Strategies for Success in an Online Auction

Tips to Succeed in an Online Auction in 2021

Technology has become a powerful medium to bring people and the world closer. You can order just about anything you’d ever want online and get it shipped to your doorstep without having to leave your couch.

Of course, one of the most lucrative options available to make an online purchase is through online auction sites! There are dozens to choose from, but to help you narrow it down you might want to check out this roundup on Charity Auctions Today covering the Top 60 Auction Sites in 2020.

With larger public auctions, there are often a handful of different people competing to be the high bidder on the same items. Which of course, can lower your chance of winning that item in the online auction. Not to worry, we’re here to help you with some useful tips to help you win the lots you want at an online auction in 2021. 

In this post, we’ll cover some strategies that could improve your chances of winning your bids at the ideal purchase price. Let’s dive in.

Product Knowledge

Online Auctions aren’t just about bidding. The most essential part of participating in an auction is making sure your knowledge about the item you’re bidding on is up to scratch. If you aren’t up to date on the average market value, features or specs for the product you’re looking at – Jumping straight into the battlefield without that information often results in disaster. We recommend comparing different online stores or auction sites in Canada that carry the item you are interested in to get a sense of its quality and market value.

Set a Budget

It’s important to decide how much you are willing to spend on the item you have an interest in and set a limit before you register to bid in the auction. This allows you to know your limits and proceed with bidding in the auction without having to do any guesswork. Hesitation is a significant mistake people make during an online auction. Having a clear idea of your budget can definitely be a game-changer. 

Being Proactive Throughout the Online Auction

Simply being diligent about checking up on your bids throughout the auction time and matching your bids with that of your competitors is a strong strategy in itself. Many bidders get frustrated when they lose out on an item because someone else bid $5 more at the dying minutes of the sale. Being proactive and checking in can also help you learn the other participant’s bidding patterns.  

Insider Tip: Don’t always default to the minimum bid increment – If there is value there, bidding two or three steps ahead will keep your competitors guessing and keep you in control.

Timing Your Bids

Knowing the right time to jump in on an online auction can be tricky. Should you secure your bid early on? Or swoop in as the high bidder at the last minute? More often than not, timed auctions that close on evenings and weekends have more people bidding against each other. Keep an eye out for timed online auctions that close either at night or early in the morning, such as our weekly liquidation auctions! The fewer engaged bidders there are during the closing of an online auction, the greater the odds are that you’ll be the highest bidder and pay comparatively less for an item.

Wrapping Up

It’s a learning process. The best part is that you aren’t bound to the strategies laid out above – Once you’re comfortable, you can start creating your own strategy and see what works best for you.  You never know, you might create something that no other player would have thought of.

It’s common for most people who are new to the online auction world to lose out on an item the first time they participate. However, don’t let that discourage you. With the tips mentioned above and a little bit of practice, you can surely improve your rate of success. 

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The editorial team at Graham Auctions is a group of industry-savvy staff led by folks with over 25 years of direct experience in both the Calgary and surrounding Alberta Auction industry. We aim to create customer-oriented content in hopes that our existing and future customers participating in the auction find it to be a helpful resource come auction time. You will also find informational content relevant to the auction house, upcoming live, online + silent auctions and the latest news around online auctions in Calgary.

3 thoughts on “Strategies for Success in an Online Auction”

    • Hey Danny!

      Bids can only be retracted if there is an adequate reason for doing so based on our terms and conditions. However, this must either be done before the online auction closes or before the vehicle is offered via live auction. You must receive written confirmation that our auction staff accepts the reason for retraction, and from there, we can remove the bid.

      Hope that helps!

  1. Thanks for sharing all these tips to increase my chances of winning online auctions. I recently found a new auction site here and I’m excited to give it a try! I’ve never tried bidding online for anything before so hopefully, these tips could help me secure some great deals when I give the auction a try.


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