Top 10 Proven Tips for Winning Auctions on eBay
Shopping on eBay is all about getting unique collectibles and amazing products at a great price. However, participating in eBay auctions is also a thrill. And you can tell just by looking how much people sometimes bid on crazy items.
If you just began your shopping adventure on eBay, you might lose on many auctions. But don’t get discouraged! Here are 10 bidding strategies to help you win auctions on eBay and get the items you want at the best price.
1. Do your homework
Have a look at eBay’s Completed Auctions area to check whether your item comes up for auction regularly or it’s a really one-of-a-kind deal.
To do that, go to the link located right next to the eBay search bar called Advanced Search. Once you click on it, you can enter your search keyword. Remember to tick the box Completed Listings Only.
Now you’ll see all the completed auctions for this item. That will give you an idea about how much other users paid for this product.
You can also check whether the item is available at someone’s eBay Atore or in a Buy It Now mode.
2. Get a little creative
Are you looking for a product but can’t find anything matching your requirements?
That’s when it pays to be a little creative in your search strategy.
For example, if you’re looking for a blue sweater, you’ll probably type blue into your search bar. The sweater might look blue to you, but to other people it can be turquoise or navy. The trick is to search for such variants.
Doing that, you’ll also find auctions with less potential bidders, giving you a greater chance of winning your item.
Another smart search strategy is to look for misspellings of your search words.
For example, if you’re looking for porcelain products by Lladro, try typing ‘Ladro’ instead. Sellers often misspell keywords in their auctions titles, and you can be sure that these auctions won’t appear in typical buyer searches.
It’s also smart to search for the singular and plural form of the keyword.
If you’re searching for a compound word like a candleholder, try separating the keyword into ‘candle holder’.
3. Consider the timing of auctions
Even if eBay is a global marketplace, it’s smart to look for auctions that end at unusual times. Bidding at high traffic periods is a common mistake among users who are new to eBay.
Trying your hand at an auction which ends in the middle of the day during a weekday is a smart move.
If you spot many auctions for the same popular product within a short time period like five minutes, go for those located at the end of the series.
People interested in buying the item are likely to get caught up in bidding against each other in the earlier auctions, giving you a chance to focus on those which pass under the radar.
4. Have a look at the bid history
Interested to learn more about your competitors?
Check out their bid history. You’ll get to learn who they are, how closely they’re watching the auction, and how badly they want the product.
If you see that they consistently bid on a given auction, it means that the bidder really wants that item.
If they placed a bid within a short time before the auction’s closing time, it’s a sign that they’re closely monitoring that auction.
Use this knowledge to your advantage and make a big bid to win the item just before the auction closes.
5. Be smart and set yourself a limit
Sometimes you might get caught up in the thrill of the auction and spend way more than you can afford.
That’s why it’s good to first have a clear idea about how valuable the item on the auction is to you and set up the maximum amount you’re willing to spend on it.
This tip works for bidding in general, so use it when bidding on alternative auction sites as well.
6. Use the proxy bid technique
If you want the item but are afraid you might get outbid, you can employ eBay to bid on your behalf.
This is the safest strategy for eBay newbies. All you need to do is enter an amount into the maximum bid box and you can be sure that if you’re the bidder with the highest maximum, you’ll win the item.
Even if a sniper appears on the scene during the last few seconds of the auction.
7. Bid an untypical amount
Experienced bidders know that it’s smarter to bid a random sum like $13,24 than the classic $9.99 or round $10.
That’s because other bidders will consider bidding these typical dollar amounts, usually ending in .25 or .99 cents.
When you’re racing to win an item, you can boost your chances by bidding a strange dollar amount.
8. Try low bidding
Want to get an item at a bargain price? Leave a low bid on several auctions for this item. One of them might be successful and get you what you want at a very low price.
Another version of that strategy is placing a low bid on an auction as soon as you get outbid on the previous one. You can use special software that helps to bid automatically on a number of consecutive items and stops as soon as you succeed.
9. Make a last second bid, here’s how
If you plan to make a last second bid, do it during the remaining 30-45 seconds until the end of the auction.
What about the amount? You might be tempted to raise the current bid by a few cents, but you better raise it by a significant amount. The current bid leader might have a higher maximum bid, and you might not get enough time to bid again before the auction closes.
And you don’t want to lose an auction by a few cents!
Have a look at sniping software if you’re really after an item. AuctionStealer or Auctionbytes are both good choices. These programs automatically place your maximum bid at the last minute.
10. Try this pro tip at eBay bidding
When bidding on a product, open two windows with the same auction.
In the first window, click Place Bid and enter your maximum amount into the box. Don’t press Continue yet.
Now go to the second window. This is where you’ll monitor the progress of the auction. Refresh the screen every now and then to look at the last minute bidders. Just before the auction closes, return to the first window and press the Continue tab to confirm your bid.
Use the 10 tips listed above and you’re bound to start winning more auctions to get all the items you want at the best price.