Occasional Posts

On how to win at Tradera (or any other auction site really)

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Have you ever felt sad and despondent at always losing out on your bids? Have you ever wondered on how some people constantly get to win auctions whereas you’re always outbid?

Boy, have I got the solutions for you.
(For legal purposes, these may not be the solutions for you. Still worth a read, I guess)

1. Winning everytime

The first thing you need to know about winning everytime for every auction. It’s simply not possible, unless of course you have Scrooge McDuck levels of money. Since I assume you do not have Scrooge McDuck levels of money, you will not win everytime.

Now that you know the above, we can set realistic goals. Winning auctions that must be won.

2. The conceit

Finding something you like is easy enough. Next you will have to find out the market value of the product when new, and the price that the product is usually sold for on Tradera (or eBay or another site that floats your boat). Unless you are looking at one of a kind antiques, this information is easy to come by.

Then you need to settle on an upper limit of the price of the product that you are willing to bid (or are comfortable spending) and then add 15% of that price (because there are people with time and money who will pay for things above market value).

so basically:
if you see that a product has a market value of x, be prepared to pay
x + 0.15x

Why 15%? No reason. It’s an arbitrary amount that wasn’t too low, and not too high. You’re not Scrooge McDuck remember?

3. The first bid

Place an initial bid first, that is quite low and don’t place an autobid if the site allows for it.

This is done so that you can get other interested parties bidding on it and thereby get a feel of the interest for the product. This technique works only if there has been an initial bid on the product already. If you’re the first bidder, you won’t be able to tell much.

4. The wait

Now, you wait till close to the end of the auction.

5. The final bid

Just before the auction is set to end, make a new bid. This bid should be just higher than the current highest bid (you don’t want to play all your cards at once) and you should also place an autobid. The autobid is the final bid price of x+0.15x.

This is done so that even if someone outbids you in the final few precious seconds, they need to outbid you by a substantial margin to come close to what your autobid might be.

Yes, I know this is auction sniping and that it is frowned upon in certain circles, but it is a legit tactic that even the people frowning upon it are using.

Real world example

John sees a pair of shoes with a starting price of 500kr.
‘Great deal!’ He thinks. ‘Those shoes are comfortably worth 800kr, and I would gladly pay up to 1000kr for them.’
He makes an initial bid of 510kr. John sets a notification for a few minutes before the end of the auction and steps away.
A few day later, and before the end of the auction, John logs back in to the site.
The price for the shoes are now 750kr.
Several seconds before closing, he makes a bid for 760kr and places an auto bid up to 1000kr, which is what he was prepared to pay.
Seconds later, he has won the auction with the highest bid of 825kr.


It doesn’t always work like the above. Some people might employ the same strategy and might outbid John by 10kr or even 1000kr. Hard to tell with people.

However, you will considerably up your chances of winning auctions by employing this method. That’s a guarantee. (Again, for legal reasons, we can’t really guarantee anything actually. You might still lose all the auctions you’re a part of anyway.)