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01/07/2006 05:18:30 PM · #1
I'm bored and watching an Ebay auction and this question occurred to me. I am currently watching an auction that has few bids and would be an incredible buy, should I get it with the budget I have in mind. the lister really doesn't do this auction justice with his boring title. I haven't bid yet...and my thinking is that since the auction is getting relatively little attention, I'd like to keep it that way.

How do you place your bids on Ebay? Are you a slammer (last minute, even last seconds bidder?), do you put your top bid in early? Do you ask many questions of the seller? They are cracking down on the "selling outside of Ebay" attempts, but I have done that very successfully in the past. I don't do that any more, but I will ask about setting an auction up as a BIN (buy it now) for me at an agreed upon price.

I think I've been particularly successful with items sold and purchased on Ebay and am curious about tips others may have.

Message edited by author 2006-01-07 17:18:56.
01/07/2006 05:21:49 PM · #2
When buying on eBay I pretty much play it by ear depending on the listing, but never buy or sell outside of eBay once an item is listed.
01/07/2006 05:24:41 PM · #3
I bid at the last few seconds that are possible, then I get the price I want and dont have to worry about being outbid

I have asked questions on ebay to sellers before and got answers back pretty fast, never had a problem, I have sold alot there also with no problems at all.

I brought my rebel xt as a package on ebay as a "buy it now" sell which was a great deal again with no problems at all.

Message edited by author 2006-01-07 17:34:46.
01/07/2006 05:30:08 PM · #4
We actually have even purchased our car through Ebay. Even throwing in the trip to Houston to pick it up (from Cincinnati), and adding a full 6-year extended warranty onto the remaining portion of the manufacturer's warranty....we came out about $7,000 ahead of the same vehicle new. This one only had 1800 miles on it when we bought it.

It sure pays to do your homework though. There are many ways to be safe on Ebay and I've only ever had trouble with one relatively small camera purchase and was reimbursed for most of it though Ebay.

I'm a last second bidder, partly because then I KNOW I won't go over my budget and get involved in a bidding war.
01/07/2006 05:33:59 PM · #5
I am also a last second bidder. I actually have multiple windows open at the confirm bid page. At around 30 seconds I confirm my lowest bid, if that doesn't get me over the previous bidder I can bid again within a couple seconds. This has worked very well for me so far.
01/07/2006 05:35:31 PM · #6
havent bought anything in a while, but i used a sniper.
01/07/2006 05:50:37 PM · #7
Winners are made in the last five seconds.
This one time I saw someone ninjabid an auction 20 seconds before the auction closed. During the last 10 seconds, four new bidders outbidded each others.
01/07/2006 06:00:23 PM · #8
My preferred method is the BIN. That way you know what price is going to be and I am willing to pay a couple of bucks extra if it's something I really want/need. If not, I will do feeler bids to see if someone has a higher price than me. If they do, I bid my highest and call it a day. Otherwise, I will wait until the last few seconds and place my highest bid and hope for the best.
01/07/2006 08:10:07 PM · #9
There's only one way to bid (outside BIN) IMO, and that's to snipe. Putting your bid out there earlier just advertises your interest; never a good thing. I usually bid with less than 10 seconds left, and always place one and only one bid, for the highest amount I'm objectively willing to pay. If someone outbids me, I didn't want it at that price anyway.
01/07/2006 08:37:50 PM · #10
Originally posted by AFViper:

I am also a last second bidder. I actually have multiple windows open at the confirm bid page. At around 30 seconds I confirm my lowest bid, if that doesn't get me over the previous bidder I can bid again within a couple seconds. This has worked very well for me so far.

This doesn't make sense to me. Why not just bid your highest bid? The system will automatically boost your bid, if necessary to top the next bidder, until your max is reached. There's no way you can match the speed manually.

edit:
You still do this at the last minute.

Message edited by author 2006-01-07 20:38:47.
01/07/2006 08:42:09 PM · #11
Originally posted by kirbic:

I usually bid with less than 10 seconds left, and always place one and only one bid, for the highest amount I'm objectively willing to pay. If someone outbids me, I didn't want it at that price anyway.

I use a similar method. I research the item first and then decide what my max bid will be. And bid in the last 10 seconds.

Although, when someone outbids me by 50c or whatever, I always think "maybe I should have...."
01/07/2006 08:58:17 PM · #12
I use a snipe site (Phantom Bidder) that lets me bid at literally the last second and I can bid on auctions that end well after my bedtime or when I'm at work and can't access the net.

I can also setup to bid for identical items on multiple auctions and if I win one, it automatically won't bid for me on the rest.

It doesn't do anything that I couldn't do myself, it just doesn't need me to do it in person.

Message edited by author 2006-01-07 21:09:22.
01/07/2006 09:05:57 PM · #13
I used to put in my max bid and let ebay bid for me. That was ok for most stuff but when I was trying to bid for an EOS 5 35mm film camera I was outbid twice in the last minute or so.
Then I started to bid as late as possible usually with about 10-15 seconds to go and it worked great.


01/07/2006 10:09:35 PM · #14
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

I use a snipe site (Phantom Bidder) that lets me bid at literally the last second and I can bid on auctions that end well after my bedtime or when I'm at work and can't access the net.

I can also setup to bid for identical items on multiple auctions and if I win one, it automatically won't bid for me on the rest.

It doesn't do anything that I couldn't do myself, it just doesn't need me to do it in person.


Yeah, thats why I dont touch the place anymore.

01/07/2006 10:23:30 PM · #15
I've bought and sold a ton on ebay. There is a site called auctionsniper.com and if you aren't going to be around to jump in at the last minute, you can enter your bid, and it'll stick it in there within the last 3 seconds for you. Sometimes that works.

I've bid using it, sitting there myself, or just bidding and figuring if I get it, I do, if not, I don't. I guess it depends on what it is and how much you want it. :~D
01/07/2006 11:14:43 PM · #16
Originally posted by AFViper:

I am also a last second bidder. I actually have multiple windows open at the confirm bid page. At around 30 seconds I confirm my lowest bid, if that doesn't get me over the previous bidder I can bid again within a couple seconds. This has worked very well for me so far.


We must've taken the same class on Ebaying. Multiple windows is awesome just in case the highest bidder is just a little higher than you.
01/08/2006 09:54:53 AM · #17
I too have thought about using a bid sniper but I feel VERY uncomfortable giving away my ebay id and password for a third party to use.
Any thoughts on this ?
01/08/2006 10:46:12 AM · #18
Just because of snipers, I have now taken the stance of putting in my max value and leaving it. If I don't get it for that, then move on!
01/08/2006 11:57:54 AM · #19
Well, I was the high bidder, but it didn't meet the reserve. The guy has had great communication, even sending photos right away when I asked for more info about a few items. Still, I think it's only worth about what I bid, perhaps a bit more.

I guess it's why I'm a good Realtor...as much as I want something (or know that my clients do), you gotta step back and look at the business side of things too.

If he'll sell it for my high bid, I'll have a new camera. (Here's hoping) If not, I guess I'll keep looking.
01/08/2006 12:05:07 PM · #20
Originally posted by Tom_Robbrecht:

I too have thought about using a bid sniper but I feel VERY uncomfortable giving away my ebay id and password for a third party to use.
Any thoughts on this ?


Phantom Bidder has been around for quite some time and they make their money through fees ($0.25/auction won) and there may be a few ads. I've never had any problems and I've used them for almost 2 yrs. My dad told me about the place and uses them a lot more than I do and he's never had any probs either.

01/08/2006 12:08:57 PM · #21
My main worry is : are all these snipers really taking enough precautions to ensure security of their data ie YOUR eybay id and password ? I don't know.
01/08/2006 12:15:02 PM · #22
You can get software to do the "snipe" bidding from your own computer, and therefore don't have to give your info to anyone. And the programs are cheap -- like $15.
01/08/2006 12:17:18 PM · #23
Max bid and watch it if I can. I also will bump my max bid in the last minute or so If I see activity. I have won 2 auctions lately for sndisk ultra II 2gb cards in the last min or so. One was 125 with shipping and the other was 135 with shipping. I hate the auctions where they gig you on shipping....I wont even bid on those. It doesnt take 20 dollars to ship a compact flash card.

Whenever I sell...I always use actual shippping costs.
01/08/2006 12:24:46 PM · #24
Originally posted by alixmiles:

Max bid and watch it if I can. I also will bump my max bid in the last minute or so If I see activity. I have won 2 auctions lately for sndisk ultra II 2gb cards in the last min or so. One was 125 with shipping and the other was 135 with shipping. I hate the auctions where they gig you on shipping....I wont even bid on those. It doesnt take 20 dollars to ship a compact flash card.

Whenever I sell...I always use actual shippping costs.


I always put free shipping in my listings if the buyer meets my BIN price. I think people like it because they know exactly how much they will have to pay with no add-ons. About half, or more, of my items go for BIN price.
01/08/2006 03:21:43 PM · #25
I get frustrated with ebay. BIN is great for some things. Other times i laugh at the price, but as least i know what the seller wants. I have tgotten new stuff this way - at least you know you got it.

Many auctions end with me at work or when i'm busy elswhere. Very frustrating. I don't like the high shipping fees, but i always look at the total price and go on that anyway.

I have tried the snipe bit and the place a max bid and wait. max bid is less stressful for sure.
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