There seems to be no limit to the number of tips and strategies out there on the Internet about how to win penny auctions and spend the least number of bids to do it. Trouble is, there seems to be little consensus on many matters. Some “experts” recommend using auto-bid tools, others warn against them. Some stress intricate strategy and mathematical accuracy of bid timing and amounts. Others claim that winning is most simply a matter of bidding at the right time.
However, what most DO agree on is that preparing yourself and practicing a few, clear penny auction do's and don'ts could save you a lot of money AND increase your chances of winning. For preparation, read (and re-read if necessary) the “How It Works” article HERE. Then, before placing a bid for a Pricebenders™ auction item, be sure to familiarize yourself with these essential do's and don'ts:
DO...determine a bid budget and stick to it.
DO...watch the auction timer. If the counter almost reaches zero again and again before starting over, it means that there are probably not very many members bidding on that item...and that means your chances of winning are higher.
DO...consider some of the less-expensive items. Generally, fewer people bid on cheaper items and, again, fewer bidders mean your chances of winning are higher.
DO...time your bids wisely. This is a vital factor to winning. Bidding right after the start of an auction, for example, is usually a wasted bid.
DO...observe the auctions and list of recently won auction items to determine the best time of day that consistently have the fewest bidders (generally, the lower the winning price, the less bidders there were).
DO...enter the "Pick-the-Price" contest (located adjacent to all Pricebenders feature auctions). It only costs 1 TCredit to enter and it's simple, easy, and fun! Just log in at TripleClicks at the start of each new feature auction and submit the amount you think will be the winning price of the item. Yes, you can enter each time we start a new auction...so multiple times every day you have another chance to win! If you pick the final price exactly right, you immediately win 200 free TCredits, a $64 value! If no one predicts the exact final price, the person who is closest without going over wins 50 FREE TCredits. In the event of a tie, the person who posted the winning prediction first will receive either the 200 or 50 FREE TCredits prize, whichever is applicable.
DO...purchase your TCredits for bids in bulk if you can. In this way, you'll minimize your cost per TCredit (as low as $0.29 each) and ensure you'll have as many as you need to complete an auction. Running out of TCredits at the last moment can be costly...and heartbreaking!
DO...if you're on the TripleClicks homepage, check out the auction item's description page by clicking the item name. In this way, you'll be sure to know EXACTLY what you are bidding on and avoid unpleasant surprises later. You'll also be able to see the bid log listing all bidders for this item. Tip: Click on a bidder's name to see their TripleClicks "TConnect" Webpage to learn more about him or her.
DO...use Pricebender's Auto-Bidder with care! This useful tool can ensure your bids are entered automatically, so you won't have to stand by monitoring an auction...but it should be used carefully and with your budget in mind. Tip: Let's say you think an item's final price is going to be $5.75. A smart auto-bid might be to set up, say, 10 TCredits for between $5.50 and $6.00. Of course, keep in mind that if the price never reaches $5.50, none of your bids will be placed. Conversely, if the price goes beyond $6.00, someone else may win the auction after your ten TCredits have been automatically bid.
DO...read Pricebenders Rules & Policies and be sure you understand the rules and limits for participating in the penny auctions.
DON'T...spend more on an auction than you are willing to lose.
DON'T...wait too long to bid. Connectivity issues, computer crashes, latency (network delays), and other factors may interfere with your bid. If you wait till the last few seconds to bid, you're running the risk that your bid won't go through in time. And make sure you understand that when you bid, it just resets the auction clock, so being the last one to bid before the clock hits zero gains you little if anything...and may just keep you from winning if your bid is delayed by one of the afore-mentioned technical issues. If your strategy is to wait until the "last possible moment," we recommend bidding with NO LESS THAN 5 seconds remaining.
DON'T...get overly excited when bidding. You'll be more likely to break your budget and/or use your TCredits up faster than you need to.
DON'T...get in a bidding war with other bidders. If you can, sit back and let others battle and use their TCredits trying to out-bid each other.
DON'T...pick an item on which to bid just because it looks like only a few members are bidding on it. A lot of members wait until the last few moments to bid. So while it may look like only a few bidders are interested, dozens more are probably watching and waiting—particularly if it's a popular item.