Friday, November 23, 2012

How to succeed in bidding on One Project Closer items

The Humble Brag Link Party

One of the many sites I visit on the interwebs is One Project Closer, a DIY blog written by two couples on the East Coast.  They have many good How To posts and often feature new tools, products and projects that I'm jonsing to try once we have our Forever Home.

Cannot wait to use the Nail Gun
They also feature a reward system and auction site.  You get points for visiting and commenting on posts.  You can use these points for bidding on auction items.  Here's a picture of some of the things I've won over the last year.

Having won the last four auctions I've participated in on OPC, I thought I'd give a little helpful hints on how to win on bidding. First you need to accumulate points so you have something to bid with. You get 2 points for visiting each day. Actually, you get 2 points for visiting every 20 hours so in theory you could get 16 pts a week if you are an insomniac. 

You also get 5 points for new comments on posts (follow up comments do not yield points). There is usually one post per business day so that's 25 more points for a potential of 41 pts/week.  Additionally, at the end of each post, before the comments, there is a section which features related posts. Most of these are from the days before the point system. So this is an excellent way to rack up some additional points.

Pro Tip:  They are very liberal in what constitutes a valid post and do not over enforce their posting policy.  Having said that, it is a DIY community that pleasantly lacks trolls (as far as I can tell) so please don't spoil it by making lame short word posts like "Looks Good" or "That Rules".  It doesn't take much effort to come up with a substantive post, especially if you ask a good question such as  "how much did that cost" or "could you have customized the dimensions to fit a different space."

They also have a sister site called The Better Half.  While they don't post quite as often as OPC, there are some interesting posts every couple of days and comments here earn you points as well.
Once you have enough points you may decide you want to bid on something.  Here's my technique.  It's not rocket science but I have won the last three auctions I've attempted.  Most of the auctions close at 10pm CST usually on a Saturday night, when most of the world is doing other things.  Fortunately for me, I'm an old married guy in a time when internet access is more prevalent than in my youth. 

So I set a simple Calendar alert on my Outlook Calendar on my PC and also on my smart phone for about an hour before the bidding ends.  I've found that it's best to access the bidding site via a desktop or iPad browser. [My android phone didn't work but Nightingale's iPhone did.]

Pro Tip: My secret for winning the bid?  When you log in, bid the amount that is currently listed.  Usually I'm the first and only bidder but at least two other times I was competing with someone else.  So the super secret technique that I alluded to?  If you find that you are competing with someone, bid all your points!

That's right, if you look at the current LeaderBoard, you'll see that I'm 7th though I've been as high as 3rd.  So theoretically, only six other commentors can beat me.  So by bidding all my points, the others have to decide if the item for bidding is worth giving up all their points.  Most are Risk Adverse and will not bet the farm for a power tool in spite of the following.

Now for the secret:  These points are not worth anything outside of OPC.  So there really is no reason to save them.  The current bidding schedule gives you enough time to replace whatever points your spend on an item if you win.  Worst case, you have to skip the next auction or two while you rebuild your points in the mean time you get to enjoy whatever item you won.  Good luck and remember, YMMV.

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  1. Hey Icarus! Thanks so much for linking up and linking back at last week's Humble Brag. You were featured!!!

    We are also starting a giveaway today for a SILHOUETTE CAMEO!! Hope to see you there!

    1. wow I totally missed this comment. what a blast from the past. Is your site still active? (I will click over ) but wondered how you are doing.


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