eBay bidding strategy

I’ve got a little bit of money from my mom’s estate, and I’d like to get another car. I’ve found one on eBay. As of now, there are 912 views of the page, but no bids. Bidding ends today.

Now, this is a nifty little car. It’s somewhat rare (at least, I’ve never seen one on the road since I was three years old), and really funky/cool. The car appears to be an older resto in decent condition. It’s not really the car I want (that would be my own '66 roadster back!) but it’s one that’s been ‘on the list’ for a long time. If I could pick it up near its starting price, it would be a good catch.

Should I:
[ul][li](Assuming there is still no bid) wait until the last minute and bid the most I’m willing to, hoping to ‘snipe’ it?[/li][li]Bid the minimum amount and see if anyone else bids; and if the bid in the last few seconds is less than I’m willing to pay, try to snipe it?[/li][li]Bid the maximum amount I’m willing to pay now, and hope for the best?[/li][li]Save my limited funds and get a used POS econobox?[/li]Take a short trip to Italy and pick up a cheap Fiat 500 (which is also ‘on the list’)?[/ul]

No one who spends much time on ebay really likes it, but sniping works. Bidding early seems to increase the level of activity and few people really use the maximum bid feature they way it was intended to be used. Wait until there are 20 or 30 seconds remaining and snipe away.

I know what I woud do:
[li]If there is enough time, ask the seller some questions if only to get a sense of whether he/she is a legitimate seller. (May be unnecessary if seller has good rating)[/li][li]Think real hard about how much I’m willing to pay for it.[/li][li]Enter that amount into an automatic sniping software or service.[/li][li]Forget about it until the auction closes.[/li][/ul]
I find if I think too much about it as the closing date/time approaches, I end up bidding too high and regret it later. But if I just place a bid early, I’m more likely to be outbid.

If you really want to win that bid. I strongly recommend to use technology.

SnipeRight is what you want

If everyone bid logically and sensibly there would be no point to sniping. But people, being people, don’t. Therefore the best policy is always to snipe. Bid the maximum you’re willing to pay at the last possible moment.

It means you have to sit around and time your bid, so you don’t get the luxury of bidding your max when it suits you and then sitting back. But there is simply no better way of maximizing your chances of winning than sniping.

As long as you’re able to keep your attention on the clock and can be online at the auction close, I don’t see any advantage to using a sniping service. The idea of sniping is to deny others of the time to have second thoughts about their maximum bid. If you bid within the last 30 seconds this achieves this just as effectively as any sniping service would. You don’t win any prizes by getting your snipe in on the very last second after everyone elses’ snipe. It’s still the highest bid at the auction end that wins.

And, what others said. Double check all the auction details. Read the seller’s feedback. Look at other auctions they’ve done. Ask them a question and see how quickly they get back to you and the quality of the answer. All these are good ways of gauging the likelyhood of a ripoff or fraud.

Oh, yeah. One other thing; Don’t bid a nice round number. I’m amazed at the number of people I still see doing this, and subsequently lose out because someone’s bid just a little bit over that.

I vote for:
[ul][*]Take a short trip to Italy, detour over to Denmark between 15 - 20 May, have a blast with Spiny and Shayna, and pick up a cheap Fiat 500 on the way back through Italy.[/ul] Woo Hoo! :smiley:

Definitely look at the seller’s history. I bought my first thing from eBay less than a month ago, and in my latest buy I saved myself about $20 by checking out a seller’s history.

The story: I was looking for copies of episodes of a now-defunct TV series. I found a seller who appeared reliable. Looking at his history, I saw that he had a history of selling copies of the same three-DVD set over and over; a new three-day auction would begin immediately when the last one ended. He never had more than one set on sale at a time, so bidding was pretty fierce; the set usually went for about $40-50, sometimes over $60.

Ah, but then I checked his feedback. It was full of lots of “buy it now” auctions, many at prices far below the final auction price, for the same DVDs. And the people who had bought the items at these private auctions had bid in previous auctions, and the “buy it now” price matched their highest bid.

So, the pattern was clear: as long as you bid more than $20 for the DVDs in one of the three-day auctions, the guy would give you a “second chance” offer at your highest bidding price when the auction was over. Thus, the only logical thing to do was make a max bid of just over $20, wait for the auction to end, and pick up the second chance offer. That way, I would get my DVDs at much less than the main auction price. And hey presto, it worked.

I guess what I’m saying is, a little research can save you money.

Thanks for the info about the Sniping services - a month ago I was outbid at the last minute on a hockey jersey that I really wanted.

If you really REALLY want it - snipe, snipe, for the love of og snipe.

And always check your seller’s feedback before you even think of bidding. Boy did I learn that the hard way.

I vote for:
[ul][li]Take a short trip to Italy, detour over to Denmark between 15 - 20 May, have a blast with Spiny and Shayna, and pick up a cheap Fiat 500 on the way back through Italy.[/ul] Woo Hoo! :D[/li][/QUOTE]

My friend’s all like, ‘Dude! Let’s go!’

Well, it would be good for a laugh. I don’t need another car. And if I’m extremely lucky, I’ll have the MGB back before the sun goes away. (Not holding my breath, though.) But it would be awesomely cool. :cool:

There’s one bid now, but the reserve isn’t met.