Penny auctions are online auctions where the bidder pays to place a bid, and can buy online bid packages. When you bid on any item, the cost of the item goes up by a certain amount. It also leads to the deadline of the auction being extended. When the deadline expires, the last person who had placed the bid wins the item. Usually, bidding starts at zero, and the price increases by a fixed amount every time someone places a bid. Bids are nonrefundable, so once you place a bid, it is deducted from your account.
Penny auction sites usually offer stuff like gift cards, brand new electronic gadgets like iPhones, laptops, cameras, etc. So if this sounds exciting to you, and you want to try out by bidding and winning an item online, go through the tricks below which will help you get the item you desire at a fraction of its actual price.
Tips to Win Penny Auctions
Do a thorough study of multiple auction sites. If you are new to this kind of bidding, checking out different websites will give you a feel of how they work, what bid packages they offer, along with discounts and promotions. Once you have zeroed in on websites where you wish to place a bid, research as much you can about them. If possible, find out who owns and runs the websites and how much traffic the sites generate.
Flagfox, an add-in feature by Firefox, can let you in on the country where the auction site is located, along with other diagnostic tools like traceroute and even checking for malicious spyware. Also find out what time of the day has the least bidders online. As additional security, verify whether the site is officially recognized by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Some websites also have an option of referrals, wherein if you refer your friends, you get additional free bids.
Start by bidding on low-priced items and try various bidding strategies. Try to familiarize yourself with the techniques and bidding patterns other players use. After a while, you will realize what works well for you. There are a few Beginners Only online auction websites, where only people who have not yet won anything are permitted to play. So if you are a beginner, check out these websites. Before you begin, check your Internet speed. Make sure your download speed is over 512 KBps.
Ascertain that the item you bid on is an item you truly want. Do not bid on several items at once. Stick to the item you have bid on. This will save you time and money, not to forget the bids you have purchased! Once you have purchased the bids, do not start bidding immediately. Take some time to analyze the situation. If you place your bid prematurely, you will easily be identified as a novice. Make sure that the money you spend on purchasing the bids is not greater than the actual cost of the product!
People have developed their own bidding techniques. You can try out each one and see what results you get.
- Once an auction gets under way, you can place a very large bid. This can be intimidating to other bidders, and they might feel that you really need the item and are ready to pay a hefty sum for it, and they may eventually back off.
- Then there is the aggressive bidding strategy. The moment you realize you have been outbid by someone else, place another bid and jump right back into the game. Other bidders may feel that you are here to win, at any cost.
- Another strategy is to start bidding early. There are certain auctions which do not garner a lot of competition. By keeping a watch on these auctions, you might end up getting a good deal, even before the auction acquires a lot of attention.
- Another trick is to use your bids sparingly. Patiently wait and watch, and bid only before the timer strikes zero. This way, you can outlive your rivals and also conserve your bids!
- A common strategy advanced players use is to guess the number of bids other bidders are left with. This process is quite time-consuming, and you may need to have enough experience at bidding before you start making these guesses. You need to be very alert and keep a track of how many bids your potential rivals have used up, and how many they are left with. Most players use 50-package bids, only a few use 100 or 150-package bids. This is not a foolproof technique since you can never know what package they actually have. But it's a matter of time and experience and you may eventually get the hang of it.
- Find out if the website allows you to set up a bid butler. If you need to get up and leave your PC, a bid butler comes in handy and bids for you when you are away.
- If you want to be extra careful with your money, which I'm sure everyone wants to be, I would suggest recording the entire auction you have participated in. You do not want to risk losing any money due to a technical snag! Recording programs like Jing and CamStudio offer facilities like taking snapshots and recording a video of the entire auction.
- Some websites have come up with the concept of blind bidding, wherein actual usernames of bidders are hidden till the end of the auction. That means neither you nor the other bidders know who they are playing against and what the bid amounts are. Some people believe this trick helps them to win easily.
Penny auctions can be quite thrilling for some, and experienced bidders say it is similar to the rush you experience when you gamble. Keep in mind that you may not always get the item you so badly want. It's a risk-taking proposition, and you may end up losing a good deal of money before you actually win anything. Not all strategies work for everyone, and there is no proven formula to winning an auction. As a precaution, use credit, and not debit cards to make purchases when you shop at online auction sites.