Bidding for items on eBay...
It's really simple. To win an item you have to bid on it. If your bid is the highest when the listing ends, you win.
eBay uses proxy bidding. This means that you can bid a maximum amount at any time during the auction and eBay will automatically raise your bid against competing bidders until it reaches your limit.
An auction has a starting price of 1p and you decide you would pay a maximum of £10 for the item. You place this bid and your current bid is 1p. If no other bidder comes along, you win the item for 1p.
However, another bidder appears and bids £5 for the item. eBay, taking into account your £10 limit, then raises your bid to £5.20 so that you are still winning.
Your bid will increase automatically by small increments to beat any other bidder until someone bids over £10. If this happens their bid will beat yours and the highest bid will be £10.50.
The best way to go about auctions is to decide a maximum bid at the start, place it and stick to it!
If you allow yourself to be carried away in the heat of the moment you could end up in a bidding war with another user and pay over the odds for the item.
Some people say that the way they win auctions is to wait until the very end of the auction (less than 2 minutes to go) and then bid a very high amount. By very high I mean ludicrous, many times the actual value of the item.
This may well work and win you the item but the danger comes when someone else does the same as you.
Imagine an auction for a rare DVD is currently at £5. You know it is worth £20 and want the item. You place a ridiculously high bid of £2000 with 1 minute to go. Another bidder has the same idea and places a bid of £1000 just after you. The auction price is now over £1000 for an item which is worth much, much less.
If you win, which you probably will do, you have committed to buy the item. The seller will be extremely happy and you are in the situation where you can either buy or refuse the item. If you do the latter, you will get negative feedback.
Bidding at the last minute is an excellent idea. As you can see from this article, you can avoid being a victim to a dodgy seller.
However, rather than bidding any amount, bid only the most you are willing to pay. Only the maximum you would be happy to pay and no more.
The most successful eBayers use special "sniping" tools to place their maximum bid within the dying seconds of the auction. You can use sites such as AuctionSniper to automatically place your maximum bid with a couple of seconds to go.
This costs a small amount of money (typically 1% of the final price).
What is great about tools like this is that you can leave them to bid for you whilst you are away from your computer.
Also, if your maximum bid is placed and you win, you will often find that you have won the item for much less than you were willing to pay.
I have used AuctionSniper in the past and picked up some absolute bargains.
I wanted a certain item which had an RRP of £349.99. I set AuctionSniper up to bid within the dying seconds to a maximum of £70. When I came back to my PC a few hours after the auction ended I found that I had won the item for £20.99. No one else had bid in the last seconds and so the price hadn't gone up.
I would certainly recommend AuctionSniper to any eBayer. It is very cheap and, most importantly, extremely reliable. It has never failed to place a bid for me.
If you register for AuctionSniper you get your first 3 snipes free. You can fund your account straight from PayPal and start sniping today.
Click here to go to AuctionSniper