Recently I spoke with someone who had purchased a car through an online auction house. Unfortunately they found out too late that the car was not what it was supposed to be. They attempted to cancel the check, they wrote, before it was actually sent from the bank, but it was too late.
Buying something on an auction site can be a thrilling adventure. You may have the opportunity to buy something at a price far below the normal cost of that item. You may also find items that are not available through normal stores and retailers. You also need to be very careful about what you are buying, there are many stories about items not being delivered and the wrong product or a defective product being shipped.
Below are 10 things that will help you have a more satisfying experience when buying through an internet auction site:
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. If the product 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.
3. Know 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’s worth. Don’t forget to add in the shipping price with your bid.
4. Visit a few online auctions before bidding because some merchants auction the same product in many auctions. You usually can purchase the product for a lower price in a unpopular auction because there are less bidders.
5. Know the time the auction begins and ends. You also want to know how long it will take to ship. If you need the product by a certain date, you’ll want to estimate the time it will take to receive it.
6. Know the payment options the merchant accepts before you bid on their product. 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. Know if the merchant offers a warranty or money back guarantee or before bidding on a product. You don’t want to get stuck with a product that does not work or you’re not satisfied with.
8. Online auctions will, sometimes, allow you to check the merchant’s history with their auction. Check to see if people have complained about their products or business practices before you decide to bid. Pay close attention to buyer ratings. Sellers who have low ratings may be unreliable and you may not get the great deal you are expecting.
9. It is important to place a bid early in the auction to show other bidders you are interested in the product. If someone does out bid you, don’t be afraid to out bid them. Remember not to go over your maximum bid price.
10. Another reason to know when the auction ends; you can place a last minute bid. The other bidders may not be keeping track of when the auction ends or may not have the time to bid again.