Savvy Shopping: Can Auction Sites Save You Money?

Shopping is an important part of life. That sounds very materialistic, but it’s the truth! Shopping is a great way to get rid of stress and kill many hours in a day. The only problem is that it costs a lot of money to go shopping all the time! So, for many of us, it’s a hobby we have to shift to the side from time to time.

Naturally, the best way to approach shopping is to try to save as much money as possible. You don’t want to go spending loads of money or run your family finances into the ground. Plus, by spending less, you can potentially buy more important things!

These days, one of the most popular ways to save money is by using online auction websites. These sites involve bidding for different things that are up for sale. The idea is that you can snag a bargain because there’s no set price for the item. It’s like those classic bargain hunting antique shows you see on the TV, you can attend an online auction and get something for hardly any money at all!

At least, that’s the theory behind it, but can you actually save money through online auctions? This is pretty much what I want to talk about in this post today. I’ve done a bit of research, looked at different sites, and figured out the answer to this question. Below, you’ll find a few of my main points and concerns surrounding auction sites. To make it as easy as possible for you to follow, I’ve split the points into two categories; yes, auction sites can save you money & no, they can’t. Enjoy!

Yes, Online Auction Sites Save Money

We start off looking at the case for auction sites as a way to save money. Most of these sites list products that you can bid on. Basically, they don’t have a set price for you to pay, and this means you can definitely get them for way below their RRP. As it shows in this article, there are sites out there like DealDash that list new items up for auction. Here, you have a huge opportunity to save money as the items are brand new. If you win the auction, you get something of the same quality as you’d get if you bought it from another store or retailer.

The more you look at auction sites, the more obvious it becomes that you have to be smart if you want to save money. It’s not simply a case of saving money 100% of the time, it all depends on the way you bid on listings, and the tactics you use. With smart bidding tactics, it’s proven you can save money on almost anything. Most of the time, it’s more a question of how you can save money, rather than if you can save. Some people decide to buy bitcoin and use that through auction sites to save even more money because of the fluctuating value of bitcoin.

Some of the smart tactics involve learning when to bid at the right time, and how much you should start bidding. If you bid on something that’s up for auction for a couple of days, then you don’t have a great chance of winning it or saving money. Ideally, you should wait until the final few seconds before placing a bid on an online auction. This gives people less chance to react, meaning you can’t be outbid. If you place a bid earlier, then there’s loads of time for everyone else to bid on top of you. This starts a bidding war early on, meaning there’s more chance you’ll pay a lot of money, and end up not saving at all. There are loads of other tactics that you can see in articles like this one if you’re keen to learn how to save big in online auctions.

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No, Online Auction Sites Don’t Save Money

After reading the points above, you probably wonder why I’m bothering to write this section at all. Haven’t I just said that online auctions can save money? So, why bother arguing that they can’t? Well, there are many instances where online auction sites don’t save you any money, so I thought it beneficial to touch upon them here.

The most obvious example is when you get caught up in a bidding war. As human beings, it’s natural for us to want to win everything. When we get into any type of competition, we want to come out on top. So, when you bid on something, and someone else dares to outbid you, it ignites the furious competitor inside you. As such, a bidding war ensues, and you end up paying loads of money for something. Often, you can pay as much as you would for the item in a general retail store – sometimes even more. I guess the point I’m making is that you need to ignore your natural instinct to win, and sometimes realize that admitting defeat will save you a lot of money.

Another way online auctions don’t help you save money is when they include additional delivery costs. You can often think you’re winning an auction in style, saving a good chunk of money. Then, you realize there’s a huge delivery fee because the item in question is located on the other side of the world. Suddenly, your savings are irrelevant as the delivery adds on an extra cost to mean you’ve spent more than if you went to a normal online store and bought the item there.

Both of the above examples are clear ways in which you can make mistakes that mean you overspend in online auctions and save no money. There are loads more examples seen here, if you want to know all the things you should avoid. Along with these mistakes, I’d also add in the fact that some online auction sites – like eBay – include second-hand items. I’m always wary of pre-owned goods because they can make it feel like you’re saving loads of money. You bid on them, and get them for a fraction of the cost of the new item. However, you now have something that’s pretty much not worth any money at all. If you wanted to sell it on, you’d now have to sell something that’s third-hand, which devalues it even more. But, when you get new items, they still have that resale value. So, are you really saving money in the long-term when you buy second-hand items? I’m not so sure.

The Conclusion…

Now, let’s tie everything together and come to some sort of a conclusion. Can auction sites save you money? The answer is yes, but there’s a big ‘but’ involved too. They’ll save money, but only when you use the sites properly, and use the right auction sites. Personally, I think it’s best to use auction sites where you can bid on new items. This is where you’re likely to save the most money possible. The worst case scenario is that you buy a new item for it’s RRP, the best case is that you save a decent chunk of cash and get something new, for less. Similar to how you can save money through switch energy. Decent savings can be made in that area as well if you are willing to compare and contrast prices.

Online auction sites are tricky because you can easily lose a lot of money if you’re not careful. The key is learning how to be a smart bidder. Understand the right times to bid, how much to bid, and which auctions are worth bidding on. For example, auctions are a great way to get furniture for a lot less money or other very expensive products. When used correctly, online auction sites can be a very fun way to shop and save!

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About Heather Jones

I'm just a wife and mom of two boys trying to find her place in this world. I enjoy walks around the lake, bible journaling, and RV camping with my family.

Heartfully Heather


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Heather Jones

I'm just a wife and mom of two boys trying to find her place in this world. I enjoy walks around the lake, bible journaling, and RV camping with my family.

24 thoughts on “Savvy Shopping: Can Auction Sites Save You Money?

  1. I think that there’s always ways for people to save money, and that it is possible to save on an online auction site. I don’t use them much because they aren’t my thing but I know some people who have gotten some great buys there. They do take time, patience, a clear understanding of budget, restraint and a bit of luck.

  2. I think sometimes you can save on auction sites, but it’s rarely. I know I’ve gotten some deals on eBay, but on those pay per bid sites, not so much. I think those are a rip off.

  3. I think online auctions are great but you have to be smart about shopping. It’s good to get deals but once you participate in a bidding war, then you’re definitely about to lose money.

  4. Like any online shopping, you have to shop around. I do a lot of shopping on sites like Ebay, but it really depends on the item. I don’t really want to bother with a bidding process, so I generally use the “Buy it Now” option. It’s usually something I can’t get somewhere else or it is much cheaper.

  5. I’ve never personally shopped this way, except a handful of times when my youngest was a baby. I used Ebay for a few baby clothing pieces. I saved a lot of money on them, and should really look into auction sites.

  6. I have shopped on auction sites before but it’s been a while. I really like that you shared the good and the bad sides to shopping on them. I have definitely been able to find what I have been looking for but there has been times when I over bid too.

  7. Ebay is the only auction type website I’ve used. These days, I hardly use it. I can easily understand how folks get caught up in the thrill of beating the other person. When someone would outbid me I definitely took it personal. Like how dare they. Setting maximums so they bid automatically for you prevents over spending.

  8. I personally hate when they advertise that someone got a TV for just $2. They never mention how many bids that took or how much they had to pay per bid.

  9. This is a very well written article. I love how you stated the pros and cons of online auctions. Although I have not tried buying anything using this route, it would be good if I could watch someone do it first before I try.

  10. Awesome points here about the pros and cons of online auctions. It does give you savings but you don’t have to dive into the whole bidding battle if you don’t want to especially since it can cost you serious money. Just be smart when it comes to spending your money.

  11. I’ve only ever used eBay and have a love hate relationship with it! I sometimes think you can end up spending money you don’t need, or not making as much as you’d like!

  12. I’ve used Ebay and saved money. However, I do understand what you said about being human and not wanting to lose. Been there!! Luckily, I did back off before I really regretted it. I’m thinking that the person who was bidding against me wasn’t very happy with himself afterward.

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