How To Win Ebay Auctions At The Lowest Bid Possible
This is my personal eBay strategy which you might consider adopting for yourself. It works 95% of the time for myself. Personally, I consider the eBay Auction Process flawed and my strategy is based on exploiting this flaw. The flaw is that instead of limiting the number of bidders in the last 2 hours of the auction to people who have already bid, eBay has no limitation. Therefore, it is absolutely foolish to bid until the last 5 minutes of an auction if there already is a bid in place unless you will not have access to a computer during that time period. Again, this is strictly my personal opinion only, so keep that in mind.
When to Use Ebay
To begin with, there are only 2 basic reasons to use Ebay:
1. To purchase an item you won’t regularly see anywhere else. The item is either a unopened item at a or a used item in very good working condition from a reputable seller with 10 feedback’s or more, 95% positive, who lives in the United States (or the country you reside in) .
2. To save money buying a new or used item. I will not bid on anything on eBay unless I would save at least 25% after shipping of anything I can buy retail or online (the retail price plus taxes and shipping if applicable). Note that if you can’t wait for an item, or the eBay savings isn’t worth waiting for the item to arrive, then by all means buy it retail right away. If however, you can get for example, a universal remote control for $100 including tax at a store but don’t mind waiting a week & can get it for $75 on eBay including shipping & tax, then use Ebay. Again, make sure you only bid on an item from a reputable seller with 10 feedback’s or better, 95% positive, who lives in the US (or the country you preside in). If the item is not new, make sure it is described as being in very good working order, with the same feedback requirements noted above. Do not purchase it, if the seller uses the words “As Is” or “No returns”. Always assume, the condition for a used item is described one level better then it is.
When Not to Use Ebay
1. You will save 25% or less on an item then if you bought it retail or online.
2. You need the item yesterday and can’t wait for it to arrive.
3. The seller is not from the US (or the country you reside). Good luck if you go ahead, and then have problems with the transaction.
4. The seller has less then 10 feedback and the item costs over $25. If somehow you do get ripped off for $25 or less, and you can’t recover the money from eBay and/or Paypal, so what, nothing to lose sleep over.
5. The seller has a bad feedback percentage and/or really bad comments. This is asking for trouble.
6. When you see evidence of shill bidding. This means when people are deliberately bidding an item up for the seller and have no desire to actually win the auction. My gut opinion, is, perhaps wrongly with absolutely no proof, to automatically assume that bids with by people with feedback of 2 or less ,are shill bidders. Please note there may be people who are legitimately bidding with low feedback, but my gut feeling is, assume the worst.
7. During the bidding process, you can now pay a cheaper price from another place online.
Buy It Now
If you see an item that you want and won’t see anywhere else at a Buy It Now Price (You buy it at the listed price and don’t have to bid) and its within your budget range, just Buy It Now.
If the item isn’t a unique item and you can get it from other eBay auctions or other retail or online stores, only use Buy It Now if its within your budget and you want to avoid the time and hassle of an Auction.
Auction or Buy It Now
Many items are listed individually as both an auction and a higher priced Buy It Now item. Again, if this is a one of a kind item you just have to have and it’s within your Budget, use the Buy It Now option, rather then taking your chance on an auction for it and losing.
If the item isn’t a one of a kind item and/or its Buy It Now Price is beyond your Budget, if no initial bid has been placed, place an initial bid, which will immediately nullify any Buy It Now Offers (unless a Reserved Price is in place). Only if you do not have access to a computer during the last 5 minutes of an auction, should you place a bid after an initial bid (whether your own or not) has been made. In that case, you should bid the maximum you are willing to pay. Under no circumstances, if you have access to a computer for the last 5 minutes of an auction, should you place a bid if at least one bid has been made. All that serves is to bid up the price. Good for the seller, bad for you.
Assuming you have some kind of budget, before you bid, check the winning bids under completed auctions for the same item, to have a rough idea what price range it will take to win the auction. Also during the last 5 minutes of an auction, in order to fully concentrate, have your telephone and cell phone turned off, close your doors and do not play the TV, music or radio.
If there is no initial bid on the item by anyone, then go ahead and make one. This way, if by some chance no one else bids, you wouldn’t have forgotten about the item and won the auction. That’s a pretty rare case though. So if there are already bids on the item, do not bid again until the last 15 seconds of the auction. In the meantime, click “Watch Item”. Periodically check on the bidding on the auction in case the bidding has gotten too high in which case you should cut your losses and just move on. If bidding hasn’t gotten too high, then go back to the auction with 5 minutes left in the bidding. Open up 3 Windows on eBay for the item. One window you will just leave open to refresh the eBay Bidding clock every few seconds. The second window you will fill in what you consider a fair price to pay, click enter once to submit your bid, but do not click “confirm your bid”, the final click, until under the 12 second mark. On the third window, also click in your maximum amount your willing to pay, click enter once to submit your bid, but do not click “confirm your bid”, the final click, until under the 5 second mark. So the process is you will enter the final click for window 2, your “fair price”, at the 12 second mark and at the 5 second mark (count down if you have to) you will enter the final click for window 3, the maximum you’re willing to pay. By doing this, window 2 can serve as a “decoy window” and window 3, will be your real window and in most instances, there is not enough time for a competitor to outbid you. This has worked for me about 95% of the time. You will probably have the occasional fluke where somehow the computer took too long to connect your bid to eBay on time and when that happens just forget about it. Likewise, you may occasionally have a higher bidder make their bid with 1 or 2 seconds left. Again, when that happens, forget about it and move on.