So you've only been using E Bay for a little while, and every time you bid on an item you have your heart set on, someone comes along and outbids you in the final sprint to the end! Fear not! Follow these simple guidelines and you too can be bidding and winning like a pro!
When Do I Put In My First Bid?
OK. You've found the item you want. What to do next:
1. The best thing to do is to click on 'Watch This Item' and keep track of it in your 'My Ebay' account.
2. DO NOT PLACE A BID YET. Why? Look at the length of time remaining for this listing. If you place a bid, you will end up bidding against yourself, as someone else will place a higher bid and you will have to bid again to rescure your position as the high bidder. There is no point in doing this continually if there are still hours or even days left until the end of the auction. All that will happen is the price will be forced up and you will end up paying more eventually for your item. There may be no bids until the very end and you simply jump in and place 1 bid which wins the item.
3. Start watching the bidding with, say 5 minutes till the end of the auction. Click the "Refresh" button every few seconds to see how the bidding is going (it usually doesn't really get heated until the last minute - that's when the expereinced bidders jump in).
4. If you want to, enter a bid that ensures you are the High Bidder, then re-enter a higher maximum bid. It can be way above the price you're willing to pay, but you will only end up paying as much as the other bidders allow. For example, if something is $10 and you bid $11 but enter a higher concealed maximum bid of, say $20, other bidders may continue to attempt to outbid you by going up by increments of 50 cents or $1 and will be told they have been outbid and to try again. If they reach $20 and continue, they have the chance to win, however, if they stop earlier and the bid ends up at say, $14, you remain the high bidder and will only pay $14 for the item, not $20. If you choose not to risk forcing the price up that high, wait till the final 30 seconds, place a bid and continually click the "Refresh" button so you can quickly track whether you have been outbid. In this way, with only seconds to go, you can still place another bid.
Unfortunately, some bidders have this down to a fine art, with exceptionally fast computers and more than one terminal open at a time to track their items. Sometimes, there is little way of beating these professional bidders, but as a rule, if the above instructions are followed, you can look forward to bidding with confidecne and success. Good luck, and happy bidding!