1. Know the value of the product before you bid. If the product is brand new, check to see what price retailers are charging for it. Only by doing this will you have any idea what price to bid. If the item is used or reconditioned, you will want to pay way less than the retail value.
2. If the product's description or picture isn't detailed enough for you, contact the merchant to get more information before you bid. You don't want to take a chance to waste your hard earned money. Not only this but the way in which the seller responds, ie promptly, pleasantly, and with full details, or the opposite of this, will give you more confidence about bidding or you may decide not to bid at all.
3. Work out the highest price you will bid for the product and stick with it. Don't get caught up in a bidding war; you may end up paying more than the product is worth. Add in all the possible extras such as the shipping costs and any import duties and taxes (if buying from abroad).
4. Visit a few online auctions before bidding because some merchants auction the same product on different Auction sites. You may be able to purchase the product For a lower price in an unpopular auction because there are less bidders.
5. Take a note of the time the auction begins and ends. You also want to know how long it will take to ship. You need to have this information if you want the product by a certain date, for instance, as a gift.
6. Find out about the payment options the merchant accepts before you bid on their item. If they only accept checks or money orders, it may take even longer to get the product because the payment has to clear. If they accept credit cards make sure they have a secure server.
7. Check whether the merchant offers a warranty or money back guarantee before bidding. You don't want to get stuck with something that does not work or that you're not satisfied with.
8. Most online auctions allow you to check the merchants history with their auction. This is usually their “Feedback” record. Check to seeif people have complained about their products or business practices before you decide to bid.
9. Don’t place a bid early in the auction as this only alerts other potential bidders that you are interested and drives up the price. Wait until the last moments of an auction before bidding if you can. Naturally enough the auction site owners will exhort you to bid early as this is in their best interests, after all, they get more in fees the more an item makes. Remember not to go over your maximum bid price.
10. Following on from 9 above this is another reason to know when the auction ends; you can place a last minute bid. Other bidders may not be keeping track of when the auction ends or may not have the time to bid again.
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How To Succeed In Online Auction Sites