Auction Addiction vs. Auction Smart

bidorbuy.co.za hosts over 8,000 auctions per day in more than 350 categories and sees 380,000 new visitors per month. This South African online marketplace has welcomed over 60,000 new registered members to its community in the last year and raked in over R80 million turnover during 2007.

bidorbuy provides a very dynamic virtual marketplace where consumers can shop online for almost anything from houses and cars to stamps and memorabilia. The consumer-to-consumer marketplace further gives internet users the opportunity to sell their new, refurbished or unwanted items in either an auction or buy now format.

Andy Higgins is the original founder of bidorbuy and still holds a very active role as Managing Director at the Online Auction website. bidorbuy is over eight years old but has seen the most phenomenal growth over the last year and was recently voted as the top South African Online Auction site for the second year running by the South African internet community.

Online Auctions Are Becoming Increasingly Popular

Higgins says that although there are certainly a number of factors that attribute to the phenomenal uptake of online auctions, one of the reasons for its increased popularity is undeniably related to the fact that consumers thrive on adrenalin. Once bidders get hooked on the sense of winning and scoring a bargain, they very often start to become addicted to the counter-strike syndrome.

After just 30 ratings, one bidorbuy user confessed: "I am now addicted to bidorbuy". Another bidorbuyer sheepishly admits that she is becoming addicted to Online Auctions and often wakes up during the very early hours of the morning to make sure that she wins her bids. To ensure that she does not miss out on her win she lines up all her PC's and laptops and then just before the auction is about to end she enters her final bid amount just split seconds before the auction ends. She then hits the enter key on every one of her computers (which she probably bought on bulk at an online auction) to make sure that she gets her final bids in before anyone else has the opportunity to. (That is of course if they were even awake at that ungodly hour.) Has she never heard of the automatic bid feature?

Bidding Just Got Easier

The automatic bid feature is a fantastic little invention that bids on behalf of bidders if a bidder is not able to be online during the auction or is unable to track the auction. This feature allows bidders to just sit back and let the automatic bid do the bidding for them so that they do not have to wake up at 3am in the morning to bid on their most desired items. It bids on a particular item with the specified bid increment amount to meet the current highest bid amount. It will bid on the bidder's behalf only up to the amount that has been specified as the maximum that the buyer is willing to pay for the item. This does not mean that it immediately increases the bid amount to the maximum amount that has been specified; instead it will bid higher only to meet the current highest bid amount. The bidder enters the maximum bid amount and clicks on the bid now button. The system then bids for them the moment someone else has outbid them or at the end of the auction in order to meet the reserve price. Every time the automatic bid feature places a bid on behalf of a bidder, the bidder is notified by email communication.

So Why Do People Become Addicted to Online Auctions?

As technology advances and man continues to thrive on many things that he can devour wholeheartedly, it is only natural that a certain form of addiction may arise. We are not talking about some substance abuse; rather we are referring to the type of addiction in the form of a compulsion or an urge to continuously repeat actions often with very little regard for the consequences that may follow. Online shopping is not only incredibly convenient, it is fun too. Participating in and winning an Online Auction is a very rewarding experience. In an auction, you can never actually purchase an item unless you have won it in a bid. Hence, the highest bidder is the winner.

Most Online Auction websites participate within very close-knit community environments. This online community gives rise to a sense of belonging and recognition amongst this group and may also offer some people a place to release their tensions or enable them to deviate from unpleasant things. A form of retail therapy takes charge and offers a certain level of relief. So, if you are generally very competitive by nature, then the process of bidding in an auction may become very addictive. There is a feeling of intense achievement and satisfaction when you have won a bid. Often this may leave you with an urge of wanting more.

Auction Caution

Auctions only really become addictive once the person involved can no longer control his urge or feelings. bidorbuy encourages its bidders to be aware of the potential warning signs of developing auction addiction. These may include having to place excessively ludicrous bids in order to achieve a desired level of adrenalin or excitement; becoming preoccupied with auctions even when busy with something completely different; lying to family to conceal the extent of your online bidding (denial); feeling restless when trying to cut back on your auction activity; using auctions as a way to escape problems or to intentionally increase your self-esteem through winning; having lost a job or friendship as a result of your online bidding activities; and most importantly, if you have engaged in any unethical or illegal activity to finance your online activities.

You're Not Obsessed if You're Simply Smart!

One of the best things about auctions is that people can find the rarest, the cheapest and the most extraordinary items at affordable prices. No wonder why nearly 80% of the people interviewed in a certain survey have stated that they are willing to buy their items through auctions. In an article published by IOL, Mary Jean Smith, a television producer, said she was addicted to online shopping. "It's divine. It really makes life easier. Now I can spend more time with my children," she said.

Don't be concerned that you might be labeled as an auction addict if you are simply just wise to the fact that there are bargains to be found online. There is a clear difference between a wise buyer and an addictive one. Happy online shopping.