I have recently been doing a far bit of buying on eBay and in the past couple of weeks I have used a tactic which I have been using for years to win several auctions. Given how successful I find this ‘method’ even after so many years, I thought I would share it with my readers.
I had assumed that these days, my secret tactic was pretty obvious to eBayers and that it would be losing its effectiveness. My experiences over the past couple of weeks don’t support this assumption and it worked even when bidding against well established, long term/high feedback eBayers.
Ok, so this is how it works. Let’s say you are bidding on an item which is worth about £50. The bidding is at £30 with a few minutes to go. Several bidders are interested and it looks like the item is going to go for what it is worth.
When bidding on eBay, I always leave my bid until the closing seconds of the auction – some call this sniping but in fairness it’s just common sense, why show your hand any earlier than you need to? It is fair to assume that one or more of the other bidders will have put in proxy bids (so although the bidding might be at £30, they may have said they will pay up to £50 and their bids will automatically be increased as other bidders bid the price up) and it is the way people use proxy bidding which will give you an advantage in many cases.
So if the item is worth around £50 and there is a bit of interest in it, then you can probably assume that at least one bidder will have put in a proxy bid of £50. If you also bid £50 but they put their proxy in first, then they will win. So you need to bid higher than their proxy bid. For some reason most people on eBay seem to still be stuck in mindset of using round numbers when bidding. In other words, (from my experience at least), when placing bids they nearly always use a figure such as £50, £55, £60 and so on. This means that if you make the assumption that the highest proxy bid is £50, you only need to bid £50.01 to win the item and if you put the bid in during the closing seconds of the auction, your competition has little time to react and re-bid.
This might sound ridiculously simple but I have won five out of five auctions in the past few days using this method. The cheapest auction I won at £10.01 (the next highest bidder had put a proxy bid of £10) and the dearest auction I won at £260.01 (next highest bidder was £260). I was discussing this with a friend and he revealed that he had just won a car using the same technique! He bid £1601 and the next highest bid was £1600!
As I say, a very simple technique but one which is very effective and can win you auctions for just a penny!