How to Be a Better Bidder on eBay
When you bid on eBay items, there are quite a few strategies you can use to get an edge on your competition or to get a better deal for yourself. These include keeping your cool while you bid, and checking out international eBay sites.
Here are a few short tips that really work:
Shop eBay.ca, eh! That’s right. If you’re in the U.S., 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.
If you’re an American resident, all you have to do is think about the conversion between the U.S. and Canadian dollars — oh yes, there are bargains to be had. From the eBay home page, scroll down the left side of the page and click the link to eBay Canada. 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 let your ego get in the way of smart bidding. Let your opposition pay too much!
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 it has too high an opening bid (or too high a reserve), there’s a good chance that no one else will 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 and 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 or she will combine the items in shipping. That way, you can make two purchases for a smaller single shipping bill.
Never 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 will gear up another eBay user to outbid you because suddenly the item is valuable to at least one person. If you must bid well before the auction’s close, bid high. As a matter of fact, bid a couple of dollars more than you might 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, you’d be smart to e-mail the seller and ask whether he or she has any more of the item. You may get lucky, and the seller can send you a Second Chance offer for your high bid.