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Strategies to win on ebay
  • I buy a lot of stuff on ebay, but 99% is Buy It Now. Now, I found something that is kind of rare and is something I really need. It's open bid. I have little experience in the ebay trenches. As of this post, 36 hours left, 4 bids, minimum still not met. Is it best to dive in now? Jack up the price to separate men from boys? Dive in at last second? Use an auto bid software? I think I used used something call "Esnipe" once upon a time. Advice sought. Help me win!!!

  • 19 Replies sorted by
  • I usually bid in the last few seconds with the maximum I think it's worth to me. I absolutely see no point in bidding very early, exciting other people or inducing any unwanted action; although sometimes it is inevitable.

  • That's great info V. Interesting that feedback scores below 99.8% are considered "Bad".

    I don't have the guts for Rockwell's method of clicking the auction with 3 seconds left. I'll try the automated bid route. Anyone have a auto bidder to recommend?

  • Interesting that feedback scores below 99.8% are considered "Bad".

    They are not bad, they are not recommended if you are beginner and do not have time to read all negative feedback and check seller. In some areas (like secondhand mobiles, etc) quite low feedback is the norm, as people complain constantly.

    I don't have the guts for Rockwell's method of clicking the auction with 3 seconds left

    If you really need some item and seller is not big, best strategy is to talk to seller :-). And you can loose with last second bid approach (as too many such smart guys exist).

  • Seriously, I'm really okay with any feedback in the mid to high 90's. Some sellers have thousands of transactions and some buyers are nut cases and will bomb anyone. 99.8% is too extreme!

  • Decide in advance what the most you are willing to pay is. Use sniping software or a sniping service. I use If the item you want is available in multiple auctions, add them all to gixen and put them in the same group, so that you'll win at most one of them.

  • if i really want something i seagull last 10secs with the most i am willing to pay for it. most of the time it has worked for me. there will always be someone out there that wants it more than you though. I don't like the unwanted biddding hysteria that comes way before end of auction.

    contact the seller to find out minimum and adjust what you are willing to pay accordingly.

  • I use for autobidding at the last moment.

  • Don't use a sniper for The first time for something you realy want. A sniper is Great when you have not the time to babysitt your ebay bidding. Make up your mind on how high you want to go and place this bid at about 15 sec before end.

  • If auction is quite busy and few people have put their bids via snipers you have no chance to win bidding manually against the robots in the last minute. Programs poll auction server much faster than a human can so you as soon as you enter what you think is your last minute bid some bot outbids you in the next fraction of a second. You're just too slow against the machine. While you reload the page trying to enter your next bid - the auction is all over. Been there. Robots win in 99% of situations so I never waste my time bidding manually.

  • I usually just bid what I am prepared to spend .. when I think it needs last second attention .. I as others wait until last 10 seconds


    This hasn't failed me once. Just don't go below 3 seconds (it's no use anyway, at 3s we are already talking about robot bidding and it's only about how much you are willing to pay). It's free for the first 5 snipes, IIRC.

    Don't bid now. It's of no use except to raise the price. 99% of the times the future auction winner is hidding in the shadows until the last minute.

    There is one thing you need to do first. Contact the seller first and ask what the reserve price is. Most sellers will tell you. This isn't all bad you know? Statistically, auctions with RESERVE prices will end up with lower prices.

  • Let me endorse the last 10 second strategy. If there is something I want or need (or both) I decide what I'm willing to pay (even if it's well above the current high bid), and in the last 10 seconds make the highest bid I'm willing to pay. The nice thing about eBay (and I assume everyone knows this but as a reminder) is that regardless of how high your final bid might be, eBay only applies the minimum necessary to win the auction.

  • I have been on Ebay since this site began. I would second the 2 strategies: bidding within the last few seconds and bid at the max price you are willing to pay. I would also add that you want to look at a few other international Ebay sites (factoring international shipping) as well since what folks are willing to pay varies with their social behaviours. I would focus on auctions that end at odds hours for your location (this is also true to some extent with the time of the year) and studies the bids (ebay may say there is 30 bids, but if you look at it, you may notice on some there are just a few bidders). Also on some auctions, the buyer may not be specific enough on the item and that can have a detrimental impact on the final price. Last, you need to be patient.

  • For ebay it is good idea to make closing moment random in the last 5 minutes to prevent this sniping behaviour.

  • @sdbest - That's what the sniperbots do. With the only difference that you don't need to be at the computer to catch the auction, sometimes at odd hours etc. You just enter the lot link, your maximum bid and that's it. Set and forget. The software does the rest for you automatically. You just wake up and check your mail box to find out whether you're winner or not and if yes you always win at minimal price-step if there's no higher bidder. Sniperbots are made for convenience and some of them are even free if you don't bid at multiple auctions etc.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev: I didn't knew there was such a possibility, but as a buyer it will only make sense to randomly delay the auction end, because if it ends randomly before the closing time, the buyer could loose a lot of last second snipes that would only raise the value of the item.

  • +1 @zigizigi

    the sniperbots help you to not miss an auction. They don't help you to win it. You only win it, because no one else wants to pay more then you. You really need to make up your mind for what your absolute highest price for the auction would be. You need to research how high similar auctions had gone. Bidding last second just helps to don't have "old school" people changing their minds and rise their bids. With 10 seconds to go its hard to change your mind for a higher bid.

    With the last second strategy you only win against people who are not familiar with ebay. They are very exited about the bargain 80$ for that awesome f1.2 Lens. Seconds later the price explodes to 800$ and the auction is over.

    If there is a lot of bidding long before the auction ends, the seller is bidding him self (by friends or other accounts) to make sure to reach a certain price, or the product is extremely popular and will end up very expensive ...