With hundreds of thousands of bidders frequenting eBay daily, it can often be difficult to win hotly contested items. Don't miss out on great deals and rare items to professional eBay-dwellers!
Here are some tips that will dramatically improve your chances of winning popular auctions.
- Place a high proxy bid. After telling it how much you're willing to bid, eBay will confidentially place bids on your behalf for the amount it takes for you to stay the bid leader. Proxy bids also prevent the need to have to constantly monitor all of your bids, as it is automated. Since many players proxy bid, you will often get into bidding wars as your respective machines alternately place bids for you, so be sure that your proxy bid is as high as you're willing to pay.
- Bid early. By bidding early, you indicate to other potential bidders that you are serious about winning an item. This itself is occasionally enough to scare off some bargain hunters, who will be looking to find uncontested items to bid on. Also, in the event of a tie bid in value, the bidder who bid on the item first will win the tie. This happens often, especially with proxy bidding.
- "Snipe" auctions. "Sniping" refers to bidding for an item at the last possible second, hoping to be the winning bidder. Sniping works well if you are the highest bidder, as it gives rival bidders a very small window to outbid you. However, it's not foolproof: If you bid at the last second and lose to a proxy bid, you give yourself very little time to try and make a winning bid.
- A common setup for snipers is to place two open eBay windows side-by-side, sized and positioned next to each other on the bidding screen. With one window, place a sniping bet with 30 seconds left on the timer, then immediately reload the second window to see if you are the highest bidder. If you aren't, you'll hopefully still have enough time to place a second sniping bid.
- Software and services are available to assist in your sniping needs. Ranging in price from monthly subscriptions to flat-fees if you win, a professional sniping job ensures that if no proxy bid is higher, you're going to win the auction. A popular site for sniping software is Auction-Sentry.com, which has some of the most reasonable fees, though you can find multiple alternatives using popular search engines.
- Bid a few cents above a standard bid. Let's say you're bidding on a $50 gift certificate, and want to bid $40. It is not unlikely that one or two people have placed proxy bids for up to $40, making your later bid useless. Instead, bid $40.03, leaving their proxies in the dust for only pennies on the dollar. By adding a few cents to a bid, you also will improve the effectiveness of your sniping.