Run multiple refined searches

After signing in, almost every one search on eBay by putting in the Key words and (All Categories) search.  Say you use the key word “Nokia”. eBay provides the first search with the “Best Match” option. I rather call this a random option.  Any description containing the given key word is displayed here.  All the prices are in random and this is the most useless search to buy this way.

However you should take a look of the search results to improve your next search yields.  For instance, if you find for mobile phone, you could also get display covers, keypads, case covers and other accessories. By looking at the random search result you could get better key word than just “Nokia n97” as your key word.

To narrow down your search item, and also to get the better price advantage, you should select the sort by “Price + Shipping lowest first” this is the most effective search used by most seasoned buyers.  You should select also the box “Include title and description” which is located just underneath your search box. Before providing you the search result eBay requests you to enter your country and zip code in the floating window.

There you will see the lowest price items relating to “Nokia n97”.  You might still get many accessories such as chargers, screen protectors, and cases for “Nokia n97”.  You can go through many pages to reach to the actual mobile phone offer.

Or either you add “Nokia n97 unlocked”, “new Nokia n97 unlocked” or “Nokia n97 refurbished” to get your self to the actual mobile phone.  On the left hand column of the search result you can also select the buying format that you wish either “Auction” or “Buy It Now”. To my opinion, not selecting either Auction or Buy it Now is better because you could get the average market price of the mobile phone from the “Buy It Now” listings, if all are listed together.

Under the search result, you could select more specific conditions such as “New never opened before”, “Refurbished” “Used” or “Not specified”.

Bidding smartly

If you found the item that you are searching for and finally decided to bid, it is very important to note down the cheapest price quote for Buy It Now item.  This BIN price is the Maximum Bid Price Limit that you should put for your bidding.  Without this max cap, you could end up bidding and paying for higher than you should.

If the available Buy it Now price is still too expensive for you, you could check the item’s previous bid prices by selecting under Preferences > Show only  > completed Listings which is located on the left column.

The “Completed Listings” option shows you all the previously bid and won prices of the selected item.  There you can decide your Maximum Bid Price Limit.  You can enter your starting bid but there is no requirement for entering the Maximum bid price at first.

Because, if you enter your Max bid price long time before the bid ends, eBay will automatically bidding up for you once there are other bidders.  This increases the bid price unnecessary days before the bid ends.

You should note down the bid end time and remind yourself.  About 2 min before the end time, you should enter your “Max Bid Price” and let eBay software to automatically bid for you.

The successful key to bidding is to have strong discipline over how much you really intend to spend for the item.  This cost should be decided by checking the cheapest available “Buy it now” prices and “Completed Listings” prices.  You should let eBay’s bidding software takes care for you.

If you do not define a final price decision, and if you enter bidding by yourself, you cannot stop your feeling “I must get it” and pour yourself just to win the bidding war.  This is the most common emotional mistake done by newbies on eBay.  In this way you could end up paying for the item much higher than the market value.

The key is to have patient finding the correct item, note down the max price that you should offer and let eBay’s software take care of your bidding.  This is the only way to avoid the most common emotional mistakes done by eBay buyers.

Make Odd Numbers work for you

If you set odd amounts as your Max bid price, you can increase your chance of winning.  Many buyers bid in simple, round, whole dollar amounts.  Some tried to outsmart the system by adding one penny to their bids.  If you regularly set odd numbers, such as $12.59 or $23.17, you increase your chances of outbidding other who bid amounts like $12.01 or $23.00.

Because other bidder’s maximum bids are hidden until the auction closes, you must make a smart guess as to what they are bidding to try to outbid them.  If current bid of an item is $28.99, you may guess a bidder’s obvious maximum bid such as $30.00, $30.01 or $30.50.  If you place a bid of $30.59 could cover all other bidder’s move.

You can see all the item’s bids, including the unsuccessful ones at the end of the auction by clicking the Winning bidders list link in the item listing.  There you can learn of the bidding behavior of an item.