Yes, you read that right. $20.77 for a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 that retails at $199. I got it at that price in a Penny Auction. This is a screen shot of my auction win.
I don’t have a screenshot of the actual auction page because my workmate (I was at work) clicked away from the page out of curiosity. He was so shocked by what I told him. He clicked around to see more and when I clicked back the auction had been replaced by the next one.
I wanted a screenshot like the one below.
Now all this happened after working hours while I was waiting for my colleagues to finish their work so we could close for the day. I checked out the auction page at Pricebenders to see where I could try my luck and landed on the Tablet. Something I’d wanted to get for a long time. But I didn’t have the money to spare for it.
I kept checking back on the auction since I could not afford to monitor it the whole time. I still had a few things to put away before leaving work. And the clock was still counting down from 30 minutes. It would have been a waste of auction credits to start bidding at that time.
I enabled the alert chime to let me know when the time runs down below 10 seconds. It also alerts you when you’re about to be disconnected from the auction due to inactivity.
After sometime, I noticed that the clock was running down a lot since the alert chime kept going off frequently. This was a sign that there were few people left bidding on the auction. I began placing my bids inconsistently to test if there were any people using auto bid (A feature was added recently that shows if someone is using auto bid). I wasn’t going up against an auto bidder, not with the amount of auction credits I had.
I’d stop bidding every time someone started using auto bid and would resume after they lost steam or gave up. I did the same with aggressive bidders. Occasional the clock would not run down as often and I’d bid less frequently. I’d bid once in a while to test how persistent a new bidder was after watching them for a while. In Pricebenders, you get to see who you’re bidding against in the Bid Log.
There was another thing I had to deal with. Many people on the auction still did not understand that waiting to bid at the last moment does not help. Actually, they risk loosing the auction if the computer fails to register their bid in time due to latency or other problems affecting their connection to the auction. So if the clock was counting down from 30 seconds, I’d bid at about 15 seconds left but not below 10.
That spared me the bidding frenzy that would pour in at the last moment. Due to latency, the system can register such late bids up to 5 seconds after the clock resets. I’d also avoid bidding when there were many people waiting for the last moment. Three was manageable.
I soon found that I was the only one bidding with any kind of consistency which meant I was clearly the power bidder in that particular auction. So I kept it up until I placed one more bid and watched the clock run down till it went Going once, Going twice and I won the tablet at $20.77!
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