Researching eBay Bidders to Win an Auction
To find the best price for any item on eBay, you need to research the item to find out what similar items on eBay tend to sell for. But eBay shows you more than just the winning bid; you can gain some insight into your competition by checking out previous auctions.
When you conduct your eBay research, the best strategy is to look at the prices achieved in previous sales. Do a search for completed auctions. Then check an auction’s bid history by clicking the Bid History link on the auction item page (the link appears next to the number of bids). You’ll be presented with a screen like the one shown here. This will at least give you an idea of how many people are duking it out for the item, if not their actual IDs.
Pay attention to the times when bidders are placing their bids, and you may find that the people bidding in the auction are creatures of habit — making their bids about once a day and at a particular time of day. They may be logging on before work, during lunch, or after work. Whatever their schedules, you have great info at your disposal in the event that a bidding war breaks out: Just bid after your competition traditionally logs out, and you increase your odds of winning the auction.
Early in an auction, there may not be much of a bidding history for an item, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still check out the dates and times a bidder places bids. You can also tell whether a bidder practices sniping if his or her bid is in the last few seconds of the auction. You may have a fight on your hands if the bidder uses sniping.
A page that an eBay member creates to tell other eBay members about them and their eBay business.
Online pages where eBay posts information about new features, promotions, and policy changes, as well as information about system problems and general announcements.
An Internet service and media company that provides a semi-closed online community for millions of subscribers.
A type of transaction where the buyer has a resale number and purchases merchandise from another business.
The cancellation of a bid by the seller during an eBay auction.
An eBay member who bids on an auction item. Each bid enters that bidder into a binding contract.
Short for weblog; a Web site chronicle that is regularly updated by an individual or group.
A software program, usually free, that lets your computer download content from the Internet.
A PayPal account that allows an eBay seller to accept credit or debit card payments from customers. It offers controlled multi-user access so that multiple employees can serve customers, and it gives the seller unlimited use of eBay Tools and Merchant Services.
An optional eBay feature that allows a buyer to immediately purchase an item at a set price before the auction ends.
A program that enables eBay sellers to present a credibility seal and financially protect their online auction transactions with surety bonds.
The withdrawal of money from a seller’s account by a payment service or merchant account after a transaction has occurred. This can happen when a buyer disputes the sale.
An online area where eBay members can communicate directly with each other.
A way to format table or database information, in which commas separate what would be different columns, that allows data to be transferred from one application to another.
A data packet sent from an Internet server to your browser; a cookie is used to identify the user and track their activities on the server.
Online pages where eBay members can post messages, ask questions, share tips, and communicate with other eBay members.
The system that is used to track and regulate domain names and addresses on the Internet.
A measure of resolution often used for a computer screen or printer.
A business that stocks merchandise and sells the merchandise to a reseller, but ships it directly to the customer.
A method of transferring digital data to allow high-speed Internet access over phone lines.
A ratings system that allows an eBay buyer to rate a seller based on the accuracy of the item description, quality of communication, shipping speed, and shipping and handling charges.
A multiple-item auction in which the seller can list as many identical items as they’d like, and bidders can bid on as many items as they’d like. The final item price is set by the lowest successful bid at the time the auction closes.
A group of eBay buyers and sellers who have a common interest.
An eBay page that displays all of the items offered by an individual store seller.
The official eBay time of day, based on the eBay headquarters location in San Jose, California, in the United States; eBay time is the same as the Pacific Time Zone.
A computer-based system that allows users to conduct financial transactions electronically.
An e-mail notice that eBay sends out to the buyer and seller when an auction has ended.
eBay’s official escrow service; this is an online service that offers protection to buyers with transactions over $2,000, which is the upper limit for PayPal buyer protection.
A rating from a buyer or a seller, made after a transaction. The rating can be positive, negative, or neutral, and can include a short comment. Ratings are used to determine an eBay member’s Feedback Scores.
A colored star indicating that an eBay seller has a particular Feedback Score. For example, a yellow star means that the seller has 10-49 Feedback points.
The fee that eBay charges to the seller when a listing ends. It is based on the sale price or the closing bid. The fee is not charged to items that didn’t have any bids or to items that didn’t meet the reserve price set by the seller.
An item listing where an eBay member can buy the item at a set price without auction-style bidding.
A standard protocol that allows users to exchange files over a network.
An icon indicating that the identity of an eBay seller has been confirmed in order to give buyers a measure of security.
A profile created by an eBay member. The member has a password and user ID to access their My eBay page; they can track what they are buying and selling, leave feedback, and update their profile.
A collection of Web pages held together with links that gives an eBay member complete control of everything they are doing on eBay. The My eBay page contains My Summary, All Buying, All Selling, My Messages, All Favorites, and My Account pages.
A page that gives an eBay member a snapshot of their current eBay business.
A personalized eBay page containing an eBay member’s favorites, photo, feedback, a guestbook, a short biography, and their eBay interests.
A PayPal program that covers up to the full purchase price and shipping charges for buyers who use PayPal on qualified listings. Sellers must meet certain requirements for their listings to qualify for PayPal Buyer Protection. These protected items have a Buy Safely icon in the Meet the Seller section on the View Item page.
An eBay subscription service that enables users to upload and manage the pictures for all of their listings. Presently, new users cannot subscribe to this service, as it is being discontinued. Existing subscribers can use it until January 2010.
An eBay seller who has maintained a 98% positive Feedback Score. This is an experienced, high-volume eBay seller who provides a high level of service to buyers.
An eBay account for members who have a high volume of transactions and need to accept payments via credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal debit cards.
A listing where the bidders’ user IDs are hidden from other bidders. Sellers can use this feature when they think that potential bidders may not want their user ID made known.
Small business accounting software developed by Intuit.
Personal finance accounting software developed by Intuit.
The secret lowest price that an eBay seller is willing to sell an item for.
The number that a seller uses when they file a sales tax statement with their state.
An offer by a seller to a non-winning bidder to purchase an eBay item after the winning bidder has not paid for the item, or the seller has more than one of the item. A seller can propose a Second Chance Offer when the listing ends, and up to 60 days after the listing ends.
An eBay selling tool that allows a user to automatically list and relist their items; track inventory; automate payments; monitor shipping status; create bulk item listings; send bulk feedback and e-mails; and create profit and loss reports.
A bidding technique that artificially raises an item’s price to increase the desirability and final price of the item. eBay prohibits shill bidding.
The fine art of outbidding competition in the very last seconds of an eBay auction without leaving them enough time to place a defensive bid.
Online slang for harassing, offensive, or useless-but-widely-distributed messages or advertisements.
A computer program used mainly for accounting, in which figures arranged in the rows and columns of a grid can be manipulated and used in calculations.
A provider of warranties for consumer appliances and electronics. The company is located online at www.squaretrade.com.
A license that identifies a seller as being in business. When you want to purchase goods from a wholesaler within your state, you must produce this number (thereby certifying your legitimacy as a seller) so the dealer can sell you the merchandise without charging you sales tax.
A file in which pieces of data are separated tabs. This file type can be opened in either a spreadsheet or word-processing program.
A group of linked Internet messages that share a common subject.
Also referred to as a consignment seller; this is an eBay member who sells other people’s merchandise for a fee.
The eBay department that focuses on protecting eBay buyers and sellers from members who abuse the system. It issues warnings and policy changes, and in some cases, it cancels the memberships of system abusers.
An eBay tool that allows sellers to easily create and compile multiple listings on their computer and then upload the listings to eBay.
The span of time a Web hosting company’s servers stay operational without going down and denying access to their users’ sites.
An address that identifies where documents are found on the Internet.
A name that identifies an eBay member to other eBay users.
Technical standards that allow wireless transmission of data over a computer network.
Used in a search, a character that matches any character or sequence of characters.
Technology that enables a computer display to accurately represent the final printed output.