Auctions can be very competitive, with some auctions having you compete with only a few bidders, to online auctions where you can compete against the world. Most often, people find themselves at an auction looking for specific items to get a great deal on, or that may be hard to find.
But you shouldn’t let the number of bidders scare you. In fact, put them out of your mind. With the right strategy, you can bid like a pro and have an edge in winning your bids. Let’s take a look at some of those strategies now.
Put The Maximum In Your Mind
Some auction houses aren’t all about the high adrenaline bidding wars. Instead, they promote a calmer and more sensible approach to bidding. One tool to help do that is the allowance of setting a maximum bid. What this means is that bidders can go in and put in their maximum bid before the bidding starts. All other bids below that are not the winning bid until that amount has been surpassed.
This is also a great way for you to enter into an auction on a budget. Chances are, you’ll know just how much you’re willing to spend for an item, and so you don’t have to worry about feeling any regret by getting caught up in the excitement and going over your budget.
Popular Doesn’t Mean Better
Human nature tends to have people gravitate towards what seems popular. This could be the busiest bar, the movie with the most box office sales, or the team with the most championships. This can also be the bids that seem to have the most attention. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s where the good deals are. Don’t be afraid to scout around at the less popular items. There’s a good chance that you’ll find plenty of stealthy deals when no one else is looking.
Stay Away From Round Numbers
An interesting bit of psychology is that people tend to think in round numbers. It’s natural to keep things as simple as possible. A sneaky strategy is to set your maximum bid as uneven numbers, perhaps even slightly more than the items value. The potential issue with this strategy is that you are likely not the only person using it. You’ll have to take some time and get some experience finding the right sweet spot, or percentage above fair market value, for your maximum bids. But, this is the fun of auctions after all.
Enter Into Beast Mode
As a bidder, you don’t necessarily need to be meek and mild. Don’t be afraid to stand up and show them you mean business. One effective tactic is to immediately raise the bid to a point just below your maximum bid. This can help reduce some of the bargain hunters that may draw attention to that item you want, as many bidders are there just to score items cheaply as quickly as possible. Taking a few moments to survey your competition will help you spot these bidders. Just remember to leave some room between your raised bid in your maximum bid, and be prepared to go over your maximum bid if you have to.
Knowing When To Fold ‘Em
One of the hardest lessons to learn in the excitement of an auction is when to walk away. You can’t win every bid, and the excitement of an auction and easily tempt us to go over our maximum bids and budget. Staying disciplined and focused will score you more items and better deals in the long run. Most importantly, it will teach you how to be more calculated with your bidding. At the end of the day, you’ll have more confidence in when to bid and how much you should bid for, thus winning more items at auction.