If you've ever placed a bid on an item, whether in an open auction or indeed on eBay, you will have probably felt the tension in the air just before a listing is due to end, and been generally over-excited about buying an item. eBay is actually designed perfectly for people to think rationally and not overspend; we can make a “maximum bid" in the privacy and comfort of our own homes, for instance. However, despite our best judgement, many of us will pay more than we wanted to. Read on to find out more about the psychology of auctions and buying in general, and by learning more about how your customers are thinking, you'll be in a better position to sell more.
Sell More On eBay With A Little Auction Psychology Knowledge
According to a survey by a shopping discount website, three-quarters of British women admit to purchasing an item for the thrill of it. The excitement you yourself might well feel when you purchase an item in-store or online is only maximized if the item is the last one on offer, is in the sale or is entirely one of its kind.
Human nature is such that certain elements of auction bidding tap into our psyche and make it incredibly tempting to spend more than we know we should. In fact, some have even estimated that 'about half of eBay auctions result in higher sale prices than the “buy it now" price' . But why? This doesn't make sense!
The answer lies in ourselves. Our rational thought can be toppled over when taking part in an auction, and can result in what is widely known in the auctioning world as “auction fever". This is where a person will continue to bid to 'win' the item, even if the value of the item has long been reached. They think that getting the item - and thereby prevent other others from getting it – is winning, and not getting it is losing. But really, paying too much – especially if you could have bought the item new for cheaper - is losing.
Auctions simply push our psychological buttons. The more we imagine having an item, and the more competition we have to get it, the more we want it. The closer we get to the end of the auction, like an animal on the hunt, the more your adrenaline will start to pump, and the faster you heart will beat, thereby making your reactions faster – you feel like you don't have time (and indeed you might not have time) to think about whether or not you really should click or stick your paddle up in an auction, so you just do it, without a clear, rational head, and deal with the consequences later. Auctions bring out our competitive side, and unlike in sports games, where this is an advantage, being competitive in an auction is actually a disadvantage – at least for bidders.
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