Saturday, March 13, 2010

The 7 step eBay addicts guide

Hi, my name is Ana, and I am an eBay addict...

Or so says my fiance! But I am constantly trolling around eBay for things I can't live without. Many of those things are (but not limited to): shoes, make-up, blouses, shoes, sewing pattens, shoes, vintage accessories, shoes and shoes. (Hahaha! Can you tell I really like shoes a lot?) Most of the time I'm just browsing through my "coveted" item searches seeing if that special pair of shoes or the perfect blouse pattern have finally shown up. With all that time spent on eBay I have learned a few tricks that every good bidder should know.

1. First and foremost, never EVER bid early on the auction! Save it to your watched items. Someone will always bid on it later, unless it's a very bizarre or unique item. Then all you will have accomplished is raising the price, especially if you bid much higher than the starting amount. That leads me to number two...

2. Bid as low as you can. For instance, if the starting price is 0.99 cents don't bid ten dollars for it. The lower you start your bids at, the smaller the minimum biding amount will go up.

3. Try different names and terms. Example: Sometimes I look for "sailor pants", since this is the most common term for this item, it is the most looked at and most bid on. Therefore, I will change it up and also search "nautical pants" - thus getting more results for essentially the same type of pants. You might want to look up different terms online. There are many names for the same thing depending on where you live and what culture you're influenced by.

4. Being very specific about what you are searching for can have it's advantages, but only if the person listing the item knows it by that name or even know that's what it's called! (A lot of sellers have found the item they have listed, or inherited it. Don't assume they have much knowledge on the item.) So, it's a good idea to be somewhat vague. Instead of searching "1940's simplicity collared blouse pattern size 18", try "vintage blouse pattern." As I mentioned, most sellers won't know much about the item, such as the time period its from, the brand, the size, etc.

5. Be patient! In relation to my last post, I was searching "red lipstick" (which I thought was pretty darn vague). Then, I realized lipstick have all kinds of crazy names. In order to have access to all of those crazy named lipstick shades, I would have to be even more vague, changing my search to "lipstick". Naturally, my search contained 1,239 pages of lipstick. Don't be discouraged - this is where the patience comes in! Yes, I will have to look through each page to find the perfect shade. But since I'm not going to pay more than 3 dollars on eBay for lipstick, that narrows it down to 17 pages. That's much easier!

6. A simple way to make the browsing go by faster, is to set search results to show in list format. That way they are all in a line going down the left hand side. You can give each one a quick glance and move on.

7. If you have the time to wait and watch your item in the last minutes, odds are you have a good chance of sneaking up and snatching it away from previous bidders. Make sure you give yourself enough time to bid, just in case the bidder before you has a maximum bid set. (A maximum bid means eBay will bid on behalf of you if you are unable.) I recently found out about "sniping" from another blog. A snipe is basically the same thing as a maximum bid, except the computer doesn't bid until the last few seconds of the auction, making it nearly impossible for someone to out bid you before the auction ends! In order to snipe you have to join a site outside of eBay. I currently use Bidnapper, I'm trying out their 15 day trial and am very satisfied with the simplicity of it. Keep in mind if the price goes beyond the highest amount you set the program to bid, then there's nothing you can do unless you're on the computer and manually raise the bid amount.

Well, there you have it! An eBay addict's 7 step guide to winning (almost) every auction for less. I hope my neurotic and compulsive fixation will help you find your perfect pair of shoes (or whatever you're looking for! Haha)



Kevin said...

Well, I'm springing to inspire you to end the shoe-buying parade of compulsive insanity...Holy crap!

At least you have acknowledged you have an addiction - but yet to admit it as a problem. Why is it a problem? Because, um, you never wear shoes!!! Think of all the shoeless people out there!!! ;<

I love you hon, and nice informative and fun blog!!

Emily said...

I love shoes too!! A girl can never have too many me!! :) thanks for the tip on the bidnapper. I am going to have to check that out.

Emily said...

You have own my giveaway!! Drop me an email with your address and I will send it out! :)