Sunday, February 5, 2012

Penny Auction 101 continued

If you missed part one you can go HERE to check it out.  It's a basic overview on what a penny auction is and what to look for.  In this post I will be giving some tips on things that I have learned.

1.  Watch the site before jumping in.  It's a good idea to get a feel for the other bidders.  I mentioned in the first post about powerbidders.  These are bidders that will seem to have unlimited bids and have no problem using them all on an auction.  You will want to watch for these bidders.  For me personally if I see an auction "tagged" by a powerbidder I don't bother bidding.

2. Tagging.  This is placing a bid on an auction early to let others know you will be there.  For example, there is an auction with a few hours left so you tag it by placing a bid.  This helps to keep others from thinking you are a jumper.

3.  Jumping.  This is when bidders have been bidding on an auction for a while and then you jump in at the end.  The reason this is looked down upon is because bids cost money.  If they have used a ton of bids and then someone jumps and wins the auction with a couple of bids, it can be quite frustrating.

4. Bids cost money!  When bidding please remember this especially on auctions without a buy it now feature.  Say there is an gift card up for auction with a retail value of $25.  The site this auction is on prices their bids at .50.  Now you and one other person are bidding against each other going back and forth raising the auction price a penny at a time.  The auction reaches $1.10 and time runs down and you win.  You think you just made a great deal by getting a $25 gift card for $1.10.....Wrong.  You just used 55 bids to win that auction and 55 x .50 equals $27.50.  You really paid $27.50 plus the $1.10 for a $25 gift card!

5. Buy It Now.  This is great for items that are highly wanted.   Highly wanted items will have a lot of bids and bids cost money.  What Buy it Now does is take the amount of your bids used and subtract it from the retail price.   So we'll use the the same example from before but now with a Buy it Now feature.  In regards to the bidder that lost, it would be very wise of them to use the feature because they will still get the card and not have to pay the auction price.

6. Shipping and other hidden fees.  Always, always, always check for shipping.  If the shipping cost is not labeled on the auction, I walk away.  You don't want any surprises with shipping or other "admin fees."   Buy it Now does not include shipping cost.

I told you before there was etiquette and math involved!  Now by reading this does not mean you are an expert.  Still make sure to read and observe before taking the plunge.  Once you find a site you like, you can do really well but it all takes time.

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