eBay is a good place to find great deals on a variety of things. I have made some great buys on movies, video games and even baby clothes using the auction site. I have also learned from my mistakes as a bidder and have been able to lock in even better deals lately. So, here is some advice on how to be a more effective bidder and get the items you want for lower prices.
Don’t Bid Early
The most common mistake I made when I first signed up for eBay was bidding on items the moment I found them. Placing a bid too early on an item will give time for other bidders to find your breaking point and easily outbid you. You may notice that an item you bid on but did not win will have many bids but there were only one or two others bidding against you. Depending on how the auction is set up you may be able to view the bidding results and see that the other bidders bid higher and higher amounts until they outbid you and won the item. After losing several items this way, I finally noticed the trend. Now, I use the “Watch Item” feature. This way I can have quick access to the item from my eBay home page but I have not yet bid on it. Using this method, I can watch the item until the last minute and see what the current bid is. If the bid is still in my price range, I then bid during the final minutes of the auction. During the final minute, I also continue to refresh the item’s listing page to see if I have been outbid in the waning moments. If that happens, I am typically willing to up my bid 50 cents to $1 more to secure the item. In most cases, this postpones any bidding war until the last minutes of the auction which does not drive the price up as high as if you had bid earlier. Not so good for the seller but great for you, the buyer!
Before you start the bidding you should start by looking for deals and offers on the same product if possible. This way you will be able to get a fair idea about the market price of the item that you are bidding on. This is also how you stop yourself from overbidding on anything that you like.
If you find a seller with an item you would like to purchase, email them before you bid to show your interest. Make sure to ask any questions pertaining to the description of the item and shipping rates. Also, if there is not a photo included asking to be sent one via email. You need to be as informed about the item you will be bidding on as you can be. Also, some buyers charge high shipping and handling rates that can negate the deal on the price of the item. Make sure that the seller is someone you want to do business with. If the seller responds quickly and is friendly then the transaction should go smoothly. If not, then your transaction could have serious problems and I recommend moving on to a different seller.
Check for common misspellings
Most likely you are searching for something specific on eBay and will be using the search feature rather than browsing the categories. Using the search feature is great in that it displays all the listings for the item you are looking for. However, if a seller has misspelled the item name then you will not find their listing in your search. The quickest solution is to try searching for the common misspelling of the item name you are looking for. Or, you can browse the category that fits the item you are looking for. Item listings with misspellings are not found by most bidders and will, therefore, go for a lower price.
Following these tips should help you become a more effective bidder and get the items you want for even less on eBay.