This is the third in a series of Guides on successful eBay techniques. Please see my first and second Guides, HOW to FIND eBay AUCTIONS and HELPFUL TIPS on SEARCHING, and MORE Helpful TIPS On SEARCHING & FINDING eBay AUCTIONS, for more information.
I am happy to provide this series of Guides on successful eBay techniques, provided by:
My suggestions are based on my years of experience on eBay. These methods work, and I share them with you so you, too, can increase your odds of finding and winning eBay auctions. (Please see my two prior Guides (HOW to FIND eBay AUCTIONS and HELPFUL TIPS on SEARCHING, and MORE Helpful TIPS On SEARCHING & FINDING eBay AUCTIONS).)
Your bidding strategy will affect how many auctions you will win. Why? Because most people follow the same bidding patterns, which don't optimize their chances of winning. Here are some winning bidding techniques:
1. Don't just bid the minimum auction price. Why? Because most people will do that, so you need to beat them at their own game. For example, if the auction starts at $0.99, most people will place one bid at $0.99, and then wait to see if anyone else bids later. If someone else then bids, the $0.99 bidder will place another, single, but slightly higher bid. This is not a successful bidding strategy. A better bidding strategy is to place a first bid up to the maximun you are willing to pay for the item. How? By using eBay's bidding system. If the item starts at $0.99, and you are the first bidder, and you are willing to pay up to $5.00 for it, then plug the $5.00 amount into the eBay bid box. EBay will then place the lowest bid to get the auction going ($0.99), and keep the rest of your $5.00 secret, until someone else bids. Then, if (for example) someone else bids up to $2.00 (and even if they bid at the last minute), eBay will bid for you at the next bidding increment (probably another $0.25), so you will then win the auction at $2.25. How can this work? Because your bid was first, and you told eBay you would pay up to $5.00 for the item, your bid (all the way up to the $5.00 limit you set) will be "first in line," even if another bidder bids at the last minute.
2. Don't bid just to "keep track" of an item you are interested in; protect your bidding. Why? For two reasons: First, eBay already has another way for you to "keep track" of items you are interested in (it's called a "Watch List"); and second, every bid you place highlights an item (drawing attention to it, and possibly attracting other bidders) (see number 3, below). As to the eBay system of "keeping track" of items, this is done by placing an item on your own, personal eBay "watch list." You do this by clicking "Watch this item" in any eBay listing (it's in "blue" at the upper right hand side of every eBay listing, right above the "Seller information" box). Click this box, and the item will be placed on your watch list, which you can access from your "My eBay" page. You can then pay attention to what's on your "watch list," rather than placing bids as a way of tracking what you're interested in.
3. Keep your bidding "to yourself"- this will help you win more auctions. Why? Because every bid you place highlights an item, drawing attention to it, and possibly attracting other bidders, and possibly raising the final sale price. As to the question of placing bids early or waiting until the last minute to bid, there are two schools of thought. Sellers encourage early bidding, because they like to see interest in their items, and that interest may translate into a bidding war and/or interest in other items the seller has for sale. EBay also encourages early bidding, because it increases the likelihood an item will sell (meaning sales fees for eBay), rather than someone having an item on their "watch list" but forgetting to bid (meaning lost sales fees for eBay). Some savvy buyers believe in bidding at the last minute or close to the last minute (for example, in the last hour of an auction), because potential bidders tend to follow what other people do (just like most people standing in a long checkout line at the supermarket, even though other checkout lines are shorter). If you follow this line of thinking, then you believe that people may be more likely to bid on items that already have bids, even if the same item is listed by the same seller at the same starting price right below the one with the bid. If you are looking to gain an edge on bidding, consider this bidding strategy.
4. Don't bid in even amounts. Why? Because most people bid in even amounts, and you may be able to beat them by bidding in UN-even amounts. For example, if an item starts at $0.99, and you are the first bidder, and you plan to place a "maximum bid" (like we discussed in number 1, above), consider not placing your maximum bid at $5.00. Instead, place the maximum bid at (for example) $5.27. True, that is $0.27 more than you planned to use as your maximum bid, but think of it this way: Since most people bid in even amounts, don't you think they will set their maximum bid at (for example) $5.00 - and do you really want to lose an item for $0.27? Also, remember that your bid (if it is the first bid on the item) will have priority over any other bids up to that amount - so, even if someone else bids $5.27 at the last minute, you will win the item for your maximum bid of $5.27 because your bid was placed first. (Note that this "priority" of bids rule can mean that you could lose an auction if the bids are the same amount. For example, if an earlier bidder set their maximum at $5.27, and you came in at the last minute with the same bid amount ($5.27), your last-minute bid will not be the winning bid, because the prior (first) bidder's bid has priority. This doesn't happen very often (that two people have the same "maximum" bid amount), and is even less likely to happen if you choose UN-even bid amounts.)
CONCLUSION: Using different bidding strategies will likely increase your chances of winning eBay auctions--no matter what you're bidding on!
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