Top Ten Bidding Mistakes

I’ve watched many penny auctions come and go in my day and undoubtedly there have been times when I have seen people choose extremely poor choices of bidding. Let’s take a look at the top 10 bidding mistakes to avoid.

  • 1. Seeing a high auction price and deciding to bid on that reason alone. Many people think “Oh the price is way higher than what it has sold for in the past, these guys have got to almost be about out of bids and now is probably a good time to start bidding. If I were to just jump in and start bidding now the other guys are bound to run out soon”. This is wrong. You are likely in a battle with a power bidder who is now committed to the auction and willing to go very deep to get this win. This is often a very costly mistake
  • 2. Bidding more in bid value than the item’s BIN price. Are you just trying to prove a point by spending more money than you need to in order to get the maximum value out of the auction by stopping at your BIN price? I have seen bidders spend double in bid cost, in a BIN auction in order to win. So not only did they pay twice the amount in bids cost in order to win the auction but they also now will need to pay the auction ending price in order to get the item! Congratulations. Pat yourself on the back for spending way more than necessary and this will not affect your reputation that much to the positive to make up for it.
  • 3. Placing a single bid during a flurry of auto-bidders battling. Seriously, what the hell are people thinking where there are literally two, three or four other bidders bidding as fast as humanly possible via anytime auto bidders or a combination of auto bidders and clicking the bid button as fast as you can and all of a sudden some random bidder comes right in the middle of it and drops a single bid. There is 0.0001% chance that bid will win (i made that stat up, lol) but seriously no way this bid ever wins. This is probably happening over on quibids.com right about now, lol.
  • 4. Getting emotionally attached to an auction. Can’t let it go, can’t fold your hand, got to call the all-in bet and lose. This is a major mistake because this is often a seriously expensive lesson. I have seen bidders get emotionally attached to an auction and bid way more than retail price of the item they are trying to win and still end up getting out bid and losing a ton of money. Bid strategically in order to create your reputation and when the conditions are in your favor or at least not heavily against your favor. This is a hard mistake to avoid because ego’s get involved.
  • 5. Playing single bidder defense and not being willing to bid every time. Even playing single bidder defense is a smallish bidding mistake generally speaking but sometimes you have to do it as part of a winning bid strategy. Just be committed to being that bidder if you take that role. Sure you let other bidders bid when you can, but when that count-down timer is about to go, you gotta click every time or until you decide to quit the auction and let it go. Many times I have won an auction against single bidders who were all thinking the other guy was going to last moment bid me and they would save their bids until the next time.
  • 6. Thinking you can really buy discount iPads for $50 bucks easy, just bid and win. Come on, it does not work like that. Learn how a penny auction works before you start bidding. There is a very slim chance that this will ever actually happen and instead you will lose your $50 bucks and think you got scammed. Sure you can buy an iPad at a discount on a penny auction site but it takes a strategic approach to do it, and a little luck.
  • 7. Bringing a knife to a gun-fight. If you want to bid and win the big items then you better plan on buying enough bids to battle. If you think you can use 25 bids and win a flat screen TV you got another thing coming. Sure we try to win with as few as possible but be realistic and plan to fight with at least 1/3 of the items value in bids if you want to commit to winning and have a high winning percentage.
  • 8. Bidding against known power bidders. Why bother really unless you just want to overpay and become a power bidder yourself. If so, good luck and I hope you have deep pockets. If you do, this can be an extremely effective strategy (becoming a power bidder that is, not battling them, that is usually a lose lose situation)
  • 9. Not using a threatening name I’m sorry but it is true the names matter. Two new bidders on an auction and one named “CRUSHyourBONES” and the other is “JJnickles”… who are you going to bid against?
  • 10. Bidding from the home page of the penny auction website. Go through to the items page and you will get more information on your competition. The amount and quality of information varies from site to site but generally you can see if your competition is single bidding or auto bidding.
  • Bonus bone-head mistake, #11. Spending bids not realizing your are spending money.. Study up on the penny auction basics, this ain’t eBay, son.


Avoid these bidding mistakes and improve the win rate. Good luck out there battling for bargains!

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About Auction Junkie

The Auction Junkie, better known just as “Spry” grew up in the country in the foothills of north Georgia. I began playing competitive games like chess and backgammon at a very young age. I began playing poker somewhat seriously a year before Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP and have been doing so every since. Making the leap to penny auctions came fairly easy as penny auctions are strategic games with similar aspects to poker, chess and gambling in general.

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Comments, Reviews & Ratings From Real Bidders
4 Ratings
Torik — August 22, 2012

A data disk with all of the properties that will be in the acuoitn will be available for purchase from the Maricopa County Treasurer’s office on January 10th. The full list will be published in the January 20th issue of the Arizona Business Gazette, and should be available online at the Gazette’s site and the Treasurer’s site shortly thereafter.

Winning Bidder — October 18, 2011

I just stopped bidding in a Bin auction, where i stopped at exactly the cost of the BIN, I was however watching the auction for a long time, and the winning bidder, who outbid me to win, ended up paying $125 in bids, plus $8 for a $25 gift card. couldn’t help but wonder what kind of moron was on the other side of the screen bidding away in a furious attempt to win such a small auction. I got my $25 gift card for $25. He got his for $132. And for some reason, he thought he was the winner.

Arleen Walker — September 26, 2011

Great hints! I see that I have successfully completed all of them and lived to cry about it and kick my own butt. I will learn, but it is also costing me.

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