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What are Online Bids?

Article Details
  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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Online bids are a way to purchase items on an online auction site. Instead of simply purchasing an item outright, the website user will instead place a bid on an item, which someone else can also bid upon, much like a traditional auction. Online auction sites have become quite popular, and offer a way to locate and purchase items that may be difficult or impossible to find elsewhere.

To find auction websites, simply search online. One can either search for a specific item on the site, or it can also be fun to browse to find new things. Virtually any item can be found on an auction website, including toys, clothing, collectibles, jewelry, accessories, electronics, and even vehicles. Once you have found an item that you wish to purchase, it is time to bid.

In general, online bids can be placed in virtually any increment. Some bidders choose to bid their highest amount up front, which the auction site will then increase in automatic increments if other users attempt to outbid. Others choose to bid small amounts at a time, to prevent the item price from running up too high. Either way can work, but if possible, it is helpful to watch the item as it is ending to ensure that someone else does not rush in and outbid at the last second. Keep in mind, however, that this is a strategy that you can employ as well.

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Online bids are considered contracts to purchase an item -- the same as at a traditional auction. Do not bid on anything that you cannot afford to pay should you win the auction. Most auction sites offer a "feedback" system for other users to view, and if you consistently receive negative feedback, no one will want to buy from or sell to you. Before creating any online bids for an item, it is a good idea to check the feedback of the user who is selling the item.

Most items on auction sites are listed at deep discounts, even designer items. Though some items have reserve prices that need to be met before the item is sold, many items do not, and can be purchased for a fraction of the original price. Also, keep in mind that not all items on auction sites are used. Many of the products currently being sold on auction websites are brand new. Before making online bids, it important to read the listing carefully, and verify the condition of the specific items on which you are bidding, as it is not unusual to find both used, and new versions of the same product for sale on the same site.

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