07 April, 2018

Mistakes Made by Online Bidders

Read time - 6-7 mins

Before you make a bid online, it’s important that you make sure that you are not making these mistakes because it will help to improve your overall online auction experience and also give you the information you need to make an informed decision before you make a bid on a lot.

What are the most common mistakes made in an online auction?

  1. Do your homework

It's an important one which catches a lot of people out. Before you make a bid, it’s important that you do some research about the item you want to bid for. By doing this, you will get an idea about how much the item is worth and also how much you’re willing to pay. This can avoid the prospect of spending too much on an item.

  1. Once placed, your bid is final

Once you make an online bid for a lot, it’s considered genuine. What this means is that the bid that you have made is final and cannot be retracted or changed. However, a bid can be removed if circumstances such as fraud have been proven.  

  1. Read the Terms and Conditions

You commit to this everytime you bid! Listed on each auction catalogue are the terms and conditions which detail all the contractual obligations for all parties involved. You agree to these terms when you place a bid which makes it important to see what you’re agreeing to.

  1. Irrational Behaviour

Bidding wars can be great but at what price? During an auction, it’s not uncommon to become emotionally involved in an auction. Bidders can become irrational and make bids ‘in the moment’ which they may not have made if the conditions were different. This can invite a lot of problems for the bidder so it’s recommended to be extremely cautious of the bids you place because you become contractually obliged to them.

  1. Underestimating Fees

Don't be hammered by premiums. Online auctions, similar to traditional auctions, have their own fees and it’s essential to understand how this will affect your bid. If you bid without taking into consideration any premiums or VAT, then you will still have to pay after the aforementioned fees are applied.

Tip - It’s important to check the VAT and premiums in the auction details.

  1. Bidding on a lot with no matching Image and Description?

If there is a discrepancy between the product image and description, then it’s advised to make use of the questions feature which gives you the opportunity to contact the auction house to seek clarification.

It’s not uncommon for bidders to place bids on lots which have discrepancies between the product image and description and ultimately receiving something which they did not expect.

  1. Not attending a preview

You’ll find that there are opportunities to inspect an item you wish to bid for prior to the auction. This gives you the ability to check for obvious signs of damage, wear etc. and also saving you the prospect of buying an item which has been damaged or is missing a vital piece of equipment.

  1. Going beyond your maximum

Items which are highly desired by bidders often encourage a bidding war. It’s in these circumstances that bidders exceed their maximum. In this event, the bidder is still contractually obliged to meet this payment regardless of the situation in which it was won. This raises the need for bidders to evaluate their budget.

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Avoid these mistakes made by online auction bidders - William George & Co.
Avoid these mistakes made by online auction bidders - William George & Co.