Someone asked me how bidding worked on eBay. They seemed to think someone was playing games with them when they placed a bid on an item. They also thought maybe the seller was just pushing up their bid.
First, sellers can NOT bid on their own items. So, that said let me give you a brief discription of how bidding on eBay works.
You find an item you really like. The listing says the opening bid is $1. Heck, you are willing to pay $1.50 for this widget so you place a bid for $1.50. You look at the item and the listing shows you bid $1. Hummm... but you were will to pay $1.50 so why does it say only $1 you ask yourself. Well, eBay will store your $1.50 bid but you will only pay the minimum required to win so if no one else bids you get the widget for only $1.
Well, another eBay shopper likes the same widget - of course you have really good taste in widgets! This other shopper thinks they might be able to steal your new widget for $1.25 so they bid that amount. Instantly they are out bid by your original $1.50 bid and you are still the high bidder for $1.50 and if they would just go away you would win but like you already knew, this widget was really special and the price is a steal.
The bidder who tried to steal your widget for $1.25 now thinks they must have it and bid $3. You are out bid and you see a high bid of $1.75 and you have to bid $2 at least. You place that $2 bid because deep down you really want this widget but you want it for a bargain basement price. Blam! You are instantly out bid.
So what is a shopper to do? Well here are a few options.
1. Find an item you want and just bid the highest amount you want to spend to get the item. Remember to keep shipping costs in mind - they may be included in the bid price or they might be additional. Now you just ignore the item until you get an email stating you won (or were out bid). You can always go back later and bid higher if you wish up until the listing closes.
2. You can put the item on your watch list and hope you are home at the last second and place your high bid at the very end of the auction. When I do this I always loose out because I forget or am not available when the listing is closing but it is an option many bidders choose.
3. You can maybe find another one of that same item that has been listed as a fixed price with a "Buy It Now" option and just pay the price and wait for your fabulous new widget to arrive! No surprises, no wondering, no delays and no disappointments.
So, what do you really want? The excitement of bidding or just your new widget now.