Pandemic Shopping: The Online Auction

Shopping from home is getting easier -- I swear!

Perhaps one of the least understood ways of shopping is the online auction.

When someone says the word auction to me, I can not help but thinking of a courtroom like vibe with paddles and numbers. Or perhaps fancy people winking, pinching their noses or some other form of communication I don't quite understand. I think of someone speaking/singing a fast and incoherent song full of numbers that I personally, have never hand in my bank account. Quite Frankly, the whole thing seems intimidating to me.

Thankfully, the online auction bears little resemblance to live, in-person auctions. In COVID times, they provide an exciting, safe alternative to shopping in malls and antique stores and you do it from the comfort of your home oh, and the DEALS you get are AWESOME!

But, how do they work?

Easy Peasy. Think eBay when it first started. eBay used to have an auction only format and then "Buy it Now" happened. By adding that button, it was transformed into a standard marketplace. eBay is great for instant gratification but the downside is that you can no longer get items at next to nothing.

Getting Started

Participating in an online auction will require you to sign into your buyers account. You will need to give your email & create a password (not if you just want to browse). If you would like to bid, they require you to add a payment method.

When you log in, you will see all of the Auctions that are in your area (you set the radius - since you will be picking your items up). They will be listed by what time and date the sale ends. On any given night there could be 2-10 auctions ending. An average Auction runs for 3-5 days but most of the activity happens in the last 15 minutes of the sale.

Most sales average 150 -250 items. Most of them start at zero dollars and you may bid in one dollar increments. These are the general rules.

Browsing is so much fun and I have seen such a variety of things for sale I couldn't do it justice. Furniture of all brands, clothing ,yard equipment, jewelry, sports equipment, cars, tools, collectibles, etc...


Example: If you see something you like, you bid the top price you are willing to pay (the seller does not see this amount). Lets say you see a Snow blower and it is currently at $10. You may bid any amount over $11.00. You decide that you are willing to pay up to $25.00 for said snow blower. This is the amount you bid. Now, if no one bids against you, you may end up paying only $11! You remain the high bidder until someone decides to bid $26 dollars. If they out bid you, you will be notified and are free to enter a higher bid. It goes on and on until the clock runs out. When the auction ends, your credit card is charged. You will then pick up your item at the time and date noted in the auction.

In short, its not only fun, you can save THOUSANDS of dollars, buy things you never thought you could afford and hey, look at you -- you are recycling! Giving an item a new life, keeping it local, using less of our natural resources, or simply reselling and making a profit -- even better.

Best Item I ever got

I won:

***a $1500.00 glass and metal desk for $1.00. ***The contents of someone's wood shop for $26. ***a giant stained glass pub window for $6.

You get the picture. Now if your still reading this, I will point you in the the direction of 2 decent online auction companies... you can start browsing and bidding today. My little vintage shop will be holding our first auction, set to end April 1st, so please visit my website and add your name to our email list ( ! We will keep you posted and hope that you will participate in helping me make this first auction a success!

Good luck and Happy Bidding.

Sheri at Pip's Curiosity Shoppe

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