To Bid or Not to Bid

To bid or not to bid– that is the question. Once you start bidding, should you continue to add more bids or would you be better off saving your bids for the next auction?

Successful bidders learn how to pay attention to details to help answer these questions and make wise decisions.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Do you need this product, or would it make an awesome gift for a family member or friend?
  • If you do not win this auction, can you afford to buy it to get all your bids back? If you cannot afford to buy it, how many bids are you willing to risk losing in an effort to win?
  • How many people are in the same auction? Once the auction reaches $5 (or $3 if it’s a special feature) no more new bidders are allowed to join the auction. Once it closes, you can count how many bidders are in the auction. However, not all bidders are serious competitors. Many bidders only place one bid so they do not get locked out, but never return. Out of 30 bidders, maybe only five or six will place 25 or more bids and those are the ones who might provide some serious competition. A few additional players might hold the bulk of their bids until the last two or three bidders, but you can usually tell how many serious competitors you have by the time each auction locks out new bidders.
  • Look at the date your strongest competitors started playing to determine if they are Newbies or experienced bidders. Newbies are easy to identify because they do not yet know how to find and use the automated bidder, BidBuddy. Instead of double clicking on the auction so they can see what’s happening, they place single bids from the home page. That’s why Newbies cut the clock and waste bids. However, Newbies are usually easier to beat because they eventually run out of bids and drop out. Experienced bidders are far more likely to continue bidding. Therefore, if you are competing with too many experienced bidders, you might be better off waiting for the same item to go up for auction again. Sometimes the next auction for the same product will close early, while the first one is still going strong.


Submitted by: Barbara L. Sellers