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Winning Bids on eBay – Secondhand Shopping Tips – Part 5

Written by Jess

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eBay auctions: a fine art

There are definitely different camps and some strong views on this, but my advice here is purely on how to make sure you win the item you're looking to buy, at the best price.

This post is not about what the right thing to do is, or how to perfectly play how eBay (and sellers) will want you to.

Place your bid and leave

You can bid your maximum amount whenever you see the advert, so you don’t need to return to it when the auction is due to end.

If no one else bids or doesn’t bid as high as you entered, you will only pay up to the amount they would have committed to.

But if it’s a close call, you might win, but at that highest figure you set. So do think about it realistically before you enter it. If you win, you are committed to buying.

The last-minute pounce

You can set an alarm for a few minutes before the auction is due to end and get yourself ready to pounce. For this tactic: you would need to submit your maximum bid, with 15 seconds to spare. That way, you are not encouraging other bidders to bid their highest offer, so you can often get a much better deal.

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Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

If someone else placed their maximum bid of say £7.50, but it shows the bid at £4.50, when you place your maximum bid of £10, you’d win the item at £7.60 ish. If you place your maximum bid with, say, 30 seconds to spare, it gives the other person who may be watching (like you are) time to snipe in with a higher bid than you, right at the last second.

Beware, with the ‘pounce’ technique, you might miss out on the item if you end up being busy or distracted at the auction end time.

This also works well if the item ends at a funny time like 7 am or 10 pm when fewer people are likely to browse.

Don't get carried away

This method creates serious FOMO! Do you really need/want the item as much as this situation is creating?

Try and rationalise whether the excitement is skewing your decision making ability.

Set a price in mind before reaching crunch time to avoid placing a bid too high because you want to 'win'.

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