How to Win a Bid in Penny Auctions

by Zan Jefferson

Basically there are just three things you need to make sure you get the winning bid in any penny auction site. Yes, that’s correct. Just three. And here they are: Knowledge, Time, and Luck. Maybe there’s a fourth. But we’ll get to that later.

Knowledge – This is obviously the best weapon to equip when it comes any kind of situation. And it certainly comes in handy when it comes to penny auction sites and bidding. Examples of knowledge you need to acquire before you start bidding are:

The retail price of the product – know how much the product is in the first place so you know you won’t be paying more than its original price.

How much you’re willing to spend – calculate the number of bids your willing to use and know your price threshold. A good formula and example would be: A camera’s retail price is $1500. You have $60 worth of bids to spend. The final bid is at $100. Basically if you bid all of your bid credits you lose $60 plus $100. That’s still way below the retail price so it’s a deal. But for example the current bid is already at $800 and you’ve already spent all $60 of your bid credits then you’ve already lost $860 even if you actually win the bid. And that’s not far from the retail price so in a way you’ve already lost. That’s why you need to set a threshold and know your priorities.

Your priorities – just bid on what you need and not what you want. Simply put, bid on items you’re actually willing to buy on their full retail price.

When will the bid time come close to its expiration – don’t bid at the start. Bid when there are only a few seconds left so when you refresh the bid timer after your bid only a few seconds will be added to it. This is just common sense.

Time – You need to set a schedule. And you need to be vigilant and patient when bidding. Auctions might look fast paced but it’s actually a long and tedious process. And if you get bored easily then penny auctions are not for you. When you start a bid you don’t have time to do anything else. Every second counts and you might stay on the computer for up to 10 hours. A single blink can mean the difference between a win and a loss. You need to have the time to monitor the bidding and you REALLY CAN’T DO ANYTHING ELSE.

Luck – Yes. Luck. Chances are a lot of people have also read this or other blogs similar to this one so they will be using the same strategy against you. Ultimately, a small mishap or brief instance of inattentiveness on your competition’s end might be the only thing that can absolutely determine you winning a bid. Just remember. You can be unlucky as well… which brings us to our fourth variable on winning in penny auctions.

Paranoia – No kidding. A little bit of paranoia can certainly help. It can make you avoid “bad luck” as mentioned on the third part of this article. Basically, being slightly paranoid can help you avoid simple mistakes which can make you end up losing.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Earl September 19, 2012

I agree about the things you pointed out that are needed to win. One other thing that you need though is a strategy on how to make bids as well as the will to spend on something that you might not win at all. It’s like lotteries. You buy a ticket to give your combination without even having the slightest assurance that you will win the jackpot.


Kathy September 24, 2012

What do you think is the best estimate on how much you should spend on an item? Like how much percentage of the exact cost of the item on retail?


Zan Jefferson September 24, 2012

well it actually depends on your style. some people have a target cost they want the item to reach. then they start bidding till the end. basically it’s just best if you bid on items you really need and make sure there’s a buy now option so you can at least partially redeem the bids you’ve spent.


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