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How to Bid: Winning What You Want in B2B Online Auctions

Bid Tips: Image of how to get the target product at online auction
How should you bid to increase your chances of winning what you want from B2B online auctions, or to increase your purchasing efficiency? We spoke with Mr. Kato from Star Buyers Auction.

Basic Outline of the Online Auction Bidding System

Let's take a look at the basic outline of Star Buyers Auction online auctions.

The Star Buyers Auction schedule

The schedule for Star Buyers Auction online auctions is as follows. All times are given in Japan Standard Time.

■ Week 1 Auction
Week 1, Tue., 3:59 p.m.: Deadline for accessories, apparel, footwear, and brand-name silver goods
Week 1, Tue., 5:59 p.m.: Deadline for watches
Week 1, Wed., 3:59 p.m.: Deadline for brand-name and non-brand jewelry
Week 1, Wed., 5:59 p.m.: Deadline for bags
*With an automatic extension function (in 5-minute units)
Start of bidding: Previous Thu., 9:00 a.m. (All genres start simultaneously)

■ Week 3 Auction
Week 3, Tue., 3:59 p.m.: Deadline for accessories, apparel, footwear, and brand-name silver goods
Week 3, Tue., 5:59 p.m.: Deadline for watches
Week 3, Wed., 3:59 p.m.: Deadline for brand-name and non-brand jewelry
Week 3, Wed., 5:59 p.m.: Deadline for bags
*With an automatic extension function (in 5-minute units)
Start of bidding: Previous Thu., 9:00 a.m. (All genres start simultaneously)

Basic Outline of Auctions

Let’s go over how to bid when you want to participate in an auction.

(1) Find an item to bid on
First, log in to the Star Buyers Auction site and find the item you want. You can search by category, product name, model number, and more.

To learn more about the Product Information Screen, see "What information does Star Buyers Auction provide on its Product Information Screen?”.
(2) Check the item’s condition and enter a bid
Next, enter a bid amount that suits your budget. Star Buyers Auction uses an automatic bidding system, which means you can enter a budget cap (Maximum Bid) and the system will automatically place a bid that falls between the current price and your Maximum Bid. It will bid automatically for every bid unit (amount between bids) up to your Maximum Bid.
The minimum bid is the smallest amount that can be added to the starting price. The bid unit (difference between bids) is the smallest unit for adding more than the minimum bid.
Let's look at the structure of the automatic bidding system in detail.
Example 1: If the starting price is 100,000 JPY, and you bid 150,000 JPY with no other bids submitted
The current price is 100,000 JPY and you become the highest bidder. If the auction ends under these conditions, you will be the winning bidder.
Example 2: If the current price is 100,000 JPY and you bid 130,000 JPY while another person’s Maximum Bid is set at 150,000 JPY
You will see “Failed” under your bid result, and the system will automatically make a bid of 135,000 JPY for the other person, making them the highest bidder. If the auction ends under these conditions, you will not be the highest bidder; the other person will be the winning bidder.
Example 3: If the current price is 100,000 JPY and you set a Maximum Bid of 130,000 JPY while another person’s Maximum Bid is set at 120,000 JPY
The automatic bidding system will submit a bid of 125,000 JPY, making you the highest bidder. If the auction ends under these conditions, you will be the winning bidder.
Automatic bidding will stop when there are no more bids from other participants. This allows you to bid efficiently at the minimum cost as appropriate for the bidding situation.
"The advantage of the automatic bidding function is that you don't have to check the auction site all the time. It makes bidding efficient for buyers who want to bid on many things at once or who are many time zones away." (Kato, Star Buyers Auction) 
You can also change the unit of currency on the bidding screen. Star Buyers Auction accepts many major currencies, so you can display unit prices in whatever currency makes calculation easy for you.
(3) Until bidding ends
If, before bidding ends, someone makes a bid that exceeds your initial budget, you can rebid by entering a new amount. If this doesn’t happen by the end of bidding, your bid will be completed.
If there is a new bid within five minutes before the end of bidding, bidding will be extended automatically (through the automatic extension function). An automatic extension will be applied every five minutes thereafter.
(4) When the bidding period ends
Starting at 0:00 the day after the auction ends, the system will allow you to generate an invoice for the goods. Once billing is enabled, you can consider your bid complete.
For information on generating and viewing the invoice, see "I won something at Star Buyers Auction! How do I view the invoice and pay?”.

How to Bid in Online Auctions

Thanks to Star Buyers Auction’s automatic bidding system, you don't have to deal with the hassle of real-life auctions, but here are some tips to help increase the likelihood of a winning bid.

Tip 1: Refer to the price list

“I think the most effective way is to decide your budget by referring to the price list when you set the bid price.” (Kato, Star Buyers Auction) 

Star Buyers Auction provides a price list subscription service for its users. The data in these lists reflects the bid prices of auctions by Star Buyers Auction, which boasts more than 25,000 items every month. Checking these lists makes it easier to set appropriate bids.

For more about the price list subscription service, see "Grasp past bid prices at a glance. Could a price list subscription service change your purchasing?"

Tip 2: Make good use of your budget during bidding

When you’re bidding on items from multiple genres at the same time, sometimes you may win with a bid below your budget cap. That’s why it’s also important to make use of the remainder of your budget to add to your bids for items in other genres. Take advantage of the different deadline schedules to make good use of your budget and increase the likelihood of a successful bid. Of course, we recommend that you bid more for anything you particularly want.

Want to get started in online auctions?

Star Buyers Auction uses an automatic bidding system that allows you to bid more efficiently while keeping your budget in mind. This makes efficient purchasing easy, even for newcomers to online auctions. If you want to start participating in online auctions, consider Star Buyers Auction. Extensive support is available for customers, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any interest.

New members can register here.

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