Six eBay Winning Bid Buying Strategies and when to use them
Once you find what you want, knowing how to buy Chinese antiques or anything else on eBay takes practice and patience.
They Really Do Vary Depending on the Listing and Circumstance, getting really good at it takes thought every time.
When shopping on eBay, your Bidding and Buying strategies should change dependent on the type of listing you are looking at. A one size fits all approach does not work. Your strategy should be dictated by how the seller has created the listing. Our "Six eBay Winning Bid Buying Strategies" will give you some insight into how and when to do what you need to.
- TIP NUMBER ONE: Always add any item(s) you find that you want to your "eBay Watch List" FIRST, do it before you place any bid. (I'll explain later why) Remember, once you place a BID the item cannot be also added to your Watch - List. THEN go back and place a bid right away.
If you're a serious eBay buyer but just haven't been getting as much as you want through the site, or have been perhaps paying a bit too much, Six eBay Winning Bid Buying Strategies might just help you find and devise better methods for dealing with the site. Every type of eBay transaction has it's own dynamics on price, think creatively.
We deal mostly Asian works of art, so most of our examples are in that category.
eBay Auction Bid Nibbling with a Sniper Twist
Historically the best technique for LOW to moderate starting priced auction items on eBay.
Early Persistent Incremental Bidding aka "Nibbling". Why this is on average the most successful starting strategy is simple, Nibbling annoys your competition causing many just give up, often before they start. It may sound counter intuitive, but its been proven to work over and over by eBay for more than 20 years. To this, we've added our own end strategy. I know you think it draws attention by placing bids and will drive up interest and prices, it doesn't, it does the opposite. More bidders than not just give up assuming there is too much interest.
Important, More on why Nibbling works: In a nut shell, if you keep outbidding other interested parties as soon as they place a bid, they often get fed up and stop bidding. Additionally, due to the fact they keep getting out-bid they never develop a sense of ownership of the piece and begin to resent you and the piece for causing them a hassle. The mind is a mysterious thing. Also, buyers who are the winning bidders or close to it for the entire auction period begin to feel they have already won. As a result they will often drops a VERY big fat bid at the end to make sure no one takes it away from them.
- You've seen Nibbling and may not have known it: Lets say you see an auction item you like, you place it on your Watch List and keep checking. Pretty quickly its getting bids, the price is moving up steadily. Soon it's near the price you would be willing to pay gladly, but their is still a few days to go. Now you're thinking this is going to jump to some crazy price, so why bother bidding? All hope is lost. So you just sit and wait to see what happens. The auction ends. TO your shock you find it barely moved up or may not have moved a dime above where it was...This is the result of Nibbling.
- The opposite of Nibbling is a piece that gets very few bids, no where close to it's real price. You put it on your watch list and wait to bid, you think you're going to steal it...you get excited then at the end, closes WAY above where it should have. Much higher than anything you would have paid. Even more interesting it might have only a few bidders. Those few bidders fell in love with the piece, fell in love with maybe getting a steal, but at the same time didn't want anyone else to have it...so they whacked it hard. While you put up a bid for what it was most likely really worth. In the end, you lost and they overpaid.
How to be an effective Nibbler: The best way to apply this is when you've found something to bid on as early in the listing period as possible. Immediately place a bid, after first adding it to your Watch-List, close to the current asking price. If you're the top bidder after that, stop right there, if not keep going. Now, wait for someone to out-bid you. As soon as you know you are outbid, place another or several bids incrementally until you are the top bidder again, then stop again. Repeat as needed until the last hour or two of the auction period.
NOTE: eBay buyer's HATE Nibblers. Often they think Nibblers are working in cahoots with the seller by running up prices. You can always check that possibility by looking at the BID list. Click the ID of other bidders and see what percentage of what they bid on is with this seller relative to their activity on eBay.
The Finale, bring in the Sniper: As the auction nears the end, within the last hour if possible. Place another larger bid at around 70% of REAL final bid you are willing to make to buy the piece, if you are not the top bidder keep going until you are. Then place an additional Sniper Bid for the MAXIMUM you are willing to pay.
Don't worry, Sniper programs will not run up your own bids left previously, these programs use your account information to place the bid. eBay does not allow you to bid against yourself.
Sniper Program Strategies
First a bit about Bid Sniper programs: Many are very good and reliable, we happen to like Gixen for a number of reasons. Others are e-snipe, Bidnapper, Powersnipe and many more. Gixen we think is by far the best, most economical (FREE) and most reliable. It's even more reliable if you use their Mirror Service for an extra $7 a year. In any event be careful when picking one, some charge a PERCENTAGE of what you buy, a few of the others also charge as much as $49 a year and offer nothing Gixen doesn't. Gixen's Mirror Service e also allows you to download a desktop management set up so you can keep track of bids.
Sniper programs are good tools, but are NOT the optimal tool in most cases to use alone, with a few GREAT exceptions. In other words, do not use them all the time if you really want the item. DO use them in conjunction with the Bid Nibbling Strategy explained above. Do use them alone if the situation is right, as explained in various situations.
The best time and about the ONLY time to use a Sniper Program alone. If you find an item with a fairly strong opening Bid and so far has gotten NO bids, place a Sniper Bid on it. Then keep an eye on the listing, if the item gets a bid before the close, adjust the Sniper Bid to the maximum you are willing to pay and start the Nibbling strategy as explained above.
Never use a Sniper bid alone, if the item has ZERO bids and the opening or minimum bid is fairly high to begin with. Always place your TRUE top bid. However its a good idea to leave a first bid immediately at the MIN Bid being asked by the seller.
You can use it of course alone if for some reason you haven't the time due to your schedule and just want to put something on it. You might get lucky. For me, luck isn't much of a strategy.
Mis-Described or wrong category Strategy
If you spot a mis-described item which works negatively against the likelihood of it doing well, what should you do?
This happens fairly often and knowing how to handle it is crucial. What you should do depends heavily on what the seller is asking, does it have ZERO bids and if it has bids you need to decide how expensive it is currently relative to it's real value to you. This is perhaps the most lucrative of our six eBay winning bid buying Strategies.
Here is the typical scenario:
- Lets say the item is a Chinese Ming Bronze worth perhaps $3,500, however the seller has mis-described it as a 19th C. Japanese bronze with a starting bid of $5 to $600.
This means the piece has no mention of Chinese in the description, consequently its not searchable on eBay for Chinese antiques buyers and is most likely listed under Japanese Antiques and not Chinese. A great situation has presented itself, its even better if the item is listed entirely out of the Asian Antiques category all together. So do not screw it up.
Simply put, your discovered Ming Bronze is virtually invisible to 100% of the folks using eBay searches under Chinese antiques. Chinese antiques bidders-buyers tend to search under Chinese Antique listings only. The other good news is, if the bronze has ZERO bids it also means folks searching for items with active bids under the General Asian Antiques category will not see it either.
What to do, your two options.
You can do nothing but leave a sniper bid for the most you would be willing to pay and wait, fingers crossed.
OR you can also contact the seller directly a day or so before the end and ask him/her for a Buy It Now Price. Often they will take the opening bid minimum or accept a reasonable offer if the opening bid is very low. The later is a great strategy to avoid anyone from finding it in the eleventh hour.
If the mis-described listing has or gets a bid, then start Nibbling and follow the strategy above.
eBay Auction with a BIN Strategy
Many sellers use a combination of "Buy It Now" aka BIN along with an Auction option. Once the item gets a bid, the BIN drops off and it becomes a straight auction to the end.
Be Smart: If you find an item you want, think very seriously first if the Buy It Now price is a price you would be willing to pay were it the price near the end of an auction. While the opening bid may seem like a real bargain, you risk being forced to pay much more if you make a bid at the lower price hoping for a steal or if someone else does forcing you into a competitive situation. In other words the BIN price might look CHEAP in a couple days.
Over the years, I've bought some terrific things, for very reasonable or bargain prices by just hitting the BIN button tied to BIN or Auction listing. If it looks like a bargain to you, it will very likely have the same effect on someone else before long. If you can be honest with yourself and not a total cheapskate, this of the Six eBay Winning Bid Buying Strategies if used correctly may save you a lot of money.
Buy It Now Strategies, Handling a BIN and asking for a BIN Price,
BIN, About Making An Offer. Very often Buy It Now listings have a Make An Offer aspect included with the listing, sometimes they don't. Either way if you like the item make an offer through the listing, or simply message the seller and ask if he/she has a better price in mind. There's no harm in asking and very often it works. If you do make an offer through the listing itself and it gets rejected, message the seller and ask whats the best price he/she can offer on it. You might be able to work a=out something that works for both of you.
A bargain BIN, this is a NO brainier, do not fool around with messaging or waiting, just buy it. Especially if the listing is NEW, you're not the only one who will see it as a steal. They do not last long, MERRY CHRISTMAS!
The Over Priced Opening Bid, asking for a BIN. Very often sellers with little knowledge will place a starting price on something high enough to discourage early bidders or any bids at all until the last day or couple hours. Human nature being what it is, this makes some sellers VERY nervous and feeling terribly let down. This is good for you, they may end up being "Don't Want'ers". A "Don't Want'er" is someone who doesn't want to list it all over again and DOES want some MONEY.
Consider contacting them near the end before a bid gets placed and ask if they have a BUY IT NOW price they could accept. Many, if not most will give it some serious thought. They may get back to you with a price that surprises you. It's worth giving it a shot.
A word of caution about making offers. Do not EVER get invovled with an transaction outside of eBay. If the seller isn't willing to do it through the site as an accepted BIN, you run the risk of having your account suspended with eBay, as well as having ZERO protection with eBay if something goes wrong.
Dead Goods Strategy
DO NOT remove from your watch list closed things you've lost out on.
An Un-Sold Item: If the item has gone through without selling, send a message to the seller expressing interest in a BIN price. Any experienced seller KNOWS re-listing an item after it's failed to sell usually generates much less interest than the first time when put up again. Your message could be music to his/her ears and result in a very reasonable price from the seller.
An Un-paid Item: After an item closes and you've lost out. Send the seller a message post sale, letting him know you're interested in the piece if the winning bidder fails to pay in a timely fashion, or if the buyer has asked for some crazy shipping angle which makes the Seller un-comfortable. It happens more often than you think and is always worth the few seconds it takes to send the message. For sellers, having to re-list for either non-payment or other problems is always a concern. As mentioned above he or she might very well be willing to avoid the risk of reselling and simply take a deal from you.
Thanks for visiting, Using these Six eBay Winning Bid Buying Strategies will help you win more auctions and get better deals using Buy It Now options.