Bidding To Win

Penny auctions are a competitive game that use psychology, aggression, timing, luck and skill to win. They also use special bidding techniques, strategies and styles that can be used to give yourself the best chances of winning a penny auction. Bidding to win is different than bidding to lose and we will explain the differences below. This article will assume you already understand penny auction basics like how they work and that they use a pay per bid model.

Bidding To Win Tactics and Techniques

  • Choose an intimidating user name – Strong, specific and make it a realistic threat to other bidders. If you are going to focus on a certain product or types of products, your name should reflect that. Something like “ImHereForThisTV” or “TVsGetALLMYBids” – you get the idea.
  • Bid on one auction at a time – focus all your bids towards winning 1 auction as you would rather spend more bids and win one auction than spend the same amount of bids and lose two.
  • Start out bidding on smaller items – every penny auction site has a few items that go for fewer overall bids than similar priced items. Watch the site for a few days and get your first win on an easy item so you can get that first win under your belt
  • Take advantage of the ‘beginner auctions’ where only new bidders who have not won an auction (or many auctions) before are allowed to bid. By far, Beezid has the best beginner auction items with really quality electronics like tablet pc’s, wii’s, bose equipment and more. Click here to see what items Beezid has up for beginners only (they call them cherry auctions)items up for beginner only auctions.
  • Use auto-bidding features whenever available – auto bidders win and single bidders defend. Don’t play defense generally, we are looking to win the auction, not just run someone else up, right? The auto-bidder may use a few more bids than if you were single bidding but it increases your chances of winning and especially the psychological edge on sites that show what kind of bid is placed, using the automatic bidding feature is a must. Sometimes auto-bidders are disabled as an auction feature, such as the skoreit AAA auctions.
  • Change gears when necessary – if multiple auto-bidders show up to fight you or another determined auto-bidder challenges you, it is ok to ‘change gears’ and go down to a last second single bidder to try and use up as many bids of the competition as possible before you change gears again and turn your aggression back on and bidding to win.
  • Choose your battles carefully – beginning to bid on an auction should be a careful choice and if you get started on an auction you should carefully choose to do so. Know if the auction offers a buy-it-now feature and if so, know exactly how many bids you need to spend to hit the BIN limit so you do not waste additional bids.
  • Use bid-throttling as a tactic – this is instantly bidding against anyone who bids against you. See if you can ‘hammer down’ on the bid button and intimidate the other bidders into not wasting their bids. Sometimes this works and sometimes the other bidders start bidding back like crazy. If this happens, let them be the count down bidder and last second bid them for a while.
  • Learn the details about the sites count down timer – watch an auction go all the way to sold and note what the timer looks like. Does it go to zero and then go ‘Going Once, Going Twice, Sold!’ or does it go Going…. Going….. Gone starting at five seconds and roughly how much time elapses between the last ‘going twice’ section and the sold section. Find out where you can safely place last second bids and develop a site specific strategy, especially on the competitive sites. See our strategy article for tips specific to them.
  • Use general winning penny auction tips to get started like choosing the right name and budgeting enough bids

Bidding Mistakes To Avoid

The following set of penny bidding mistakes are quite likely to make sure you are not bidding to win but instead very likely going to lose.

  • Random Bids – By random bid I mean that you log on to your favorite penny auction site and see an item counting down and just click the bid now button with out looking at the auction and seeing what is going on and who is bidding already. Take a few minutes and watch any auction you are interested in bidding on if you are not bidding during the count down or not watching at the count down timer. Do not just randomly pick a handful of auctions and click the bid button a few times and move on to the next auction. This is one of the fastest ways to lose bids and is not a winning bid strategy
  • Bidding against two other bid-agents or auto bidders – there is virtually no time it makes sense to start bidding against two battling auto bidders as they are both going to out bid you most likely automatically. At the very least you should wait until one of the auto bidders quits bidding before you begin.
  • Not bidding aggressively – The more you play penny auctions the more you will learn that there is an aggressive way to bid and a passive way to bid. Aggression is rewarded. To be aggressive, you have to be the bidder that the other bidders are stopping from winning an auction. That is the aggressor role and this is almost always done by using an automatic bidder. Unless you are just trying to prolong the auction by being that ‘going twice last second bidder’ Then your strategy should be to get as many count downs with you as the ‘bidder to stop from winning’ as possible.
  • Bidding just because a certain price threshold has been met – Friends of mine always ask, at what price should I start bidding. The answer is it totally depends. It depends on who is bidding on the item way more so than what price the auction reaches. In many instances an item will be getting ‘up there’ and most people think that surely this auction is about to close so now is the time to go ahead and start bidding. If you do this against a power bidder then you are likely to lose. Price thresholds are not good indicators of when conditions are good to start bidding and when they are not
  • Bidding at sites that are not reputable – there is no quicker way to lose your money than bidding on a site that is cheating you and or others. Make sure you find a penny bidding site that is legit and gives you a fair penny auction experience

We hope these bidding to win tips and strategies will help you win more penny auctions! Good luck out there!

See: More Penny Auction Strategy articles or sign up for our free penny auction strategy report along the right hand side of the site to get a more in depth look at winning penny auctions and the tools that help you do so.