Supposing something I want on ebay is listed as starting auction price of $750.
There are no bids. 3 days left.
Say that I am willing to pay $750 but that’s it, no more. Should I put the bid in now to scare away others (who might also want to just spend close to $750), or wait to snipe it?
It really doesn’t matter when you put in the intial bid, if you are only going to bid that minimum.
It ‘may’ inspire others to also up the minimum - it may not - It can also lead you to a false sense of security where you would be outbid by a snipe for .50 cents (god I hate it when that happens).
For things I am truly interested in, I bid the minimum to add it to my active list - I figure if I get it for that, great, if not, I have it on my priority list to more easily remember to check back on it.
I tend to wait and snipe (with multiple browser windows open in case it gets heated at the last minute.) Or do a proxy bid, or whatever that’s called, if I have an absolute upper limit on what I am willing to pay and don’t care that much if I don’t win it.
If it’s something I really want, I would probably not put in a bid three days in advance. I’d wait and see what’s happening in the last several hours. If you put in a bid too early, you risk getting into an escalating bidding war with other people who really want the item, resulting in an unecessarily inflated final price.
I wait until the final 30 seconds or so to bid. Mark it on my calendar and then go to the auction. If it is already too high, I don’t get disappointed. If it is still low, I put in my maximum bid. On the rare times I get last minute competition, I back off.
I’ve had my best luck waiting and sniping. I think putting in a max bid only encourages other people to bid up incrementally in an effort to beat you by a minute amount.
If you’re committed to your minimum, there’s no downside to sniping. Either you snipe and win or you make your bid only to find that someone else already set a higher max bid.