Friday, July 5, 2013

Intimidation Versus Bidding Skill


Animation of a nice, intimidated and aggressive bidder by my granddaughter, Crystal Nadine Harvey

What Kind of Bidder Are You?

Let us set the record straight. DealDash policy strongly discourages the use of intimidation to win auctions, and yet a few power bidders are still guilty of making intimidation statements on a regular basis in their bidder bios.

Without naming names, I recently read a blog by a well-known, power bidder on 

In his humble opinion, he claims to be a skilled player who won so many auctions, he is now donating his winnings to charity -- at a local treatment center.

While it is a good and noble gesture to donate to charity, I think it would have been an even kinder, more noble good deed, if this player would have taken a break from bidding instead ... just to give other customers a better chance to win.

I often competed with this player in the same auctions and I agree that he is skilled, but NOT skilled at playing fairly. In my "humble" opinion, he is highly skilled, however, at "using intimidation statements" in his bidder bio that successfully scares his competition away, and that is how he wins. 

Here are some examples: On July 4th, this player's bio read, "Here to stay. I win or BIN." What does this say to other bidders? It says, "You are wasting your bids if you bid in the same auction with me because I am rich enough to outbid you every time. Even if I do not win, I'll just buy-it-now and get all my bids back, so I have nothing to lose by bidding to the bitter end."  If this is not hard-core intimidation, what is?

Now, this bidder's bio reads, "Tired of seeing my face? Just look at it this way, just one more win and I will be out of here and you won't have to see me for a week!!! Food for thought."  This statement is obviously intended to get other players to stop bidding and let him win just to get him out of other auctions for a while. I call this soft-core intimidation ... but intimidation just the same.

Evidentally, this player is not aware that he, himself, is guilty of using intimidation, even though he does it all the time. To donate so many of his winning products to charity shows this bidder probably has a good heart and might very well be a really nice person. So what happens to him during the bidding process?  Why can't he play fair, without making intimidation statements?

Begging, Pleading, Asking

Ironically, in his blog, this player talked about how wrong and fruitless it is for other players to use intimidation. He then gave examples of what I would call "begging or pleading" (attempting to get empathy from other players) and that is not nearly as bad or as powerful as his own  "hard-core intimidation statements."

Examples he used were people who said they had a sick familly member or tried to appeal to other players to let them win for other reasons. He said tactics like this do not work, and he's right. Why? Because nobody is going to take those kind of statements seriously. For all we know, the bidder is telling a bold faced lie with the hope that others are naive enough to believe it, and have mercy on them.  That almost never happens.

To clarify the definition of what "intimidation" is, I looked in my Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.
Intimidate -- to make timid or fearful; to frighten, compel or deter by (making) or as if by (making) threats.
Other words used to define "intimidation" include bully, browbeat, frighten into submission, overcoming resistance by urging, demanding or (making) threats.

By making a bidder bio statement saying, "Here to stay. I win or BIN," that definitely fits into the category of intimidation.

I challenge this player to test his true skills as an experienced bidder by trying to win auctions fairly, without using statements of intimidation. If this bidder simply wrote something about his career and/or hobby instead, could he continue to win auctions then?

When bidders use statements of intimidation, it shows a lack of regard and/or respect for other bidders.
Why? Because we all want to win or we would not be there. To bully others into giving up all hope of winning before getting started is not nice and it is not playing fair.

I wonder what would happen if DealDash eliminated the bidder bios, so no one could attempt to intimidate other bidders. What do you think? Could you win by using bidding skill, without intimidation?

Hard-core Intimidation -- Threats to Scare Other Bidders Away.

Here are some actual examples I found of some hard-core intimidation statements that goes against DealDash policy. Bidders are never supposed to tell other bidders how many bids they have or how many they placed in an auction. Some bidders actually wrote these statements in their bidder bios:

"I got 6,400 bids ready to bid on this so do not (be) wasting your time here ... warning!"

"How many bids you all got left?  I just plopped down 1,000!"

"CEO  of major corp and ruthless bidder."

"All the way till it stops!"

"Addicted to Online Shopping!"

"I'm in it to win so beware as I am the aggressive nightmare that will outbid you every time."

"It is all over!"

"Do not be wasting your time here ... warning!"

Soft-core Intimidation

"Bid jumpers are my friends. They save me lots of money while I wait for them to run out of bids."

"You are getting real sleeeeeeepy!"

"Today is my lucky day. I am planning to win either way -- win or buy it now!"

"Today is my day to be the winning bidder. I just know it ... well, maybe????"

"I will win this time .... I hope!"

Examples of begging & pleading For a Reason

"Doing this for my wife and kids. Hopefully I can win a TV. We only have one and it is for 5 of us."

"Looking to add some technology to the Early Childhood Classroom."

Visit me here: Barbara Sellers

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