Home | About Us

How to Bid At An Auction Without Going Over Your Budget

How to Bid At An Auction Without Going Over Your Budget

At an auction that’s offering a variety of desirable items, it’s easy to get carried away with the bidding process. Often split second decisions are required in a bidding environment as you are competing against lots of people, some of whom may have deeper pockets than you. Sticking to your original budget is important. You do not want to be saddled with unplanned auction debt or end up breaking the bank to acquire an item you later realize you are not really all that crazy about.

Research before you start bidding

It is important to research the specific items you plan to bid on before you enter the online auction. Your research will help give you an idea of their value and worth. This way, you will have a ballpark estimate of the general value of specific pieces and how their condition factors into their evaluation.

Set a budget and stick to it

Decide beforehand, based on your research and existing knowledge, exactly how much you want to spend, and don’t go over that amount. The moment you do, it’s harder to come back to reality, and suddenly you may be responsible for paying for an item you cannot actually afford.

Decide on your strategy

If you choose to bid aggressively, you may scare off the competition which can be either good or bad. Alternatively, you could opt for a more subtle approach, gradually increasing your bid to test the waters. For auctions that have a definite ending period, using a “sniping” method may be effective—that is, you swoop in with the highest bid at the last moment, just a few seconds before the auction ends.

Don’t get caught out-bidding yourself

Luckily, many online bidding sites make it difficult for you to bid against yourself. However, when you are bidding on multiple small items, it can be hard to remember if you are already holding the maximum bid. Keeping track of what you have already bid on will help you avoid this problem. At U.S. Auction Online, the watch list is a great tool you can use to keep track of what you bid on.

Online auctions can be a fun way to purchase some unexpected treasures from the worlds of art, jewelry, vintage items or gemstones, and you can do it right from the comfort of your home—no driving necessary.