10 Tips for Online Bidding
If you’re new to online auctions, it’s wise to learn the rules of the game and build your own bidding strategy. We’ve drawn on our expertise in online auctions to share this list of top tips that you can take with you to every auction:
- Read all of the terms and conditions for any auction, including any additional terms appearing in the lotting particulars for the specific item(s) you wish to bid on. Make a note of all the important terms including as to the decomissioning, removal, loading and transport/collection of the item, billing/payment methodology and timing. Are RAMS needed to remove it? Look out for extra charges, such as Buyer’s Premium, loading charges, etc…
- If the item is important to you, make sure you view it. You will not only be able to inspect the item, but you will get a chance to gauge the credibility of the auctioneer. If it’s not so important, then have you seen a video of the machine working? If there is no video, why is that? Are there enough good quality images of everything you need to see to be able to form a proper view on the machine’s capabilities and condition?
- The reserve, if listed, is an indication of what the seller might be willing to sell at. They might be willing to sell at, below or above the reserve. Even if you have not met the reserve, ask the auctioneer post-auction if their client is willing to complete on a sale.
- Do not bid unless you intend to buy. Bidding is a contract to buy, the auctioneer can oblige you to complete even if you do not submit the highest bid.
- Any asset is worth only what people are willing to pay for it. Determine the maximum price you are willing to pay and stick to it.
- Do your own detailed research into the item – and do it early. Does the machine do exactly what you need it to do? Does it have everything it needs to have to work effectively for you? Do you know everything you need to know about the machine? If not, ask the auctioneer – and do this early. Does it fit into your factory? How do you propose moving and recommissioning it? What is that going to cost, how long will it take, who is going to do it?
- If you can’t watch the auction time down, place an absentee bid i.e. get the online auction system to bid for you up to your limit. Read and understand how the auction platform provider’s ‘autobidding’ feature works, they are not all the same. For example, if you use the Bidspotter autobid feature, if you put in a maximum bid that is less than reserve, it will often automatically jump straight to the maximum you’ve set, totally ignoring the bidding increments.
- Online bidding gets competitive in the final minutes. If you can be around when the hammer comes down to watch the auction, and the item means a lot to you, sit in a quiet place, watch the bidding intently and focus only on the auction.
- Understand how Overtime Bidding works in the particular auction. This is where the auction closure is extended due to a flurry of late bids. How it works differs from one auction platform and from one auction to another.
- If you are successful with your bid, pay up quickly or you’ll risk an adverse report at the auction house. This might stop other auctioneers dealing with you in future – protect your credibility!