When it comes to penny auctions, having the right strategy is crucial. We see many people complaining about how they keep losing and when we ask them how they bid… they would just bid randomly when they think the time is right. This very rarely works.
The key to winning is developing a good bidding plan and sticking too it depending on the bidding patterns. In this article we hope to teach you some of the methods we used to win items on multiple different penny auction sites.
Nearly every penny auction site shares the same bidding model so these tips should work with whatever penny auction site that you are using. Some penny auctions have unique features that, when used correctly, give you a much better chance of winning. However we won’t touch on those features in this article because the same feature may not be available on all penny auction sites. Strategies for specific penny auction sites can be found on the website.
So… without further ado, lets get started! The most important thing to do before you start bidding is to decide what type of bidding style you want to use. You could be aggressive, conservative or even a mix between the two. Aggressive bidding works quite well when you stick to it, this gives the impression to other bidders that you are here to stay and you won’t let this item go. Although it can be risky and we would only recommend it if you have a big budget.
Conservative bidding can also be quite effective. However you are less likely to make big savings. The conservative bidder heavily relies on the “Buy it now” feature that many penny auction sites use. The bidder will place bids that equal the RRP of the item that their bidding on. So if they haven’t won the auction by the time it reaches the RRP, they will just stop bidding and use the “Buy it now” feature to get their bids back.
Here is an example from Dealdash:
The most successful DealDash winners like to keep their special strategies for themselves, but we have noticed that many of our winners use some of the following strategies:
Andy the Aggressive loves to scare his opponents off by outbidding everyone right after they have placed a bid. He loves to intimidate other bidders and make them think that he has a never ending supply of bids. He wants to appear very determined to win the auction, and convey the message that he is going to win and that it is just a question of time when the others will simply have to give up.
Cindy the Conservative targets only items she really wants and is prepared to use “Buy it Now”. This way, she’ll never leave empty handed as she’ll just bid until she either wins or buys the item at retail and gets all her bids back for free.
Give some of these tactics a shot, see what works out for you the best and see your winnings skyrocket as you start to bid smarter!
Another good strategy thread -
Overall, I have a 75% success rate. Every 4 items I bid on, I win 3 of them.
Here are few list of things I’ve won.
1. Samsung 46″ 3D TV Retail $1549/ Won @ $894 (Total Spent)
2. Macbook Pro Retail $1599/ Won @ $940 (Total Spent)
3. iPad 32gb Retail $599/ Won @ $325 (Total Spent)
I belive I’m successful since I only bid on items that have surpassed their value on the listed auctions.
For instance, on iPad 32gb, I only started to bid when the auction price is above $10. ($10 x .60 x 100 bids = $600). This ensures that if the site is using a bot to boost up the price, I’d be safe by bidding on products that are no longer “bot” guided.
I buy things that I need, so 30-40% discount is great for me. Although, I would love a 99% discount, I’m sure that this is only reserved for their “bots”.
This thread is quite interesting because there does seem to be a ‘Debate’ about whether penny auction sites use a ‘bot’ to increase the auctions. We highly doubt this is the case because for one, its highly illegal – its effectively fraud. The biggest penny auctions such as Beezid, Dealdash, Zbiddy etc wouldn’t risk their reputations with something like that.
Now, having said that, the most likely place you will find this kind of activity is on lesser known penny auction sites, these penny auction sites have much less users so a ‘bidding bot’ would be more likely.
Choosing to bid later in the auction has proven to be successful such as this article from Leslie Miller
One strategy that works well is to never bid before the end of the auction. About 99 percent of the bidding does not happen until that time, and for good reason. Unlike traditional auctions where you may want to bid first to lay a initial claim to your prize in order to scare others away, penny auctions do not have this effect. Basically, if you bid first, you will be wasting a bid because there is no doubt you will be overbid.
You should also not enter into a bidding war mid-auction. Throw your pride out, and let the items sit until close to the end. Bidding against someone in the middle of an auction does nothing more than waste bids out of your bid pack.
Patience is key. You must have it, along with nerves of steel to win items at a cheap price. Not only should you wait until the end of the auction is near, but you should wait until other bidders have exhausted their bid packs. Since the time left on the auction is extended each time someone bids, it could take literally an hour or more before you realize the prime time to jump in. When bidding slows and you sense that others have spent all they are willing to spend, go for it.
Leslie touches on some good points here, although it can be hard to know when “the end of auction” actually is, a good tell tell sign is when there are less bidders and the time between each bid is much slower. Again, this comes with experience. Don’t get too disheartened if you are waiting for a while and the auction finishes, that is just how penny auctions work.
Another top tip – Try and get up at a very early time to avoid the ‘peak times’ during these peak times there will many more users online which means it can be harder to items due to more competition.
For example -
It is a simple fact that some times are slower on the auction blocks than others. It sounds easy enough – find the least busy times, and shop ‘til you drop. But it’s not quite that straightforward. Aside from simply understanding when the high and low volumes of the penny auction sites are, you must also take into consideration who is bidding and when, whether auto-bid software is being used, and the products being placed for auction. This research commitment is not always worth the time to some bidders. But those who do feel it’s worth it can see moderate success with this strategy.
When you combine these techniques you will develop a well rounded strategy. Here is an aggressive strategy we used to win quite a few items on various penny auction sites -
- Get up early, set that alarm for an early rise if you are serious about winning
- Find an item and wait until the bids slow down.
- Start bidding quite conservatively to let other bidders know you are there
- Suddenly ramp up your bids when you feel the auction is coming to a close.
- Pay for your item or choose the buy it now option if you lost.
Notice the “suddenly ramp up your bids” this alone has worked very well for us, when bidders have been bidding for a while and they suddenly see you ramp up your bids very aggressively they will most likely stop bidding.
Here are two videos which explain how important having a good strategy is: