Bidding on eBay is actually very straight forward. Simply put, it involves you placing your bid, then go about your other activities. Later, check on how your bid did in terms of success.
This actually works most of the time but sometimes it doesn’t so make sure you keep that in mind. When it doesn’t work is when someone else is willing to pay more for an item than what your bid is.
Submit the highest you want to pay when bidding on eBay
Most eBay experts usually advise that you submit the highest bid amount. This is what you would be willing to bid right from your first bid. Rather than playing with numbers and hoping you get lucky.
This looks like a recipe for disaster as we’ve basically trained ourselves to start with our lowest bid. One which is similar to the pattern incorporated in an auction house. Obviously, one doesn’t start by screaming their highest bid. Instead, they start from the bottom, right?
And most times, what usually happens is that it’s either you bid more or you get nothing for your efforts. Or you stick with your maximum bid. In other words, you start bidding low with high hopes that you’re ahead of others in terms of price. The price is still very low which favors you.
But in the case of eBay, once you submit your final maximum bid, that’s what you’re obligated to pay should you emerge the winner from the bid.
Your actual bid will be some increase over the next highest bid. Yours being the highest, or an increase over the lowest allowable bid, should no one else bid. However, you aren’t necessarily stuck with paying your maximum bid. In other words, your maximum bid is simply the most you would be willing to pay for the item you’re bidding for.
You can also incorporate the “publish and pray” method. This is where you submit bids from time to time until you either win or you call it quits.
What is the reserve bid when bidding on eBay?
Many items listed in an eBay auction usually have something called a “Reserve Bid”. This particular bid is hidden from viewers and can only be seen by sellers.
This is basically the minimum amount the seller will accept. If your maximum bid, or any bid for that matter, is less than the reserve bid, your bid will be rejected automatically.
This is basically done mainly to protect the seller of something that’s valuable. So they will not end up getting pennies for it.
Offers that may be available
There are also “Buy It Now” and “Make Best Offer” features available on some eBay offers. Although, it’s not present in all auction items.
This allows you to purchase an item out rightly at the “Buy It Now” price. Or make your best offer to the seller. Your best offer may get you the item, it maybe rejected, or the seller may make a counter offer.
It goes without saying that you should be placing a reasonable offer when doing this bidding on eBay. Since others will probably be doing the same thing.
Obviously, the seller would definitely be accepting the offer with the highest monetary value. Bidding on eBay is fun, and doesn’t need to be complicated, but you can employ various strategies. This make things more interesting if you so choose, and many do.
Things to be aware of when bidding on eBay
The reputation of eBay regarding online auctions is pretty solid. This speaks volumes of how the platform has grown over the years.
This is a little bit amazing when you consider that the “auctioneers” are not eBay employees. But more like people down the street or maybe your next door neighbor.
They are mostly good honest folks, but there’s always the possibility of a rotten apple in the crowd. For the most part, you can feel quite safe when bidding for an item on eBay.
There are some systems that are put in place for bidding on eBay, such as feedback. This can alert you if complaints or criticisms have been directed at a seller, justified or not.
We often think of a seller at an eBay auction as someone who has just cleaned out his attic. Yet, some are in it as a side- or full-time business which is okay.
Some of these businesses will sell items that are not the genuine one. Such as, pirated software, and CDs, or the famous not so genuine Rolex watch.
Determining the authenticity of an item or product when bidding on eBay could be energy sapping, overwhelming, and sometimes next to impossible. Especially, online on a massive platform like eBay. Most times, your best defense is your credit card.
Be aware of mail policies
If you find an item you purchase is not as advertised when you receive it, you should have some recourse. Of course, you can always send a scathing feed back message. Yet, informing eBay customer support would be a better tactic.
Not all buyers on eBay accept personal checks on eBay. But if you’re lucky enough to find one and you send the check, do not expect the seller to ship your item promptly. The seller may want to be certain by clearing the check first. Especially, if it’s a large amount of money.
Don’t be surprised if you receive an item you’ve successfully bid on and have to sign for it to receive it. It should be expected. To me, it is a good practice which protects both buyer and seller from the uncertainty associated with something being “lost in transit”. Overseas sellers are for the most part just as honest as are those nearer home.
A problem in dealing with an overseas seller, or a buyer for that matter, is if anything goes wrong, there’s sometimes little one can do to make it right.
Probably the main thing to watch out for are statements or claims in a listing that seem either too good to be true or for some reason don’t quite make good sense.
Overall, a well written, straight forward listing for bidding on eBay usually leads to a transaction that is going to result in a win-win situation for both buyer and seller.