I have been buying stuff on eBay for several years now and had to learn the hard way by trying to convince the USA to let me bid. I now bid on items that show post USA only (with the sellers blessing) and as you have been good enough to ask for help, I will try and help you. There are a couple of things I will list out below for you.
1. First check to see if there is any restriction on the item, e.g. post USA only. If this is so then email the seller several days before the end of the auction asking if he would be so kind as to let you bid, REMEMBER to tell him where you live, as a lot of them don't like the extra work of pricing post to us. Their answer will also depend on your feedback rating on eBay. A low or negative feedback will probably get a negative answer.
2. An item that has Buy it Now on it means that it can be bought immediately and the item goes to the buyer and is removed from bidding, UNLESS there has been a normal bid on the item. In that case the item must run its full coarse until the end of auction date.
3. A Dutch auction is one where a seller may put say 50 of the same item up for bid. These auctions can be fun and you can sometimes get good deals on them. It takes practice to work them out and you have to keep an eye on the bidding. The thing to remember is the opening bid or lowest bid, if it is for $4 and only 40 of them are bid on then you will get yours for $4. If you have bid $6 for 1 and only 40 are bid on and the lowest bid is still $4, then everyone gets theirs for $4. Now say you have bid $6 and you are one of the highest bidders, the lowest bid is $4 and there is 53 bids in, then the highest bidders are guaranteed their items at the lowest remaining bid, after the very lowest 3 have been removed, the remained is then dived up amongst the lower bids, this means 3 of the lowest bids will lose.
4. A trick I use is to get the item I want is to decide first what I am willing to pay for the item, keeping in mind the cost of postage, it's no good paying more for an item you can buy down the road cheaper. I then put on a bid greater than is needed ( minimum bid ). Now say there is an item I want and there is $5 on it and the minimum bid is $5.50, I want the item and I believe it's worth to me to be $50.This is what I would do.
I would bid $15, now this is not what my actual bid is at that moment but is my maximum bid. Now if there is no maximum bid on it by the highest bidder then the highest bidder becomes me at $5.50, if however he has a maximum bid of say $10 on the item, then it still becomes mine at $10.50. The item remains mine until someone bids above my $15 maximum, I can then increase the amount until it is mine or the bidding goes above what I want to pay. This type of bidding is good as you can place a maximum bid then go to work, bed etc. and only check it when you get an email from eBay to say you have been outbid, or check it close to the close of auction.
5. The most important thing to remember is to be polite when emailing sellers as they can make or break you. Always contact the seller as soon as you can, this will help you get a good feedback.
6. ALWAYS LEAVE FEEDBACK and remember you can't take back bad feedback you leave about anyone, so be careful and choose you're words well.
If you are unsure where to go to leave feedback here are a couple of options :
Click on My eBay in the menu.
Click on Feedback.
Click on leave feedback about others and fill out the questionnaire or click on see feedback about me then click on respond.
Click on My eBay in the menu
Click on Bidding/Buying
Change 2 days to about 21 days and tick the save setting.
Find the auction you have won and click on leave Feedback.
Fill out the questionnaire.
Option 2 is what seasoned bidders use to keep track of their bidding and winnings, this is also where you can view all the items you have saved for future viewing (watch this item option on the auction).
7. Never send anyone an email using capital letters as this means you are shouting at them and you might not like the returning response.
I hope this helps you get started on your way to good times on eBay.
All the best,
John C Hart..