With nine out of ten startups failing within the first three years, it’s very critical for any entrepreneur to take the right first steps in everything—from finding the right people to sourcing the right equipment for the business—to avoid the traps of failure. But we all know how challenging decisions can be, especially when you barely have any experience in running a business.
A lot of businesses source their equipment, furniture, and supplies through online auction websites because of how it helps them cut down costs. If you’re planning to do the same, here are some tricks to help you make the most out of your experience:
Categorize the things that you need and find a niche site that covers it
Before you start shopping, make sure to have a list of all the things you need and categorize them by niche. This will make it easier for you to shop and find niche sites that cater only to the products that you need.
For instance, if you need new equipment and you already have a list, it will be easier for you to research more about equipment auctions and find niche sites where you could look for all the equipment needed for your business. Experts say that shopping in niche sites actually helps you save money because sellers price their items less than high-reduction sites like eBay where competition is tough.
Compare prices and see how much others paid for the items you need
To see which auction site can offer you the best rate, try to shop around and see how much others have paid for the items that you need. Some auction sites have a feature where you can search for sold items and see how much they were bought for. This will allow you to see what the common rates are to make it easier for you to make bids.
Wait a little longer before placing a bid
For experts, this is called sniping the auction, which means waiting until the last minute before placing your bid. Sellers usually start with a low price and hope that bidders will flock to their auction. But there are those with low or no bids and will be available later on for a good bargain price. If these items are included in your list, you can take advantage of them at really good deals.
Be on the lookout for mistakes
A lot of good bargain hunters in auctions have a keen eye for mistakes that will give them a good edge when bidding for the items they need. For instance, misspelled items will not appear in the right searches, which will cause them to have only a few bidders. You can try to search for these misspelled items and take advantage of their low rates because some of them are still very competitive and in excellent condition. They just happened to have been spelled wrong by their sellers.
Other items also have no dimensions, sizes or brands on their descriptions, which make them a lesser favorite among bidders since a lot of them won’t have the time or patience to ask about these details. You can ask the seller directly for any missing information and probably get a better price for them because of the mistake.
Use non-round numbers when placing bids
It’s normal for a lot of bidders to set their bids using round numbers. But you don’t actually need to bid by a few dollars more because even going a few cents over your limit can already give you a good edge over other bidders.
For instance, if your usual bid is $100, you can try bidding at #100.05 and you’ll instantly outbid the other bidder who only had a $100 bid. This way, you’re still bidding within your budget but you’re getting a better chance at winning over other bidders.
Finally, it’s very important to learn about how auction websites work. While you don’t have to be a financial expert to get a good bid, you still need to know the basics of the business to work your way through bidding and get good deals out of the items that you need. You also need to be knowledgeable about the products that you want to source for your business to have a good idea of what you need to look for and what you should avoid.
Now that you have these tips in your arsenal, you can be smarter in buying the things that you need in auction websites.