There is a growing popularity today to bid online. Like with many other situations in our daily life, the Internet has dramatically altered our way of life, even to the point of bidding in auctions.

Not only do the Big Three, namely, Amazon, eBay, and Yahoo have online auctions, but also the less-traveled sites do as well. What you will find on the net is remarkable. For example, you can log on to the Internet, type in Patriotic Memorabilia”, and you will be amazed at the amount of data you will find.

There are reasons why people participate in online auctions. Like in other types of auctions, there are bargains to be found if you do your homework and you can spot a good deal. Besides, there is also the thrill of owning or bidding on items once in the possession of celebrities. In addition, there is the adventure of the chase. However, an Internet auction can be quite different from traditional live auctions in many respects.

First, the volume of items offered online is truly amazing, and far exceed other non- Internet auctions. The traditional auction houses such as Sotheby’s, for example, would never have the physical space to house the tremendous number of items commonly seen in Internet auctions. Likewise, the variety of items offered is unique to online auctions.

Second, with online auctions you are acting privately, with no one watching you. You do not need to get in your car and travel. People will not even realize that you are participating.

Third, an online auction offers you convenience and time. You only need a computer, which the majority of adults these days have access to one. You can be concentrating on something completely unrelated to the auction, and, because you have a few minutes, you can take a break from what you are doing to check bids. You can even do this at two or three o’clock in the morning, even though there are scores of other people with the same idea.

Fourth, you may find that items from online auctions may actually be less expensive to the buyer. This may occur for a couple reasons. Because there are such a high volume of items being offered, and because there is such a variety of items, potential bidders are not limited to bidding on only one item related to their interest. For example, you may see three jerseys of your favorite athlete, not merely one. Usually, the bidding will be spread out among the offered items, instead of all the bids being placed on one jersey. As a result, the winning bids on three jerseys, for instance, should be lower than if there was only one item. Bidding wars over items should therefore be reduced as well. Such bidding wars can be common in traditional auctions, and the bidding can skyrocket to the point of being ridiculous. But that can happen when two or three people want the same item and are willing to spend some money to get it. Also, a good number of Internet auctions do not charge a buyer’s premium. As a high bidder you may have to pay for shipping and possibly tax, but that is all.

There are some real advantages to online auctions, and the downsides are minimal. Online auctions bidders have become very sophisticated, and sniping is very common. The practice of sniping involves bidding at the very end of the auction to try to ensure that your bid will not be topped. But keep in mind that, even though you may have been the victim of sniping yourself, it is available to you and everyone else.

Jeff Figler is a Professionally Certified sports memorabilia appraiser. Learn more about Jeff on his website www.collectingwithjeff.com. He can be contacted at Becky.Collectingwithjeff@outlook.com or at 877-472-3087. His baseball book The Picker’s Pocket Guide to Baseball Memorabilia can be purchased on Amazon or from his website.