I have only won one Pricebenders auction and it was probably beginners luck so I can’t say that I am the best guy to go to for advice when it comes to winning Pricebenders auctions. I also like you lost quite a few Tcredits before my first win!
However I did spend a lot of time watching auctions before I started to bid. By watching, I noticed a few patterns:
Some bidders appear quite aggressive. So they immediately outbid anyone who tries to bid on the item. (They might be using automatic bidding). After a while, they stop bidding completely. (Run out of credits or the item is now out of their price range) This means its probably now safe to start bidding because you are less likely to be outbid. So watch out for a bidder whose name keeps appearing in the bid log and is always at the top of the log – not safe to bid yet.
Don’t enter into a bidding war with an aggressive bidder. Let someone else do that for you. Also, the good thing is that an aggressive bidder has a finite amount of credits. Several other bidders each bidding one or two credits now and then when combined together will soon oust an aggressive bidder. So don’t try to outbid him by yourself. It will be too costly.
Watchers. When the counter hits “going once, going twice” all the watchers who haven’t yet placed a bid who really want the item will suddenly bid in order to avoid the item going to someone else. So an auction war that seemed as though it was between 2 people will suddenly have 5 extra names appearing in the bid log. Bad news here. Too many bidders wanting this item so not safe to bid. So see what happens at “going once” before you seriously start to bid. I sometimes do a test bid at this point to keep the auction live in order to see who else is watching because they too will bid at the very last minute and thereby expose themselves. (More on last minute bidding later)
I would absolutely love to bid for and win 100 PSAs. Wouldn’t you? Well so would everybody else. So this is an incredibly popular auction. 35 CSAs is not so popular. Again, you will see more names appearing in the bid log for popular items. So the more names you see, the tougher it will be to win. My win was for 300 Tcredits – not many people were bidding for this at the time. I think it has been said before: win at a few smaller auctions, don’t lose at a larger more expensive auction.
If you watch an auction for long enough, you will see dozens of names of hopeful bidders come and go, never to be seen again. Some names will seem to remain for a very long time indeed (clearly the names that keep appearing on the bid log have stocked up on hundreds of credits, literally, before bidding). So wait until it is down to just 2 or maybe 3 names consistently for a long while before you start bidding seriously.
Don’t try to outbid every bidder who has placed a bid. Let someone else do this for you. And only bid when the timer is very low (10 seconds or less) and you are pretty sure that there are few other bidders.
Lastly, I found that it is very random to bid with less than 5 seconds to go. Any name can come out on top. I won my auction with 3 other bidders having placed my final bid at 7 seconds. Either all 3 decided to end their bidding at the same time or as the Pricebenders instruction manual suggests, connection problems can let you down if you bid with less than 5 seconds to go.
I have also seen other winning bids placed at around 7 seconds left with other bidders still bidding hotly. What happened to these other bidders at the last minute??
Another trick / technique that I saw and which I used to some extent is to allow other bidders to push the price up for you. So no bidding just yet…This will achieve 2 things,.
1. They will use up their credits in getting the price up
2. If the item is now slightly more expensive than it was, many bidders will pull out. This is good for you = less competition.
But so what if the item is now a little more expensive? If you won 100 PSAs this would come with a great deal of hope, dreams and potential = priceless! 😉
I had around 300 credits in my account when I started bidding so I think that this gave me some confidence. I knew that I had a clear budget and I was uncomfortably comfortable with losing it all if that was what it came to – does this make sense?
Towards the end of the auction, there were 3 other bidders and myself bidding on the same item. I happened to have a second tab open because I was watching another auction. (don’t do this – it’s very distracting because you need to be watching the counter closely) But I noticed that the same name was appearing on two different bid logs. So either it was 2 people with exactly the same name bidding for 2 different items or the same guy was bidding on 2 different items at once. To me this meant that he would be distracted trying to watch 2 bids (although one seemed to be set to auto bidder). I also figured that he would run out of credits twice as fast – or so I hoped – so this boosted my confidence.
Also remember that an auction can take up to 3 hours and you don’t really want to be disturbed in this time so you need to find a secret bunker somewhere…
This is what I learned from my very limited experience.
Here is a good analogy I think: Imagine a boxing match with 20 people in the ring. Last man standing is the winner. Don’t go in and try to beat 19 other people by yourself. That wouldn’t work. The best plan would be to sit quietly in the corner and allow the 19 other people to slug it out. Until only one of them was left standing and exhausted. Then you move in and push him over with your little finger = Victory! 😎
So ideally when all the other bidders are exhausted, fed up, tired and short of credits, you move in with your large and largely unused supply of credits, place a few bids and win.
I think that the best advice would have to come from someone who wins auctions consistently and at minimal cost. (Not me)
There are so many other techniques that I have seen people use to win , many involving auto bidding that I’m not even getting into now.
At the end of the day, it is competitive, it costs money and it is somewhat addictive. A totally bad combination if you ask me! There is also clearly an element of luck involved. But personally it was great fun and okay, I like collecting badges so there. (I’ll never have the faststart badge so I gotta make up for it somehow 😀 )
I can’t rely on auctions to build my SFI business and if I may say so, to be perfectly honest at the end of the day I would not recommend it.
But it is always worth keeping an eye on what’s going on in the auction house. Some of those WOW auctions are truly mind blowing and if I won 100 PSAs for $1.99 I would have a huge smile stuck to my face for quite a long time.
All the best Ugo 😉