How to Win an Online Auction: Draw on These Feasible Winning Strategies

How to Win an Online Auction

Whether you’ve been at it for a while now or you are looking to get started, auctions are a great way to build your antique collection as a collector. Online auctions are especially practical as long as you master the basics and today, you are one step away from finding your next antique or vintage collectible- a furniture piece, sewing machine, Jelly mold, artwork, anything that tickles your fancy!

We share easy tips and useful tips on mastering online bidding, and raise your chances of winning online bids from the comfort of your couch in a trouble-free and safe manner from genuine auction sites.

The Online Bidding Cheat Sheet

​​That an online auction is a rare shopping experience is no doubt. A collector is not the only one eying a particular treasure at that time, there are many other potential customers and if you are keen, most auctions will always have a time limit. Also, like any bid, it can get quite tough at the end as the item’s price goes up pretty fast then or simply deciding what price to bid.

For these reasons, you probably can’t wait to dig into the nitty gritties of online bidding but first, let’s take a look at things to remember or keep in mind as you prepare your collector soul for all the gems that are about to come your way. So how long do online auctions last? You will need to know this so you position yourself right for that win.

Let us dive quickly into the different forms of online auctions, what they are and how they work.

Online Live Auctions

In a contrary setting, bidding will last as long as those present keep bidding for the item. The bid closes and the lot is closed when the auctioneer is certain that there isn’t going to be any higher bid that’s been locked out. It isn’t any different in an online live auction with the only distinguishing element being lots are listed online before the auction. Such great news, right?!

As a collector you get to see and ask about the item. Even better, you can try placing proxy bids beforehand so you can be prepared. In online live auctions, the bidding time is set and you get to bid for a collectible in real time with an auctioneer monitoring the entire process.

How so cool to get the best of both live and online worlds, and in real time!

Timed Auctions

In timed auctions, the auction is also online but the sale doesn’t happen at once. It runs on online auction sites like eBay for a said time period, usually a week so collectors aren’t bidding every minute of that time.

90-second Auctions

This form of online auction takes on a similar approach to Timed auctions with a variation. Which twist is this we are referring to? A 90 seconds bidding period. 90 Seconds you wonder? Yes! Only, with every high bid, the bidding period extends.

Buyers have these few seconds gained to raise the bid, against which the winner is declared. They always get a large quantity of goods for lower prices. It’s such a steal if you ask us. Who wouldn’t want to stay entertained while having the greatest shopping adventure of their life?

While these three forms are great, they have their downsides. For instance, there are 90-second auction sites that do penny auctions which may or may not cost the bidder a fee for placing bids. As for timed auctions, this form of auction invites buyers who place quite high bids at the start and scare off other bidders or those who wait to bid as the sale draws to a close.

Also, the timed auctions are automated and there isn’t any online human interaction with the bidders.

13 Tips For Online Auction Bidding

As you’ve probably noticed by now, winning an online auction can be overwhelming if you don’t have your bidding facts right. Auction sales offer the easiest means to shop online but you aren’t really restocking your toiletries this time and so you ought to pay attention to the exercise. When you bid, the price isn’t fixed like most retail prices so you can save a lot by simply starting to enjoy live auctions.

From anywhere in the world, at the convenience of your home, here are some effective online bidding strategies you don’t want to leave out as you prepare to be a new collectible owner because your pockets will thank you and you will also thank you.

#1 Do Your Research

When you see this beautiful vintage designer watch on auction online, don’t let your anxiety trick you into immediately placing a bid. Sit with it a little, a day even. Don’t they say what’s yours will always be yours? But seriously though, if you have to GET it that day, then take some time and do your research.

One of the ways to figure out the most sensible bidding price is to compare the price of already sold similar items online. Look out for online guides because your item may be listed. In short, don’t be a lazy collector and waste your hard earned money or miss out on owning an old item because you don’t like the idea of having Google as your friend.

Please make it your close friend and make sure to know what your maximum bid will be before you begin.

#2 Set Your Budget

If it sounds like we are saying the same thing we’ve already said above, it is only because we wouldn’t recommend for you to bid at a value that’s way higher than the item’s actual value. It would be tragic, don’t you think?

Do you want to avoid getting swept up in the competition’s heat and end up overspending? Then the secret is the one we all already know when it comes to spending those coins in this hard economy; set your budget limit and stay within!

#3 Retail Therapy Is Actually a Thing

If you are to succeed with your efforts at sticking to your budget at an online auction, then you must by all means avoid involving your emotions when bidding. Beware, you might get attached to an item or like most people, to the idea of winning.

So again, set your limit, stick to it and stay impartial if at all you want to win at online auctions.

#4 Know Your Market

You might want to ensure that you know an item’s market well since when most items are in demand, say, sport memorabilia, these collectibles will be of high value or will be cheap or costly but inauthentic. We would tell you to pick your poison but then there’s a chance for you to learn about an item’s market by carrying out research.

Oh shoot! Did we already mention research? We did!

#5 Understand How A Specific Online Auction Works

We’ve already seen that there are different forms of online auctions and so if one is to win and benefit from an online auction, they must know and understand how it works. Different online auction forms will require different bidding strategies.

#6 Pay Up Fast, but at the End

A smart buyer knows not to sit on a bid for too long or wait too long to place it because these two factors influence online auction wins a great deal. It might be luck but if a collector has got their facts right, they will always know beyond which point they ought not push as they watch the bid.

It really is a matter of adorning confidence and knowing how to balance that with patience. Unless you want to make use of the easiest hack, which is bid automation.

#7 Bid Automation

Some sites offer a chance to carry out proxy bidding which is basically automated bidding. You set your maximum bid and automate your computer to do the bidding for you up to your maximum bid. This way you don’t have to keep checking where the bidding is at, so you can place your bids. Saves one a good chunk of time and energy if we’re being honest.

#8 Do Shorter Auctions Mean Winning Bids?

Hear us out. When you don’t have to wait seven days to know if you won a bid, less time is wasted monitoring that bid. Second, having a shorter time before the bid closes off means you will focus on it for that time and give it your all, increasing your chances of winning the bid.

Also, fewer people are bidding for items with a short bidding period which makes the competition less stiff and your chances of winning more.

#9 Go Odd and Go Early

One rule that applies to the odds of winning an online auction is going odd, by which we mean bidding to an odd number. If there are two possible winners with a bid set at $400, the one who bid $400.01wins. Be different, be odd. That’s how people win at life too!

Also, bidding at times when people are busy with other things like early morning and midnight increases your chances of winning.

#10 Don’t Give Up Those Winnings

Now, don’t let bidding be something you only do to pass time when bored and for the fun of it. When you bid and win then bail out on your win, you are inconveniencing the seller a great deal. Here’s a simple rule to live by: Don’t bid if you’re completely sure you want a specific item.

#11 Widen Your Search

Sometimes you see an item and can’t stop thinking about it so you buy it immediately or save its screenshot and link for when you have your money ready. But that day may not come or when it does, the item won’t be waiting around for you. It most likely will have found its new home. So, what to do?

Widen your search. There are other auctions in different places that may have that item as well and the demand is probably lower meaning you’ll have a head start at winning its bid.

#12 Low-Ball Bidding

This tip comes highly endorsed for buyers who have already tried their hand at online auctions and isn’t recommended for first time buyers. A buyer who is looking to take several different items for their home collection or shop will low ball multiple different items with the hope of landing a good deal.

The Englishman said not to put all your eggs in one basket, didn’t he? You have to be sure of the items though because once you have won the bid, it will show on your credit card balance!

#13 Whoop It Up

Whatever you do, you have no reason not to enjoy an online auction because you have the tips to make it worthwhile. Even if you lose that bid, you will have tried and that’s something to enjoy too.

Leading Online Auction Sites

With the increasing popularity of online shopping and online live auctions, there are several sites that cater to just that – antique/vintage collectibles. Most will even go as far as categorizing the specific items so you can easily find what you’re looking for, say cigar boxes.

Here are five online bidding sites for you to check out and register free online account with:

Final Thoughts on Online Bidding

There is no doubt a buyer’s goals and personality determines their bidding style but the tips shared in this post will differentiate an ignorant collector from one who wins one successful bid after another.

  • If you forget everything else from this post, always remember;
  • Bidding heightens as the time limit draws by.
  • Bidding doesn’t always show the true value (there are factors like demand which influence an item’s price).
  • Don’t bid more than you are able or ready to pay
  • You can get almost anything antique or vintage online. You just have to exert your bidding self in an online auction!

What are you waiting for? Go win that bid.

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