Strategies for Success in an Online Auction

Tips to Succeed in an Online Auction

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

Of course, one of the most lucrative options available to make an online purchase is through online auction sites! There are tons of more notable options to choose from, and even more local outfits like us utilizing auction software. To help you narrow it down, you might want to check out this roundup on Charity Auctions Today, covering the Top 60 Auction Sites.

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 valuable tips to help you win the lots you want that hold firm throughout the entire auction process.

This post will cover some strategies to improve your auction outcome by winning bids at the ideal purchase price. Let’s dive in.

Why Is an Online Auction Bidding Strategy Important?

Online-only auctions are popular because they allow people to bid on popular items outside of their standard price range. It is critical to have a bottom line in any auction format, regardless of the size or price of the object. You may even end up needing to bid on the item at the last minute, so plan accordingly! 

Components of an Effective Online Auction Strategy

Public auctions are an effective method for buying and selling goods online because they allow buyers to buy items at a lower price than other wholesale vendors or liquidation stores. They aren’t always easy, and newcomers may not initially understand what it takes to win if they’re unfamiliar with them or haven’t reviewed an online auction guide.

Some of these tips will vary based on the type of auction, but having a strategy to set yourself up to win the items you bid on is crucial because you may end up going outside your budget in more competitive markets, making it less likely that you will benefit from one of the main reasons people utilize auctions, getting the best prices.

Product Knowledge

Not all auction approaches are just about bidding. An essential part of participating in an auction is ensuring 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 & Know Your Maximum Bid Before You Start

Consider the value of a lot when deciding how much to offer for an item. If you’re looking for something interesting to put in your house, you may not want to spend more than the item’s value. If you’re looking to buy a larger number of items at once, you should set a higher limit than the value of each item.

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 lets you 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.

Don’t Emotionally Invest in Your Bids

Keeping your emotions out of the equation when bidding in an auction online is critical. As auction experts, we recommend concentrating on your current bid instead of the item you want. If you’re tempted to go above your budget to achieve a last-minute matching bid, remember that you could potentially end up paying more than the item is worth, to begin with. Even if you fall in love with something, try to resist the urge to overspend.

Being Proactive Throughout the Auction Experience

Simply being diligent about checking up on your bid price throughout the auction time and matching them with your competitors is a strong strategy. Many bidders get frustrated on auction day when they lose out on an item because of a surge in bids per item in the dying minutes of the sale. Being proactive and checking in can help you learn the other participant’s bidding patterns.

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

Timing Your Bids

Knowing the right time to jump in on the auction items you want 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 potential bidders there are during an online auction closing, the greater the odds that you’ll be the highest bidder and pay comparatively less for an item.

Waiting until the last minute to place your bid is one of many ways to win, especially in a shorter auction. As a result, you avoid alerting others to the fact that the item is desirable, and you may be able to obtain it before everyone else. However, if you wait until the end, you may risk missing out on the lot altogether – but that’s all a part of the excitement that comes along with the auction space.

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 with your auction plans, you can start creating your own strategy and see what works best for you. You never know, you could scheme up something that no other bidder has thought of and find success at the last minute during closing auctions.

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 practice, you can surely improve your success rate. Ready to get started? Check out one of our weekly upcoming auctions to get started.

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Graham Auctions

The team at Graham Auctions is led by folks with over 25 years of experience in the auction industry. We aim to share our expertise to help those who are new to online auctions as well as ignite thought-provoking discussions with experienced bidders.

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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