Four Common Mistakes New Bidders Make – and How to Fix Them

Four Common Mistakes New Bidders Make – and How to Fix Them

Written by Another Satisfied DealDash Bidder

Bidding at Deal Dash can be one of the best ways to find great products at unbelievable discounts of up to 85% or even 95% off retail. Nearly everyone bidding at visits the site after seeing an ad showing someone buying a monster flat-screen TV for under a hundred dollars or an iPad for less than twenty. Those deals do exist. For real. But with an increasing number of people entering the world of online bidding, winning big takes practice and smart-bidding skills.

If you’re new to the world of online bidding (new meaning you’ve been bidding for less than five months), there’s a good chance you find yourself repeatedly out of bids with nothing to show for your investment. If that describes you, the bad news is that you suck at online auctions. The good news is you can change that, starting today.

This is the first part in a series about the most common reasons new bidders fail at online auctions and how you can turn your luck around by bidding smarter.

YOU LACK FOCUS. You visit the home page. Buy a bid package – a small one. You browse the auctions for a few minutes. No, you didn’t take time to read the tips. But suddenly bidding on that hot surround-sound system, laptop, oh, oh and that 51” Plasma Television looks like a great idea. Many novice bidders jump into three, four or more auctions at once. They load up their bid-buddies and try to win a laptop, television, stereo, and DSLR — at the same time. After all, how hard can it be? Playing multiple auctions can be exciting but if you don’t have a plan, a budget – and a focused desire for each auction, it’s easy to drain your account faster than you can dig out your credit card and buy more bids — at full price.

THE SOLUTION: Check upcoming auctions and make a list of the things you really want or need. Then spend at least one hour studying the list of wins for the times and dates those items sold for the least amount. Then wait for those days and times and only bid on the items you can afford one at a time and “afford” means items you’re willing to pay full price for if you lose the auction. Don’t get distracted by every shiny new camera or tablet auction that opens, hoping for that easy win. Yes they happen. But your chances of winning an auction and getting a decent discount are bigger than paying one cent for a television. There are other bidders out there waiting for you to get exhausted and bid-depleted. Throwing a few individual bids at a laptop that has four or twenty people with loaded bid-buddies waiting for you to become depleted means throwing your bids away. Choose what you want to bid on. If it’s a “No Jump Auction,” place one bid before the auction price reaches $3.00 or it’s too late to get in on it. Then bid on that and only that item after watching how that auction progresses and how many people got in before the “No-Jump” Timer expired. (“No Jump” auctions mean after the price of the item being auctioned reaches either $3.00 or $5.00, only those who have made at least one bid can participate in that auction.) Whether you’re an athlete, stock investor or bidder, a tip to being a winner is concentrated focus instead of depleting and scattering your energy.

YOU PAY TOO MUCH FOR YOUR BIDS: Paying full retail for your bids is one of the surest ways to lose money. It’s also totally nonessential. Deal Dash often has sales on bids for as low as 13 cents each. If you purchase too small of a bid package and have to scramble and purchase bids at the last minute to stay in the game or if you pay full price for all your bids and someone else bought their bids on sale, they can bid three times as long as you for the same cost. You can complain all you want about how they’re paying too much, but the reality is: they’re not paying one cent more than you are. If you’re not careful, you can win the auction but lose money on the item. News: that’s not a win.

THE SOLUTION: buy a few bids to get yourself started, then, either win more bids in the auctions or watch for sales and specials and buy the bulk of your bids then. If you have the budget, buy more than a month’s worth of bids during the sales so that you won’t run out mid-month or worse yet, mid-auction and find yourself forced into paying full-price.

YOU LACK EXPERIENCE. Yes, you can win a home theater system for pennies on the dollar, but probably not in your first auction. Like anything else, being a successful bidder takes time and experience. That’s why some auctions are smarter choices for new bidders. Before trying for that $2,000 Apple laptop, go for that hundred dollar gas card. It’s not as exciting as the Big Win but saving money is smart no matter where you save it. If you lose a gas card auction, you’ll still walk away a winner by exercising the “Buy It Now” (BIN) option. DealDash will refund every bid you used and you spent your money there buying something you would have bought anyway – gas for your car. One hundred dollars of gas is one hundred dollars you would have spent on gas anyway. Develop your biding skills on those kinds of auctions and before long there’s a good chance you’ll be buying your gas for fifty cents on the dollar and that’s smart.

THE SOLUTION: Start by bidding on smaller auctions and bidding on items you would buy anyway. Gift cards for Target and Wal-Mart, gas stations and your favorite restaurant chains are all smart auctions where you can learn the ins and outs of online bidding. Remember, if you reach your budget limit, use the “Buy it Now” option and pay retail price for the gift card. If you bid on things you always buy anyway, you haven’t lost. You get your bids refunded and you’re learning to bid smarter. Try again on another smart item. When you master the smaller auctions, then – and only then – it’s time to Bid Big.

YOU DON’T HAVE A BUDGET. Online bidding is fun. It can also eat a hole in your wallet if you don’t pay attention to how much money you’re spending. While it is possible to save big on great purchases, it’s also possible to spend a lot of money chasing a big win that turns into a loss. To keep from making a big financial mistake by spending money you can’t afford to lose, plan in advance how much you’re willing to invest in an auction. Then, keep your calculator near. Track the price of your bids plus the auction price of the item (unless it’s a “Free auction” – no price for the item, just the bid price) and then pull the plug by exercising the ‘Buy it Now’ option when you reach your budget limit. It’s smarter to pay full price for something you would pay full price for anyway that month and get your bids back than it is to throw good money after bad spending thousands of bids on an item that you have no intention of buying if you’re outbid.

THE SOLUTION: Make a budget and stick to it. Decide in advance how much you’re willing to invest in your hobby – recreational shopping — each month and how much you’re willing to risk on any particular auction. Make your budget stretch by purchasing bids when they’re on sale and using ‘Buy it Now’ on items you would normally pay full price for anyway. It may sting your ego when you let IAlwaysWin take the auction, but it will boost your budget and make you the person who always wins.

Online auctions are an exciting way to shop for everyday purchases and for that occasional big-ticket item that you might just be lucky enough to win at a deep discount. But like any hobby, it takes time and experience to develop bidding skills and strategies. Set a budget, start small, and learn something from every auction experience. If you’re patient and bid smart, chances are good that soon you’ll pull in the big prizes and surprise friends and family with amazing gifts you purchased for pennies on the dollar and a few hours’ time spent in front of your computer.

10 thoughts on “Four Common Mistakes New Bidders Make – and How to Fix Them

  1. sandra vollmar

    I would like to thank Deal Dash for holding up to there word, it was a little shakey for awhile but they came through with everything. Will return.

  2. Iluvdealdash

    Very good blogging…..there is some good advice…….but what you are doing is encouraging people to be jumpers, by placing just a bid or a few, then watching others become very invested in an auction…and jump in when it is finally down to a few or two people IS jumping and sadly the norm on DD anymore….by encouraging and “teaching” people to play this way, you are ruining this whole concept of your “no jumper” auctions ….sad.

    1. Thanks for your feedback. I’d like to hear more about bidders’ feelings about jumping. For the record, these are mine: While jumping may be considered a legal strategy, it’s a practice that many frown upon. I don’t like it so I don’t do it.

      By “placing a bid and waiting to see how an auction goes,” here’s what I mean. While Christmas shopping, I went for two computers at the same time (something I don’t advise — until you have a history of successful high-buck wins). Five computers were “maybes;” all were known brands of similar retail value. I put some bids on each while trying to decide where to commit. Then I watched: number of people who got in, how many were known jumpers, and mostly my gut reaction to each auction. I made my decisions before the auctions reached $5.50 (a beginning price for computers). Then I set my automated bidder and didn’t stop. I won those two computers at auction prices of $80.00 and $100.00 — not bad for that time of the year. The other three computers sold for about four times the amounts I paid.

      So I’m suggesting thoughtful consideration on several levels of an auction – not jumping. I will bid strong, long and hard but because I only purchase bids on sale, I can do that and still win. All my wins are no-jump real deal wins and I practice what I preach: when I don’t win, I BIN. I have way too much propensity for guilt to jump. Hope that clarifies things and again, thanks for taking time to comment and allowing me to be clear.

    1. Hi Joseph! Thanks for your feedback. Tons of people are able to win great products for less than 10 bucks by trying to bid more when the auctions are less busy. The auctions run 24 hours a day 7 days a week, so they don’t stop when other people are at work, asleep, or watching the Super Bowl. You can keep an eye on the auctions and make your move when you notice things are a little quiet!

      Also make sure you concentrate your bids on single auctions rather than spread them out. A lot of people waste bids by placing one here and there, leaving them with less to use on the stuff they really want. Concentrating your bids not only increases your chance of winning the big ones, but it also lets you take full advantage of the Buy it now option by letting you get more bids back with your purchase!

  3. Joseph

    a good Strategy is to place one bid on the Non Jumper Auctions then wait for the Price to Run up like half the Retail then Do What I said Before and wait for only 2 people to be bidding on the auction for awhile and I don’t see how you couldn’t win the auction ….. XD

  4. Joseph

    That is Freakin’ Awesome thanks for the Tips DealDash!! 🙂 I have already been watching Auctions and I let the auction price run up then I jump on it I’m planning to start bidding when the final sales price is like lets say

    $100 DealDash Store Price

    on a $100 Item “DealDash Store Price” Bid on it when it hits $30 Final Sales Price (Or When their is only 2 people Bidding on it for Awhile)
    $100 Item > You would sell the Item for about $80 and then place bids for it to = out to $20 if i have to use the buy it now Option
    .15 x 133 = $20
    .30 x 67 = $20

    1. Hi Anne! We moderate comments to make sure that nobody hurls insults at other people, swears, or does anything else that might be considered inappropriate. This is a public place after all!

      If you’re having some problems and you need some help, you should get in touch with our customer support team. They’re available to help customers like yourself, and while I’m not sure about your specific situation, they can help you take advantage of things like our 100% satisfaction guarantee or troubleshoot any technical difficulties you might be experiencing. Send an e-mail to and let them know what’s going on, and they’ll take care of it straight away!

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