I have been selling and buying using eBay and other online platforms for around twenty years. I have experienced the highs and lows of selling an item for thousands and losing a treasure for pennies. I have also had the reverse where I have jumped for joy as I bag a bargain and also got caught up in the auction bug and overpaid.
eBay is a wonderful and complex platform. It has proven over the years to hold some of the world’s most beautiful treasures. It is the lure of these treasures that bring millions of buyers to its website every single day. It can be a very, enjoyable and rewarding experience. Or it can be a nightmare, horror story. So I thought today I would create an article to share my experience and opinions on using online auctions such as eBay.
How to win at eBay auctions.
If we place a bid on an eBay auction, it is because we want to win. many believe that if you use a bidding tool to bid in the last few seconds, then you have a greater chance of winning. Try bidding odd amounts for example, if you were to bid £20, instead place a bid of £20.50 as that will put you above others. Don’t be afraid of pushing an item’s price up early on as it will scare away a lot of bargain hunters.
What is a bid.
A bid is your offer to buy an item that is for sale for your set price. for example, when using eBay auctions the current price will be displayed. If we use £1 as our example as the current price. If then you are willing to pay more, you enter the amount you are willing to offer into the bid box. This is a legal contract to bid and buy.
What is automatic increment bidding ?
Automatic or increment bidding is when you place your maximum bid and the auctioneer or eBay in our example bids on your behalf. If the current price is £1 as already discussed but you are willing to pay £100 then. You would place your £100 bid and rather than displaying the £100, eBay would take you to the level that outbids the other bidders.
If another bidder has already placed a £10 bid on this item then your bid will then be placed at £11. should the underbidder place another bid or anyone else the computer will automatically bid against them for you up to your maximum bid.
Bidding your maximum bid does not mean you are paying the full offer price. if no one bids against you then you can still win the item for the current bid so it could be yours at £11. the buyers do not see your maximum bids, they are kept private by the auctioneer or eBay.
What is an auction bidding tool?
An auction bidding tool is a software or company that has a specific tool designed and built to bid on your behalf. there are many bidding companies on the market, for example, Auction snipper, Bid napper, Goofbid, Auction Stealer and so many more, if you run a google search you will have hundreds to choose from.
Bidding tools will require access to your eBay account. they will require your, user name and passwords to log on and bid for you. This is generally safe but make sure you’re giving your details over to a reputable company.
Bidding tool companies will charge you for the privilege of using their services. Some will charge you a set fee per item, others a monthly subscription. What is best for you will be determined by the amount you bid on.
Bidding tools are not foolproof, if you run out of credits then your bid will not be placed, if their server goes down or there is a connection interruption, your bid may not be placed,
The idea behind bidding tools is to place a bid so late in the auction that no one has a chance to respond with a higher bid. This is a very good tool however remember, at this point in the auction you also can not increase your bid. If your high bid wasn’t high enough you will still lose the auction.
Are Auction Bidding Tools Morally Wrong?
Is it wrong to use bidding tools? many people believe that using a bidding tool is stealing the auction, Some consider it to be morally wrong. The truth is if a seller offers their product no reserve then the price it sells for is determined by the market place. the fact someone wants a machine to bid for them makes no difference in my opinion.
When I get beat by an auction tool it can sting a little however the simple truth is, I would have already set the price I was happy to pay for the item. Whoever bids the highest amount wins. we all know tools are out there so bid enough to beat them.
How to bid against a reserve.
A reserve auction is when a seller sets a minimum price they will allow their item to be sold at. The starting price and reserve price have no relationship at all. My opinion when you are bidding against a reserve price is to bid early to find the reserve. Bid up to your limit and see if it meets the seller’s expectations. if it doesn’t then walk away.
Don’t be afraid of pushing the price up on a reserve sale. The odds are, the seller already knows what their item is worth and will want a fair price for it. One benefit of pushing a price higher on a reserve auction is you will scare away many bargain hunters who only want very underpriced items.
Once you have reached the reserve price set by the seller. You can then decide to place a final maximum bid of what you are willing to pay for the item and wait. Or you can use a bidding tool to place a larger bid for you in the closing seconds of the auction.
How to Cancel a bid.
A bid placed is a legal contract to buy the item. However, eBay allows you to cancel your placed bid for a few reasons. Examples of reasons for canceling bids are, you entered the wrong amount, the description is incorrect, or there is a problem with the listing, etc. There are no previsions for you changed your mind, so use the option you entered the wrong amount.
when the auction has ended you can still write to a seller to ask them to cancel a sale, however, it is up to the seller to agree. if the seller does not agree to cancel the sale for whatever reason, then they will file a non-paying bidder with eBay. This will then result in a strike against your account and in theory three strikes and your account is suspended.
Can I win eBay Auctions with out a bidding tool?
Bidding tools are good and you will steal a few auctions. A great many people believe that if you place a standard bid you are just driving the price up.
There are people myself included that believe, if an auction item is seen by people, then it doesn’t matter, if you place your bid at the start of an auction or in the last five seconds.
My thinking behind this is, if the price is still very low on an item then it will attract more attention. people who want an item will place a bid and it doesn’t matter if you bid early or late you will still have to outbid them. yes, a bidding tool will mean they can not have the time to increase their bid against you however you also can not increase your bid to fight back against them if they have placed a larger bid from the start.
I had a live chat with a fellow eBay seller on YouTube if you are interested in watching it.
I have a playlist on my YouTube channel dedicated to eBay. in there I have videos showing tips and secrets on selling and buying, I also show you some of the things I have won by not using a bidding tool. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL32WAqKudyHjSOvDSvWYB3BFgAte-m-De
In conclusion, bidding tools have a place when buying from eBay auctions. I personally do not feel that they are the be-all and end-all. Remember when someone places an auction snip using a tool they still have to beat your bid. In addition, there are so many bidding tools out there now and so many people using them that unless you place a crazy amount using a bidding tool your still not guaranteed to win the auction.
the fear of driving a price up when you place a normal bid is the mindset in so many long term buyers to the point they would never dream of placing a bid without a tool. and I have no doubt they win some amazing items for pennies. however what I have learned over the years is if something is described correctly and worth the money, then bidding tool or standard bid you have to pay in order to win it.
There will be a great deal of people who disagree with my views on using auction bidding tools. I agree they can save you money and you can win some amazing stuff for pennies. however if you try to snipe an item I have bid on remember you will still have to beat my bid.