Monday, October 19, 2009

5 Steps to Win an Ebay Auction

When you find something great on eBay, chances are there is at least one other person who is looking for the exact same thing. If everyone (even your competing bidders) are smart about how they play the auction you can keep the price low and come out with some great bargains on fabulous things. Try to imaging yourself as a sniper....waiting....watching. No one knows you are even there until the last second when you go in for the kill.

Here are the 5 steps to get you in the right mindset to win an eBay auction:

1. Only follow items you absolutely love. There is way too much garbage on eBay to waste your time on so-so finds. This also allows you to focus on items you really want to win.

2. Don't fall in love with any item where you can't be sitting at your computer ready to submit your final bid at the last second of the auction. Tracking the last 15 minutes of the auction is the most critical part. This is when most of the action happens, and it is also how you get outbid by $1 over your maximum bid.

3. Don't bid place any bids at first. Put items you love in your "Watching" folder. This is a very important step because:
  • You don't want to draw attention to the auction by bidding (simple psychology says people want what others are interested in).
  • You don't want to drive up the price by getting into an early bidding war.
  • You can watch the item over the course of the auction and remove it if the price goes above the maximum you are willing to spend (and now you have opened up your Saturday afternoon).
4. Ok, so it's 15 minutes before the auction ends. Log in and check the status. If the auction's bid is under the maximum you are willing to pay, put in your first bid. This will let you know whether you need to beat a pre-set maximum bid from another person....and it gives you a little time to decide whether it is worth it to you. Important: Getting your bid in also allows you to enable one-click bidding. This is where you can quickly place multiple bids for an item without having to confirm your price (takes way too long in the last minute of the auction).

5. Have your eagle-eye on the countdown clock during the last minute of the auction with your mouse on the "one-click bid" button ready to pounce. Ebay is notorious for people coming in with two seconds left to beat you by $1. Get ready to be quick and outbid them at the last second. You want to be the sniper...not get sniped.

At the end of the day, you may lose some things you love, but I bet you will win a fair share of treasures too. Just remember they key is to keep hidden until shortly before the close of the auction and fire away!

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