Maybe I'm just bitter when someone decides to outbid me on an auction but, when there's still a bit of time to go, I have a tendency to try to find out how much their max bid is. Most people put in pretty even numbers, 20k, 25k, 30k, etc. So I just start bidding in increments of 5k until the max bid equals what I just put in.
Then I'll decide whether it's worth continuing and outbidding the other person.
Sometimes, I just put a 1k bid on an item that only gives a small bonus compared what I'm already using... if I get it, great; if not, I'll give up. Other times, the bonus is quite large so I might consider spending 50k on acquiring it.
Either way, I walk away happily knowing that the person who outbid me now has to pay top dollar to get the item.
So if I were you, I'd start bidding with 1 gold less than the round number you were originally thinking of entering.