By, Rhonda McCurry
Though the bidding is silent during an online auction, there is a constant roar of excitement on screens each evening across the country. And, though a bidder can’t see their competition during on online sale, there is a way to control and conserve your bid, specifically with the maximum bid feature.
What is a Max Bid?
A max bid is a set amount a buyer is willing to spend for a lot.
When a potential buyer is ready to bid online, they probably know what their budget is. As they watch bids come in and try to buy a particular lot, the max bid feature can help buyers stick to their budget.
Here’s an example. A buyer places a bid of $300 but a contending bidder has already put in a maximum bid of $500. This would make the $300 bidder “out” and a message would pop up at the top of their screen that says “Someone has placed an equal or higher bid on this lot.” The $300 bidder now knows to bid again if they want to win that lot. The contending bidder who set the $500 max bid will be winning the lot until a bid of a higher amount is placed.
Once a max bid is set the computer does the bidding. Setting a max bid is completely confidential and private as only the bidder –not the seller – knows how much the max bid is.
Why Should I Place a Max Bid?
An advantage of the max bid is that an online sale can last late into the evening. Placing a max bid means being able to avoid having to stay up late or risk missing the critical horse-race style time period of placing another bid. Katey Brattain, Sales Manager for showpig.com says she knows of bidders who’ve been distracted or even fallen asleep and missed the chance to bid again on their favorite lot.
The max bid concept can also help conserve the buyer’s money. In the heat of the moment, many bidders and their competitive spirits are tempted to spend more than their budget allows. Placing a max bid caps the bidder’s money at a certain amount. In addition, the computer only re-bids the buyer’s money if someone else actively bids against them. Just because the bidder put in a $500 maximum does not mean they will pay that amount.
Help is On the Way
Showpig.com staff members are actively monitoring the sale in real-time and are always available to answer phone calls or questions regarding the sale status.
Brattain says her staff is available to help, no matter what time of night. One of the common errors is when bidders place the wrong max bid or enter their bidder number instead of the max bid amount.
“We have seen instances where a person will mean to place a max bid of $1,000 but they enter the decimals wrong and their max is turned in at $10,000,” she says. “Our staff will catch that issue and contact them for accuracy.”
No matter the time, Brattain says a bidder should call (614) 403-0726 with questions during a sale. The showpig.com staff is online and ready to help. And she says if their phones are busy showpig.com calls will be transferred to auction managers instead to help with any issues or questions. The company does bring in additional staff to manage high call volume during busy sale dates.
When looking for the next great pig online, a buyer should consider their budget then consider if using the max bid feature is a tool that would benefit them. This will ensure they only spend what they can, that they do not miss the chance to bid higher and they don’t have to spend all evening at the computer. Brattain says if a bidder knows their max bid is $1,000 they can put this number in at the beginning of the sale and watch it throughout the day.
“I’ve had consigners praise the max bid option because the tool works exactly as it should,” she says.