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How to Win at eBay:
What's it Worth–to You?

© 2011 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

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Use this link to get to eBay whenever you buy and it helps me write more like this, thanks! Ken.

 

July 2011     top of How to Win at eBay     Index of detail pages

 

adorama

 
B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

Ritz Camera

I use Adorama, Amazon, Ritz, B&H, Calumet, J&R and ScanCafe. I can't vouch for ads below.

This is the amount you will enter as your maximum bid.

Ask yourself at what price, if someone else won, you would have been disappointed that you didn't win?

Ask yourself that if it had closed for a dollar more, would you have paid that extra dollar? How about ten, or a hundred dollars more? If you would have paid that, then enter that as your maximum bid.

If the item is worth $100, but you would have paid $120 just to get this one, then bid $120 or more. That's what it's worth to you.

Enter a value just below what you think only an idiot would pay.

In other words, enter a value just below whatever value you'd say "What a moron, they can have it at that price!"

If you think an item is worth $100, but you'd be willing to pay $120, and at $150 you'd think the winning bidder is an idiot, enter something between $120 and $150 as your maximum bid amount.

The way eBay's automated bidding process works, you'll probably pay a lot less than your maximum bid amount. For example, I've entered $500 for some things, and got them for $75.

The very few eBay auctions that I haven't won closed at silly prices, and at those prices, I was glad that I didn't win. In each case, I went on to find a better item for less.

Ask yourself at what price will you be relieved you didn't win the auction, and at what price you will wish you did. The item is worth someplace between those two numbers for you.

If you choose this number correctly, it's the number at which you could take it or leave it. It's the number at which you're on the verge between being happy about winning, or being glad someone else did instead at that price.

 

Shipping Charges

Be sure to consider the shipping charges. If you wish to spend no more than $300 for an item as delivered, and if the shipping is $15, enter only $285 as your maximum bid.

 

Rats, I could have had it if I had bid a dollar more!

Not really.

The winning price is merely one small increment over what the second highest bidder bid.

The winning price is rarely as high as the winner's maximum bid.

Every time I win an auction, it's always for about a dollar more than another guy.

This probably leaves guy #2 scratching his head as to how Rockwell knew to bid exactly one dollar more then he did, and how did I do it exactly at the last second when guy #2's maximum bid hadn't been discovered yet?

What confused other guy doesn't realize is that I probably entered a maximum bid $200 over wherever the auction closed. If guy #2 had had the time to react, most likely he still wouldn't have won, but would have bid-up the price unnecessarily, or been driven to pay way too much himself. That's auction fever.

If I early-bid, anyone else could keep placing sucker bids a dollar or two higher, and lo and behold, eBay's automated system would keep placing automated bids from me a dollar above each of the other bids until they gave up.

You almost never could have won an auction for a small increment over the winning amount. If you had bid higher against the winner, it would keep climbing until the eventual winner was just one increment over the other bidder.

Now let's explore the reasons that it's just not polite, reasonable, decent or smart to early-bid. That's our next page.

 

Next: Why Never to Early-Bid

back to top of How to Win at eBay.

 

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Thanks for reading!

 

 

Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.

 

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