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For Seniors: How to Successful Bid During an eBay Auction

If you want to place a successful bid during an eBay auction, follow these few short tips really work. Follow these tips, and you should be able to not only increase your number of successful eBay bids, but also get better deals:

  • Shop eBay.ca. If you’re in the United States, why not bid on auctions on the eBay Canada Web site? In fact, if you’re an international bidder and are willing to pay shipping from the U.S., you’ll have no problem handling Canadian shipping charges. From the eBay home page, scroll down the left side of the page and click the Canada link.

    If you’re an American resident, all you have to do is think about the conversion between the U.S. and Canadian dollars. Be sure the seller has reasonable shipping to the United States before you bid.

  • Place your bids in odd figures. Many eBay bidders place their bids in the round numbers that match eBay’s proxy system. You can win by a few cents if you place your bids in odd numbers like $10.97 or $103.01.

  • Don’t get carried away in a bidding war. Unless the item is rare, odds are that a similar item will show up on eBay again someday soon.

  • Don’t freak out if you find yourself in a bidding war. Don’t keel over if, at the split-second you’re convinced that you’re the high bidder with your $45.02, someone beats you out at $45.50.

  • Watch for item relistings. If you see an item that you want but that has too high an opening bid (or too high a reserve), no one else will probably bid on the item, either. Put that auction into your Watch area of My eBay. Then, after the auction ends, double-check the seller’s auctions every so often to see whether the item has been relisted with a lower starting bid and a lower (or no) reserve.

  • Combine shipping when possible. When you purchase an item, check the seller’s other auctions to see whether you’re interested in making a second purchase. If you see something else that appeals to you, e-mail the seller to see whether he will combine the items in shipping. That way, you can make two purchases for a smaller single shipping bill.

  • Don’t bid early, but if you do, bid high. The only time this bidding-early business works is if no one else is interested in the auction. Usually, though, the tactic gears up another eBay user to outbid you because suddenly the item is valuable to at least one person. If you must bid before the auction’s close, bid high. As a matter of fact, bid a couple of dollars (not a couple hundred) more than you want to pay.

  • Try for a Second Chance offer: If you get outbid and miss the chance to increase your bid on an auction item, e-mail the seller and ask whether he has any more of the item. You may get lucky, and the seller can send you a Second Chance offer for your high bid. Sellers may send Second Chance offers to underbidders in an auction when the winner doesn’t go through with the winning bid; when the reserve price wasn’t met; or when the seller has more than one of the sold item.

    Any purchase you make in this manner is covered under PayPal’s Buyer Protection Program, and you have the opportunity to leave feedback.

  • Bid during off-hours. Between the hours of 23:00 (that’s 11 p.m. Pacific Standard Time) and 03:00 (that’s 3 a.m. Pacific Standard Time), things run a bit slowly on eBay. If you’re online at that time, you may be able to take advantage of some serious bargains. To view the auctions that are going to end in the next few hours, use the Search Options on the left side of the page.

  • Check out eBay stores. Before buying any item from a listing on eBay, check to see whether the seller has a red store icon along with the other seller information,. If so, be sure to click the icon before you bid on the item. Most sellers run auctions for items to draw people into their eBay stores, where you may be able to find more interesting merchandise you can buy, have the seller put it in the same box along with your auction item, and save on shipping.

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