Sunday, August 26, 2007

3 steps to win every Ebay auction

So I like to Ebay. I like it because you can get weird stuff that hasn't been made in decades. You can get new stuff for a lot less than you'd pay in a store. I like it because its like the world's largest mall with all kinds of crap. Bonus: you don't need to get out of your pajamas. But you all already know all of that.

What you might not know is how to win something easily on Ebay with just a few small steps. Here are my 3 keys... for how to win an auction:

1. Know how much something is worth.
You'll need to know how much something is worth if you hope to win it (or else get rich and bid $100,000 for everything). One way of doing this is to look at the completed auctions listing on the left side column of the page. Another, is to watch a like item or multiple versions of the same item for a few weeks in order to get an idea of what something usually sells for. By doing this, you will know what's in your price range. I recently guessed the price of a Voodoo, Ultegra equipped cyclocross bike at $850 4 days before the end of the auction. The auction ended at $830. My estimate was right on, and because of this, I would have been able to put up a competitive bid.

2. Never bid at even numbers or whole amounts.
I always bid weird amounts i.e. $57.77 or $126.66. Normal people bid $125.00, but if you've bid 126.66, you're more likely to win the item so long as you had number one above correct. Dont think in multiples of fives or tens like we commonly do in the world, this way you can risk less for items. I usually figure out my max price, then add $2.77 or so.

3. Use
Check out Its easy, after you set up your account, you tell esnipe what auction you're interested in, then how much you're willing to pay (see above) then thats it. Esnipe will do the will bid on your behalf at a predetermined time before the auctions end. I go with the default time of 6 seconds. Why its cool: 1) it will prevent you from spending more for an item than you think its worth, or than you can afford, by preventing bidding wars. You enter your price, walk away, and come back hours later to find out if you were the high bidder. 2) for auctions that end at 1pm on a monday, when youre at work and cant login, esnipe takes care of it all for you.

Am I missing something? What are your ebay tricks?


Jared Roy said...

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