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Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer
Old 09-02-2006, 09:22 AM   #1
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Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer

We've nearly come to the point where we turn to eBay if we want to buy anything other than a consumable.* We like the "nontaxable income" nature of buying what we need for less than new prices.

I'm learning, like any field, there are tricks of the trade.* I was outbid the other day by a fellow who literally entered the auction 5 seconds before it ended.* My own fault, and I should have raised my maximum price to my real maximum, but it was interesting.

Now, as I consider that market, strikes me the smart thing is to wait until the very end, so as to avoid bidding the price up unnecessarily before the end.* 'Course, if a couple other buyers do it anyway, no effect ... but I'm sure I have helped to bid prices up in the past.

Also have seen a real jump in bogus second chance offers lately, and I wonder how these people get my email address.

Also learned to very carefully watch the shipping prices ... that is how sellers get a higher price, and it is encouraged by eBay effectively, since the selling costs are affected by sales prices, but not shipping charges.

Anyone else using eBay more and more, and what are you learning?
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer
Old 09-02-2006, 09:48 AM   #2
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer

You've noted the most important things.* Some other tips:

Check the completed auctions to get a feeling for how much the final bid may be.

Don't get fooled and sucked in because prices are low during early bidding.* Many get sucked in at this stage, and then the excitement of the bidding causes them to end up paying more than they want.

Check online stores to make sure that you don't end up paying more than you would at a normal online store.* I've seen people bid more for used items than those exact same items cost new.

I always snipe (bid in the last 10 seconds).* It's a natural tendency for someone to bid just a little more when they are outbid, and you don't want to make your competition do that.

Realize that when sniping, there's a chance that an Internet glitch or power outage could cause you to lose the chance to bid.

Here are my notes on the exact bidding process, if you want to time your bid:

* * Click Place Bid
* * Log in
* * Enter Amount -- click continue
* * Click Confirm Bid

You can use sniping services, but I think you have to give them your ebay password(?)
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer
Old 09-02-2006, 10:15 AM   #3
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer

And when you snipe, figure out the maximum you are willing to bid and bid that amount. You won't get another chance to bid, and there are likely to be another sniper or two. There's no loss if you're the only one who bids at the end, and if you're not, you've given it your best shot. Also, if you're willing to bid $50, make your bid $50.05. You'll beat out the other guy who just bid the round number.
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer
Old 09-02-2006, 10:28 AM   #4
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer

I've bought a considerable amount of musical gear on the internet over the years. I've come to the conclusion that I'm best off buying things from the classifieds sub-boards of the guitar, bass, recording, etc bulletin boards I frequent, and selling what I don't keep on Ebay.

I think you can still find somewhat under-priced gear on the b-boards, but on Ebay nearly everything gets bid up to market price, and sometimes higher due to irrational bidding during end-of-auction excitement.

Cb
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer
Old 09-02-2006, 10:42 AM   #5
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer

Cb, are you principally using Craig's List? What other sources do you like?
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer
Old 09-02-2006, 10:59 AM   #6
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer

I went through the ebay craze
and it was interesting and fun...
but I have learned that when one
adds in shipping and handling costs
buying a pig in a poke is not as
good a bargain as first thought.


Speaking of Craigslist, have you seen
this article ?


Calif bad check victim ends up in jail

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- A San Francisco man who unknowingly tried to cash a fake check written to him was arrested, jailed and spent $14,000 clearing his name.


http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/view.ph...0-020853-3397r


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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer
Old 09-02-2006, 11:31 AM   #7
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer

I buy and sell on Ebay and all of the above suggestions are right on the money.

As a seller it drives me crazy to have no bids until the end of the auction, as a buyer I never bid until the last 30 seconds. Ebay is cracking down on the 99 cent auctions with a $49 shipping fee but they can't catch them all.

Always check other sources for what you're looking for. Just this week I wanted to buy a couple of books that came up in the search list of the item I was looking for. Ebay price started at $23.99 each before shipping, Amazon had the same books for 16.47 each AND both books qualified for free shipping. Do your homework, there are better deals out there but you can still do well on Ebay.

There is one thing for sure, if you miss out on an item today, tomorrow another one will show up.
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer
Old 09-02-2006, 12:26 PM   #8
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer

id get a gun too,,,,,,heard someone who hooked up with a seller on e-bay for an expensive transaction was robbed at gunpoint this week............ebay says its the first time they heard of something like this happening.......
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer
Old 09-02-2006, 12:29 PM   #9
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer

I always either use buy-it-now or a sniping service. * *Pick one of these:

www.StealthBid.com
www.AuctionSniper.com
www.esnipe.com
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer
Old 09-02-2006, 01:06 PM   #10
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer

Quote:
if you're willing to bid $50, make your bid $50.05.
oooo* * $50.10 thanks to you...

(never will forget the moldy stuffed animal my mom's neighbor managed to unload for us for $70...* "But, it's HENRY!")


OTOH my business partner bought an unseen Jaguar Mark II (the Inspector Morse car) on Ebay ($8k+) and even paid to have it shipped. I hear it actually runs..!

As others have said, I think the success is in being honest as to the max you will pay. The auto bidding will prevent you from paying more if you really want the item. Otherwise, if you want it, only you want it CHEAP.. sign up for the e-mail notifications so that something similar or identical doesn't slip under the radar.
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer
Old 09-02-2006, 03:10 PM   #11
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer

As eBay grows, it is more of a "perfect" market (which favors sellers).

If you have the time, I think you get the best deals from "less perfect" markets like Craigslist - less buyer competition.

If you have the time and flexibility on what you are looking for, the good old newspaper classifieds represent a nice imperfect market to favor buyers.

My neighbor gets lots of stuff this way - many people never look at classifieds, never call, and certainly never go look at goods.

He asks "what's lowest they'd take" in a non-insulting way - and a lot of people offer bargains - because they are anxious to get rid of stuff.


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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer
Old 09-02-2006, 09:30 PM   #12
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delawaredave
As eBay grows, it is more of a "perfect" market (which favors sellers).

If you have the time, I think you get the best deals from "less perfect" markets like Craigslist - less buyer competition.
I agree. I used ebay in its early years to fill out the wargame collection I always
wanted but could not afford as a high school / college student ( the Golden Age
of paper map wargames was around 1979-1983). Paying $40 for a game now was
much cheaper than $10 then. Before ebay you could only buy these 25 year old
games at specialty dealers for outrageous prices.

Since that time I have noticed the wargame market get much more efficient on
ebay. The super deals have disappeared as many dealers now scour ebay. Most
sellers also seem to be dealers. Sigh - another fun place paved over by the
business world.
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer
Old 09-02-2006, 10:48 PM   #13
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles
Cb, are you principally using Craig's List?* What other sources do you like?
Charles,

No, I haven't used Craigslist, though a few internet biuddies have.* I've bought bass gear from the Talkbass.com classifieds boards, guitar & recording gear from The Gear Page, Weber VST, Harmony Central, Homerecording.com, The Telecaster Discussion Page and a few others.

I went through a spell where I scanned those sites daily, buying stuff like overdrive, wah, and delay pedals right & left, then selling the ones that didn't float my boat on Ebay. My Ebay profits were sufficient to cover the cost of styrofoam peanuts and packing tape and trips to the post office.

My wife rents DVD's, while I "rent" effects pedals and mexican strats....

Cb
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer
Old 09-02-2006, 11:06 PM   #14
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer

This is all good advice. My best ebay advice is to search for things by using mispellings. It amazes me how many people are trying to sell items for several hundred dollars and they spell the item name wrong. I've found some good deals this way. I even have automatic searches set up based on spelling errors.
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer
Old 09-02-2006, 11:41 PM   #15
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer

Quote:
Originally Posted by yelnad
This is all good advice. My best ebay advice is to search for things by using mispellings. It amazes me how many people are trying to sell items for several hundred dollars and they spell the item name wrong. I've found some good deals this way. I even have automatic searches set up based on spelling errors.
You must be a collector.* *I used to do that when I was collecting stuff.* *But now I view collecting stuff as an obsessive-compulsive disorder.*
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer
Old 09-03-2006, 12:41 AM   #16
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
You must be a collector.* *I used to do that when I was collecting stuff.* *But now I view collecting stuff as an obsessive-compulsive disorder.*
Uh...you know those guitar overdrive pedals I was talking about up above? Check out this guy's "boutique" overdrive pedal:

http://www.fulltone.com/ocd.asp

He knows his market....

Cb
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer
Old 09-03-2006, 01:40 AM   #17
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer

...I buy lots of stuff on Ebay. For many things it really is lots cheaper but for many other things it is no longer the best place to buy. Do your research and you can find the better deals. I collect Randall Knives and used to buy them on Ebay. Lately it seems that the Ebay market for them has become too perfect and there are no longer any good deals. The advice to do searches for misspelled names of products was a good one. Also consider searching ALL areas of Ebay. Most of us who collect Randall Knives do our searches in the categories of knives and military collectables. I got a great deal on a carving set of Randall Knives with the Randall name misspelled and the listing in the kitchenwares category.
JC
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer
Old 09-03-2006, 08:45 AM   #18
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Re: Smart eBay Strategies, as a Buyer

Sniping software certainly helps, and misspellings will find you jewels. Ebay seems to be going totally commercial - much like the the swap meets did back in the 70's. They started as all independent sellers cleaning out their garages, and soon there were guys selling surplus jeans and new records. Finally the commercial interest crowded out the independent sellers, and you were hard pressed to find a good deal anywhere.
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