Monday, December 5, 2016

10 Tips for Successful Bidding at Online Auctions

Online auctions are a great way to purchase items these days. Sites suchas Ebay, UBid or Yahoo auctions can find you that perfect product you arelooking for. However, not everything you buy is top quality, nor iseveryone who sells ethical. Before actually bidding on an item, there are10 things you should do.

1. Know what you are bidding on, and what its value really is. If it is anitem seen in retail stores, make sure the price is reasonable, especiallyif you are going to be paying shipping. Make note of whether the item inquestion is a new,reconditioned or used product. This will help you come up with your maximum price.

2. Check multiple online auctions sites before placing a bid. Professional auctioneers will list the same item on multiple sites, andthose sites that are not as popular as Ebay may have a lower price for thesame exact item. Often there are less bidders as well at these sites,which will give you a greater probability of getting your item at a lowerprice.

3. View the merchant’s rating. Most auction sites have a rating system for sellers which is based on buyer feedback. Note how many transactions that the merchant has had. A 98% satisfaction rating on a merchant with 400 transactions holds more weight than a merchant with 100% satisfaction rate with 3 transactions. Also, if you can view the complaints, see what they
were specifically, such as slow shipping or if the item was not asspecified.

4. Check what type of warranty the seller offers. Be wary if you have toaccept a product when no replacement is offered if the item is defective. Reputable sellers will have some sort of replacement procedure if youritem arrives broken, or if you are unsatisfied with it.

5. Understand the payment options. Some merchants only accept certaintypes of payments, such as PayPal. Others accept credit cards, checks,money orders, etc. You need to make sure that you are able to pay with theproper method of payment. If you win a bid and cannot pay, this can result in your auction account being cancelled.

6. Read the product description thoroughly. If there isn’t quite enough information for you, contact the seller. They should be happy to give youmore information if you request it. You are spending money, so get all theinformation you need!

7. Know what your maximum price is for the item, and stick to it. Do notget into a bidding war, as you will end up paying much more than you should. Also take into account what the shipping cost is when calculatingyour maximum bid. Most sellers have the shipping cost in the product description, or will provide a UPS or USPS calculator for you to calculate shipping.

8. Take note of when the auction starts and ends. Also note the shippingtime (which most sellers note for you). This way you can decide if thetime it will take for you to actually receive the item is acceptable for you to place a bid.

9. Don’t be afraid to bid early. Putting in a bid will show others thatyou are interested in an item, enough to ‘stake your claim’, but don’t bid your maximum right away. This may make bidders who have a lower maximim bid move on to another listing of this item which has no bids.

10. Keep checking on your bid. Many auction sites have an option to doautomatic bidding for you up to your maximum, however there are advantagesto doing it manually. You can watch a bid right near where it ends and put in your bids to grab the item. Some bidders may not be paying attention to when the auction ends, or may have reached their maximum already. You can also invest in auction software called ‘sniping’ software. This automates the bidding for you in the last 5 minutes of an auction to get in the very last bid. Of course, others who use this type of software can makingbidding frustrating for you!

Follow these 10 tips and you should have a successful bidding experience -even if you don’t win the auction!

Labels: 10 Tips for Successful Bidding at Online Auctions

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