Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.
Today instead of reviewing another service, I decided to hook you up with some cool eBay tips for getting the best deal while shopping on eBay. I was fan of eBay from the moment I discovered it and had been an active user buying and selling stuff in the 2nd and 3rd years of my bachelors, making enough money to cover most of the things I needed. On the way, I have learned some techniques successfull sellers use to sell as much as possible at highest possible prices. Below I want to provide something that will be helpful for you as a buyer and can 99% guarantee you best available deal on the eBay and at the same time keep you away from fraud. So, here it goes…
Determine the Lowest Available Price for the Item
To get the lowest available price for a desired item take following steps. Find the category for the items you look for. -> Once you are there select By It Now option from the upper left corner of the screen, to eliminate auctioned items -> Sort items by selecting Sort by ‘Price: Lowest First’. -> Skip some spammed listings that priced extremely low(like dell laptop for $15.99) and skip items from sellers with unreliable feedback(more on feedback below) -> Once you get to the first lowest item that offers what you need and meets feedback guidelines, you will get lowest reliable price for your item, provided that item has reasonable shipping price.
At this point you can either buy the item on the spot or hunt for it in the auctions and use the bottom price you discovered as a mark for the bargain deal, everything below it, is good.
When and How to Bid on eBay
So, now you have your mark set, and you decided to go with auctions to get even better deal. Next step is bidding process. Lack of knowledge in bidding is the main factor leading to overpriced auctions. The best time to bid is at the very end of an auction (last one minute or even less), by simply entering your final price(which should be below the mark price that you obtain from step 1) and let the game play out. This way you if you get a deal you only get it at a bargain price. And if you get outbid and the price goes above you are not loosing anything as you still can go for Buy It Now option from step1 as not many bidders can detect such items.
There are 2 reasons for bidding at the end. Firstly, if you bid long before item ends you will be simply contributing to it’s visibility and attracting even more people to it, because people tend to check items with higher bids more often and secondly, if you place the bid on the item anytime before the end and outbid other bidder s/he usually will try regain position as a highest bidder, and bid higher, taking the auction price even higher. That is exactly the reason why hot items tracked by many experienced bidders will increase in price 50% or even 100% and higher in the last 1,2 minutes of the auction, because they all bid at the end.
Target Auctions Ending when eBay has Least Amount of Traffic
That is actually the best strategy to buy auctioned items, where the victims are unexperienced or one time sellers. The trick here is to identify days and times when least amount of people will be browsing ebay.
Fewer people means much less intense competition for the last moment bidding. For instance, items ending on the nights or very early in the mornings make a good target, but you won’t encounter much of such items either. When you see such items add them your watch list.
Even better way is to browse ebay in the evening during the time of the popular shows or events when most of the people watching TV, at these moments you will also be faced with minimum competition but with far greater amount of auctions about to end. This is one fo the techniques people use to buy items that they will resell on ebay later.
Identify Misplaced Items
Sometimes unexperienced sellers list items in wrong categories. That is bingo for buyers, as misplaced items tend to receive least amount of attention and usually skipped. To find such items, simply search for the item on ebay and then check other categories that contain results for your item other then the main category. It may not be easy to find such item, but well worth it in many cases. Make sure to place your bid at the end.
Chec eBay Feedback
And finally, some short guidelines regarding feedback. Ebay fraud is a big business for many people and in case of a fraud ebay does not take any responsibility so you are on your own here, hence make sure to follow these tips before buying anything expensive. For cheap items I would say anything above 50 with 100% positive feedback is good, for expensive items unless seller has something above 300 make sure to check details below:
- registration date: I would say anything above 1 year membership is ok, if it less then this be more vigilant to the details below.
- feedback pattern: If most of the feedback was received in the last 1 month, check listings and buyers that left feedback. If most of the items were priced below 3$-4$ and the buyers who left feedback have feedback score in the range 1-5, then stay away from the seller.
- neagtive feedback: See when and why negative feedback was received.
If there anything I missed, or you feel like adding something I am looking forward for your comments. If you liked the article feel free to digg it below to spread the word about it.