Although many people can advise on how to bid on ebay, not everyone tells all the secrets to bidding on ebay. Heres some tips to live by and walk away without that sour taste in your mouth because of a bad experience. First and foremost, always check the seller's feedback. This is the best defense against a bad experience. You want to be cautious of low or no feedback ratings. This does not in anyway mean you should never buy from a new seller. Everyone has to start at zero. Remember that!
A 1 cent or under a dollar starting bid for an expensive item and $50-$150 for shipping isn't such a great deal. Remember, if it looks too good to be true......
The good watch sellers quite often supply serial numbers and multiple views and or will answer any number of questions and post them as well. Gemstones are really hard to buy online these days with all the simulants. Some clues here to better jewelry buying is feedback and how the item is described. This is just good shopping for any type of item you bid for online.
Second, read the listing though and through. Make sure you understand how much shipping is. Make sure you understand any abreviations that might be used to describe the item(s). Make sure they will ship to your address. Make sure you understand the payment details and specifications.
Third, understand your limitations! If you know you will not spend any more than a certain amount for an item because thats the most it is worth to you or for a couple dollars more, you can buy it outright locally, then stick to that amount, don't let the "bidding bug" get you. If you must bid on it, bid the max your willing to spend right off, get it out of your system. If your outbid, then, you haven't put yourself in a bind. If you win though, you can feel good about what you got at what you feel is a fair price. I aways figure in shipping costs into the max I will bid, so if shipping is $5.99 and I'm willing to spend $25 on an item because I can buy it new locally for $30, then I won't bid more than $19 on it. But if its more like $40 or more locally, then I might bid $21.87 or $26.87. I like those odd numbers over a certain denomination point just to foil those people who bid denomination amounts like 5, 10, 20.
Bid Wars: Bid wars are auctions which go crazy and the amount of days or hours seems to have no impact on them. What's a bid war? It's when two or more people just have to have an item and bidding fever takes hold and they will bid on an item repeatedly until they are the current high bidder. And they will do so again and again as others with the same frame of mind do the same thing. I have seen items go for more than full retail because of bid wars, then add in shipping costs and what you have is a buyer who will be mad at themselves for spending so much on an item that could have been gotten locally for much less. You will also see that people who think and act this way often get and give more negative feedback because they are so mad about the auction they take it out on the innocent seller by leaving truely stupid feedback or refusing to pay after the auction is over because they finally realize they were way too stupid.
If you want your online auction experiences to be good, know your limitations and do not create a bidding war.
I also snipe auctions. I'll have two windows open, one ready with the maximum I'll bid on something ready to push the confirm button, the other window is where I watch the count down so I can bid during the last 10 seconds of an auction (or save my energy if the last minute bidding goes crazy).
You can get some truely great deals on ebay, but you have to shop for them. You have to know what your looking for, what your willing to spend, and what would the final cost be to you.
Some other tricks are to deliberately mis-spell what your looking for, an example would be "pasch" instead of "paasche" when looking for airbrushes. Always look at the newly listed items of your search for those great buy it now offers by someone who doesn't know the value of something. Obviously they aren't concerned enough to search out and price things before they list an item if they will let it go for $9.99 when everyone else is selling the same item for 4 times as much. But again, read the listing really well. You can also find things doing a search for say "14k gold rings" that aren't even listed in jewelry. You'd miss that listing altogether by just looking at the jewelry listings and catagories.Searches work better than just using catagories selections in my opinion.