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A Buyer’s Experience: Bidding Tips

When & How to Bid By: Michelle Anderson

AUCTIONS WITH BIDS VS. AUCTIONS WITH NO BIDS: I don’t like to get into bidding wars because I’m a cheapskate, so I start looking at items with no bids. Many times, the first bid is what the lot sells for in the clothing category, so it’s worth the time to keep up on new listings.

I also set my maximum bid and walk away. This means you need to figure out what the most you can pay for a lot is, and you do that by downloading the manifest into a spreadsheet and do the research. If you’re going to sell on eBay, check eBay prices. Take out fees and shipping costs as well as the cost of the items. Don’t forget to leave yourself some room to reduce prices on some things.

I also like to be the first bidder because there are no notifications on watched listings. The only notifications you get are if you are outbid or if you win. If I get outbid, I’ll take another look to decide if I will place another bid, but again... I generally put in my maximum bid right away and walk away. No sense in getting caught up in the emotions of a bidding war. This is business. Treat it as such.

All that being said, sometimes I just look at what’s ending soon and try to snipe an auction at the last minute. Remember, the buyer who was outbid does get a notification, and in the last few minutes of the auction a bid will extend the time by a bit, but that is a strategy I have used when I just need more inventory ASAP.

NEVER FORGET TO INCLUDE SHIPPING COSTS: Get a shipping quote and factor it into your buying decision. On, you can do this by clicking on shipping details and inputting your zip code. Do it even if you plan to arrange your own shipping so you have an idea. If you can get cheaper shipping than, it’s just more profit for you. Yay!

Try to buy from the closest warehouse to you. Hopefully it’s obvious, but it’s cheaper to ship shorter distances than longer ones. This can be another factor for people who live close to a warehouse as opposed to one far away. You are allowed to set up an appointment to pick up your lot, so someone who lives close enough to the warehouse has an advantage of being able to bid more for the lots in that warehouse. This is potentially a reason someone “pays too much” for an auction. They didn’t really pay too much, they just had the advantage of not having to pay for shipping.

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