biding from the comfort of your home (this is extremely beneficial due to the recent COVID-19 epidemic).
  • Once again, you’ll save a lot of money since the atmosphere and auctioneers won’t lead you to step out of your maximum bidding limitations and make an unwise purchasing decision.
  • Online auctions always start slowly, but due to a short bidding time frame, they accelerate pretty quickly.
  • Embrace the fact that the current bidding price in most cases isn’t the actual value of the item. Sometimes, you’ll be lucky and purchase a product for an affordable price. In most cases, the price is too high and pumped up by demand.
  • Lastly, the online bidding system offers you options to set automatic bidding so you can attend multiple bidding auctions at the same time, and not miss out on the opportunity.

10 Best Strategies To Win An Online Auction

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A good strategy is how you’ll win an online auction. Therefore, let’s not waste any more time, instead let’s see how we can step up your bidding strategy.

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Set your maximum bidding amount before you start

The most important thing to do before starting auctions is to set limitations. Ask yourself what is the maximum amount of money you are okay with paying for a particular item? Control is absolutely necessary when you are bidding online.

When you are setting the maximum bidding amount, be reasonable. Consider things like the actual pricey value of the item. Is an item an antique or vintage piece? Maybe you are hunting for real estate auctions?

Never bid huge amounts of money above the actual value of the item, unless it’s something you really need and want.

Do market research beforehand!

When you are a complete newbie in some field the smartest thing to do is comprehensive research beforehand. Don’t hesitate to ask someone more experienced for advice and guidance.

Always attend the auction well prepared to avoid spending too much money, or setting an unreasonably low price. Try to find at least three trustworthy websites where you can check the prices of the valuable items you are interested in. This way you’ll be able to set the bidding amount that fits your budget the best.

Look out for early-selling products, their number of bids, and winning prizes to find out how big the demand for the product is. The bigger demand the higher price will be, and sometimes that price isn’t worthy.

Supervise your bidding process

The great thing about online auctions is that you can bid on multiple events at the same time. However, this isn’t always a good thing to do, especially if you aren’t very experienced.

Make time to check on your auction process pretty often if you are competing for something that means a lot to you. To win an online auction you’ll need some time, sometimes even days. Make a common practice to check on your biddings at least once a day to see if you need to increase your bid.

Proxy bidding

In case you won’t be in a position to check on your bidding process often, there is a solution. It is called proxy bidding. When you choose this feature, you set your maximum bid amount and then authorize your computer to continue bidding until it reaches your maximum.

This way you can at least hope you’ll stay on the track until you have time to check in and see if you need to rearrange your bidding amount.

Short auctions

Live bidding is a timed auction that can last from a few hours to several days or even weeks. The great thing is that before you enter the auction you’ll be able to see how long it will take. For starters, choose short auctions where you can practice your skills.

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It is easier to win auctions within a shorter period because there will be fewer people you’ll need to compete with. Since it’s short you will have time to oversee the process closely and learn along.

Be smart about choosing the bidding time

If you want to win an online auction you must play smart. Stop for a second and think about when is the perfect time to bid? The answer is in periods when people are too busy to attend the auctions.

The best times for bidding are early mornings since most people are getting ready for work. The next option is late afternoon when people are still at work or on their way home. Probably the best time is the middle of the night while everyone sleeps.

One more pro-tip: try to bid on auctions that end on a holiday. This is when people will be too busy and forget to check their bids for the last few minutes, so this is your chance to score the deal.

Never choose round amounts

Try this strategy the next time you set your maximum bid. Choose an odd number, or a fraction of a dollar, for instance. If your bidding amount is usually $350 this time set it for $353 or $350,67.

If you think about it carefully this easy and not-so-expensive change in strategy will allow you to jump over people who set the standard of $350.

Have patience and wait until the end

One of the most important factors when bidding on an auction, no matter if it is online or in-person, is patience. The best time to be present at the online auction is the very end, just a few minutes before the auction closes.

When you bid in the early stages you just increase the demand for the product and more people will see this item as potentially valuable. However, when you wait, you’ll have all the information in your hands. You’ll know exactly how much you’ll need to set in the final bid and how many people will potentially follow you.

Use the BIN price feature

A lot of online auction sites have already set or also called BIN prices. This option allows you to purchase the desired product immediately without bidding over it.  Web sites such as eBay, Flippa, and GoDaddy all have this “Buy Now” option.

When you find a lucrative BIN amount don’t think twice and purchase the product. It will save you a lot of time and nerves.

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Don’t get emotionally attached

Bidding wars are extremely exciting and can emotionally overwhelm you if you don’t learn how to control your urges. There are numerous examples of when people become attached to an item they desperately want and end up depressed and disappointed when they lost.

When you get emotionally attached, your judgment will be closed, so you risk spending too much money on an item that doesn’t worth a lot. Be objective, it is all fun and games until you make a big mistake.

Mistakes You Should Avoid Making While Bidding Online

Until now you realized that an online auction is far more fun and less stressful than an in-person version. However, the stakes remain the same, and only the highest bidder will win the prize. To enhance your chances make sure you avoid making these mistakes:

  • Biding your maximum amount at the first bid – This is a big no-no in the world of auctions. This won’t discourage your competition, in fact, it will motivate them to bid far more than you just did. Start the bidding low, and increase the pace steadily.
  • Bidding way more than you can afford – I don’t need to explain this a lot. It is simple if you don’t have the money you bid you will probably face severe penalties, maybe even a website ban for breaking the agreement.
  • Getting dragged into a bidding war –  It is clear as the day why this isn’t a good idea. You’ll end up spending too much money on an item you don’t really need, just because your ego was provoked.
  • Say no to illegal auctions – The Internet is a dark place, and some people encouraged by anonymity create fake online auctions. Avoid attending any auction that seems off to you. Make sure you only use verified and reputable online auction websites.


Auctions can be a great way to acquire items and products you wanted for far too long but didn’t have the chance to purchase before. Nothing can guarantee you’ll win in the end, but you can do all it takes to improve your bidding tactic and enhance your chances.

If you are experienced with online auctions, we would love to hear some first-hand advice from you. We are eagerly waiting for your response.

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