How to Win on MadBid

What follows is a step by step guide on how to win MadBid auctions, based on my long experience.

Buy cheap credits

Use a valid MadBid promotion code to get your credits half price.

Pick a good auction

Once you’ve stocked up on credits, you need to pick a decent auction to bid on. What is a good auction will be different for new and old users. New users should bid on lower value auctions as these tend to be less popular and therefore easier to win. By lower value, I mean auctions with an RRP between £50 and £200. So things like Kindles, TomToms and smaller sized TVs.

There are two kinds of auction you should consider bidding on (this goes for all users, not just new ones): what I call ‘new’ and ‘late’ auctions. Let’s talk about new auctions first.

New auctions

So you’ve got your credits, you’re on the site looking for a low value auction to bid on (assuming you’re a newbie) and you see that a Kindle auction is due to open in five minutes. What do you do now? Let me tell you.

Set a small autobid on the auction, somewhere between 5 and 10 bids. If you don’t know what an autobid is or how to set one up (don’t worry, it’s not hard!), read this. Once the auction opens, watch it and see who else is autobidding on it. Don’t even pay attention to people bidding manually. They are always new bidders who don’t know what they’re doing and will soon get bored and go and do something else.

I talk about how you can tell who else is autobidding here. To re-cap, you’re looking for someone bidding in the last ten seconds – and only then. If there is only one other autobidder, you’ll see an obvious pattern where you bid in the last ten seconds, then they bid, then you bid, then they bid, etc. Of course, people might bid in between, but if they are not bidding in the last ten seconds then they are bidding manually and can be ignored.

From this point there are only a few possibilities.

There is only one other other autobidder

Say you see that there is only one other autobidder. What now? Look them up on All Penny. Don’t know what All Penny is or how to use it? Clicky. Now you need to decide whether to carry on bidding against them, or to pull out. If they have placed a lot of bids in total (thousands), have been a member for a long time (over a year) and regularly bid over 1000 times on single auctions, these are all signs that you should avoid bidding against this person. Why? Because how they’ve bid in the past is a guide to how they will bid in the future. If they won a Kindle last month with 437 bids, chances are they’ll be prepared to bid that many times again, at least. In this case, it isn’t worth your while to bid against them, so drop out of the auction.

Just because you’ve dropped out now doesn’t mean you can’t still win the auction. You can come back later (if it’s still going) and jump it. Don’t know what jumping is or how to do it? Read this. On a Kindle, I would suggest jumping when the auction has reached £15.

If the autobidder wins the auction soon after (or even immediately after) you turn your autobid off, don’t feel annoyed. He’s just used up a win limit and won’t be able to bid on a Kindle again for a month. You’ll just have to wait for the next one.

There are no other autobidders

If there is no other autobidder, your chances of winning this Kindle have just skyrocketed. Up your autobid to 100, say, and keep watching. It is possible that someone with a lot of bids at their disposal will join the auction before you have bid 100 times. If this happens, follow the same steps as before: check their All Penny stats, and make a judgment about their seriousness. If you bid 100 times, there are no other autobidders and you still haven’t won the auction, just keep bidding. BIN the Kindle if you have to. Don’t know what BINing an auction means? Have no fear: take a look at this.

There is more than one autobidder

Sometimes you’ll find that there are two or more other autobidders. Stop bidding. Watch the auction closely and let them autobid against each other. In the best case scenario, they will both bid to BIN, meaning that at some point one of them will drop out. When this happens, you should join the auction, as the remaining bidder should only have a few more bids left in them before they hit BIN. This strategy is called jumping. For more on it, click here.

Late auctions

A late auction is one that has already been going on for a while. If it’s a Kindle, perhaps the price is already at £15, meaning that 1,500 bids have already been placed. People won’t keep bidding forever. Say there is someone bidding on it who has been on it from the start. Think he’s going to bid an infinite number of times to secure a win? No. He’ll have set an autobid, probably to reach BIN. On a Kindle, that would be about 500 bids. 4 credits per bid. 1 credit = 10p. £200 BIN price. 200/0.4 = 500.

If the price is at £15 and this other person has been bidding from the start, they must have already used up hundreds of bids. So get stuck in! Don’t be scared. The longer the auction has gone on for, the better it is for you as a jumper. In the worst case scenario, you outbid the person you jumped but you then get jumped yourself. But for the jumper to get jumped is actually quite rare, so don’t worry about it. And remember, you can always use BIN if necessary.

Long-term stategy

In the long-term, you want to be building up a reputation as a bidder who doesn’t take any nonsense and will bid to BIN if you get taken on. I want to chat about this a bit because it’s important. First, a quick revision session on BIN.

A BIN auction is an auction where if you don’t win through bidding then you can buy the item for the BIN price (which will be slightly above the item’s RRP), minus the value of the credits you have used bidding on the item. So, my buy now price for an iPhone 4s for example is £409.98. If I were to use £409.98 worth of credits (8200 credits) bidding on an iPhone 4s auction I could buy it now for 0p. To use up that amount of credits I would have to bid 1025 times (8200/8).

Bid 1025 times on an auction, any auction, and you will attract attention. Other bidders will sit up and take notice. They will remember your name. They will make a mental note to avoid you. When bidders start avoiding you, that’s when you start to pick up cheap wins.

You can buy an iPhone for less elsewhere: on eBay, for example (unusually, MB is selling them cheaper than the Apple store, who are selling them for £449). But that is not the point. No, the point is that even if you do have to pay the BIN price for this iPhone you will be much more likely to win the next big auction you bid on outright. Why? Because bidders are looking for bargains. If they see you bidding on an auction and remember watching you BIN an iPhone the other day they will leave you alone. And if they are leaving you alone then you are winning auctions for pennies.

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