Online auctions can be a fun way to buy hard-to-find items. They can also be an easy way to waste money — especially for newcomers. So before you attempt to become a high bidder, visit Auction Insider on the Web and learn how to be a smart bidder.
This site offers strategies and tactics for the first-time bidder — including tips on how to avoid winning an auction that you're better off losing. For example, Auction Insider advises against bidding on used items (not to be confused with refurbished items, which can be a good deal). It also provides updated rankings of the top 10 auction sites for computers, electronics, and collectibles, and lists hundreds of other auctions as well.
Once you know what you're doing, the place to research where to make your next bid is the Internet Auction List. It lists more than 1,500 auctions in more than 40 categories — from toys to livestock, from wine to sporting equipment.
Coordinates: www.auctioninsider.com; www.internetauctionlist.com
A version of this article appeared in the November 1998 issue of Fast Company magazine.