Monday, May 9, 2011

Save Money with Online Auctions

Most of us love to shop, and it really doesn’t matter what the item is.  We enjoy clothes, shoes, art, almost anything you can imagine shopping for.  Yet we do have to pay attention to how much we spend because all those small purchases do add up over time, especially in this economy.  On the other hand, it is possible to buy twice as much stuff that we might want if we take advantage of the various online auction sites.  Trust me, you can find some great bargains on both new and used items.  The two most popular online auction sites are Yahoo! Auctions and obviously eBay.

There are literally thousands of products to choose from so you will likely find anything you are looking for.  I like to look for items that the stores no longer carry but that I know are great products.  Once you type in a specific item into the search box you will get a listing of all the products available.  You can view them by the auctions that are ending first, the lowest price, the highest price, whatever you want.

Before you can place any bids on these online auction sites, you will need to set up an account.  This is a simple process that will take you about 15 minutes.  You will need to provide your personal information including your name and address, and you will need to set up a user ID and password for your account.

To get the very best deals from these online auctions, you really will want to do your homework before you place a bid on any item.  Also, take a look at the reputation of the seller.  You will be able to see the number of items they have sold as well as feedback from the people they sold those products to.  Take a look at what these people have to say by reading the comments.  You want to make sure the seller seems honest with what they are listing and that they ship timely.

Make sure you find out about the cost of shipping the item to you before you bid on it as well.  Some individuals place the cost of the product very low, but then they charge an outrageous fee for shipping.  This is because the cost they have to pay the auction site for their listing is based on the price at which they open the bidding.  If the auction you are looking at doesn’t give the shipping cost I strongly recommend you email the seller and get an answer before you bid on the item.

Most sellers on these online auction sites are pretty straight forward in regards to what they are selling.  There are a few who aren’t though so you really need to take the time to read the entire listing from top to bottom before you place a bid.  For example, I know a person who thought they were bidding on an iPod on one of these auctions and they were disappointed when they got an off brand.  Yet when I took a look at the listing they purchased it from the information that was clearly stated in the description; she just didn’t read it all.

Not only can you get great bargains from online auctions, but it is fun to look around and see what people have to offer as well.  To help ensure you get the items you want for a price that fits your budget decide what your maximum bid will be on a given item.  Enter that amount when you place your bid.  This way you don’t have to keep going back to see if someone outbid you.  Don’t get caught up in a bid war with someone though because you might end up paying more than the item is worth just because you don’t want to get beat!  By setting your limit in the beginning you won’t have to worry about it.  Should you get outbid on something, there is likely many more of it on the various pages of listings on these online auction sites.

There is a great video series that can further educate you if you would like to learn more.  Auctions 4 Newbies tells you everything you need to know about bidding on items on auction sites as well as how to maximize your profits by listing items on auction sites.  Click here to learn how this series is beneficial.

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