BAM eBay Buyer Blog

Posts for eBay buyers about buying on eBay

When Bidding to Win, Temper Your Emotions for the Best eBay Deals

Temper your emotions for best deals on eBay

temper your emotionsThere are going to be times when you find something you really want on eBay, where the excitement becomes so overwhelming that you'll throw caution to the wind and bid to the sky. If you were the seller of that item, you'll hope that everything you sell garners that same type of emotional excitement.

However, in almost every case where you allow your emotions to get the best of you, you'll pay more, and in some cases much more, than the item may even be worth. To get the best deal possible on eBay, make sure you keep your emotions in check.

There is always another item to bid on

Virtually every item that is listed on an eBay auction will be listed again by someone else. That means there will be other opportunities to bid on an exact same or a similar item. Get an idea about how much your item sells for by looking in the “completed” auctions tab. This will give you a baseline figure about how much that item is usually selling for.

Once you know that price, temper your emotions and set your own price that you won't over bid. For example, let's say your favorite Beanie Baby usually sells for around $20 dollars. Use that figure as the highest figure you'll bid, then add on $2.00 in case someone punches in $20.00 ahead of you. This means that the absolute maximum you'll bid for that particular Beanie Bay is $22.00. No matter what, don't bid more than this, even if you are sniping at the end. If you lose it this time, try again next time. You will eventually get it at your price, or less, if you stick to this strategy.

Avoid bidding wars

Consider the alternative. If you let your emotions run wild, you may end up in a bidding war with someone else who is doing the same thing. Yes, you could eventually win the item, but the cost might be so high that it may not be worth it. And then, like so many bidders before you after winning, you'll be asking yourself, “Why did I bid so high?”

So remember, find out how much the item sold for, set the highest price that you want to bid on that item, and don't waver from your set price no matter what. To help you keep within your limits, you can use sniping software so you don't have enough time to increase your bid. If you lose the item this time, down the line you'll find it listed again, and then there is always that chance you'll get it for far less than even you could have imagined.

Negotiate on eBay Without Offending Seller

Best offer on eBay

Your way My wayOne of the bedrocks of eBay buying and selling is the art of negotiating.  After all, eBay is foremost a site where commerce is conducted in a unique auction style. The site works best for buyers and sellers when both can come to an agreement that satisfies both parties. To get there, you will need to employ the kind of negotiation skills that keeps respect for each other in mind while you seek the best deal possible. Pay close attention to the following principles as you make best offers and counter-offers and take the most advantage of the deals to be had on eBay.

Fair Market Prices

Fair market price is not a scientific value. In fact, a “fair” price is a number that takes into consideration a whole host of important factors. The prevailing manufacturer’s suggested retail price is not necessarily the fairest price. The MSRP is a price that is set by the manufacturer to be used as a guide for retailers who resell the goods or services. eBay is not always a forum for retail selling. Occasionally, a buyer is more appropriately seeking a wholesale price – a price point often far below the standard retail pricing.

To find a fair price for a good or service, research the other listings for a similar product both on eBay and elsewhere. An informed buyer can distinguish between a good deal or an opportunity for a good deal and a seller that is trying to squeeze every penny of profit from the sale.

Approaching the Seller

When making best offer on eBay, realize that you can alienate the seller by offering an insulting number. There’s nothing wrong with seeking a deal but you can eliminate yourself from being considered a serious buyer by trying to begin negotiations at an appallingly low level. Remember, you are most often dealing with another private seller, a person, and the emotions that dictate the transaction will go a long way in determining the success of your negotiation. This doesn’t mean that you should expect to pay more than what your research has determined as a fair price, it means that serious negotiations demand a serious offer.

Create a plan for your offer. For example: determine a reasonable range of a fair price and submit an offer a set percentage lower than that price. If you find that a fair price for a set of cufflinks is $75, choose to submit an offer that is 20% lower to gauge the seller’s interest. If the seller is interested in selling at or near that price you will be able to work toward an amicable price from there. If the seller is not willing to sell at that price your offer will at least be in a range that isn’t insulting. You can still salvage a good deal and a friendly transaction from that starting point.

Justify your Best Offer

When making offers and counter-offers it might be a good idea to include comments to justify the level of your offer. Citing other places you’ve seen the item listed or making comments regarding the condition of the item will go a long way toward justifying your best offer. The goal of making a respectful offer and coming to an ultimate agreement is made easier when you offer your reasoning for arriving at the offer you’ve submitted.

Even if your reasons are rebuffed and even if your offer is rejected, the seller will understand your concerns and the reasons behind your offer. That level of communication will smooth the negotiation process and increase the chances that you will eventually meet for a deal.

Different Spellings + Slang Terms = BIG eBay Savings

Different spellings and slang terms

Sometimes items are listed using the vernacular of the specific area where they are being sold from, they are listed under a slang name or are listed under a popular term instead of using the formal name. In those cases, if you can learn the different spelling or the slang term, you'll have the potential to win an item with a lower bid.

For example, if someone lists an item as a Mountain Bike instead of a Mountain Bicycle, you will need two different searches to find both of them. Most people use the common name of “Bike” when speaking, but the correct term of “Bicycle” is used by manufacturers. You may find the exact same bicycle listed from two different sellers, with one listed under the heading of “bicycle,” and one listed as a “bike.” If the majority of the people are searching for a bicycle, you will have a far better chance of having a winning lower bid if you are searching for a bike.

Some items have more than one spelling

Consider that any item with the color “gray” in the title may also be found with the optional spelling of “grey.” They are both listed correctly and spelled right, but some people might only search for a “gray” item and not punch the word “grey” into the eBay search engine. If you don't punch in the right word, you may be missing out on a bargain.

Another example is a juicer. However, the correct name is a juice machine or a juice extractor. But, they are also known as a juicing machines too. These are four separate, and legitimate, names for one item, and all of them must be searched to get the best deal. If you search only one or two, you may be missing out big-time.

Both the terms “lamp” and “light” are interchangeable. A table lamp can just as well be listed as a table light, or a swag lamp can be listed as a swag light. For any lamp that you may be looking for, also look for it using the word light in place of lamp.

Find different spellings using search engine

An easy way to find different spellings, meanings and slang terms for a specific item is to type the name of the item in question, followed by the word synonym. As an example, type in “lamp synonym” into a search engine, and a host of sites will come up with different terms for the word “lamp.” You can then search each of these alternate words on eBay, and never miss out on the opportunity to win an item with a lower bid.

By using different spellings and slang terms when searching on eBay, you maximize your chances of finding an item that few others are searching for, and that gives you a chance at winning that item with a lower bid. And remember, no matter what you bid on at eBay, BAM's got your back!

Easy Repairs Can Mean Big Savings

Consider items needing basic repairs

easy repairs can mean big ebay savingsAlmost everyone who buys on eBay wants to bid and win an item, and then when it gets to their home, they want to be able to use it right away. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that way of thinking, but if you want to win items at a lower price, consider those items that need basic repairs.

When bidding on appliances, for example, if a few knobs are missing, it's not a big deal. Sure, it looks bad on the pictures, and that's why you'll win it with a smaller bid.

Appliance knobs can be found almost everywhere: from searching on the Internet, going to your local appliance dealer and even going to hardware stores. They are inexpensive too, and well worth your while to win an auction for a far lesser price, and then purchase a knob for less than a dollar.

All knobs can be replaced, and if you are willing to search out a knob for your appliance, you'll win it for far less when the auction ends.

Glue can sometimes easily fix broken pieces

Don't let broken plastic pieces stop you from bidding either. As long as the pieces are there, you will be able to find a plastic glue or cement that will literally, weld the piece back into place. Now, we aren't talking about Elmers glue here, we are talking modern made epoxies and polyurethane adhesives. These can be found at hardware stores everywhere, and they will attach any piece of plastic back together that will last a lifetime.

You can do much the same with wood and ceramics. These items can easily be glued back together with modern wood and/or ceramic adhesives. Even veneer that is peeling off that gorgeous piece of antique furniture can be reattached permanently, and no one will ever know. Yet during the auction, many people will balk at putting in a bid, because they either want the piece to be complete or they don't want to take the time to make an easy repair.

Consider incomplete or broken items for best deals

So next time you are looking for an item, don't look past the ones that are not complete or all in one piece. The chances are that they are easily repairable, even if you have to locate a part or two. And by just doing that, you'll be bidding and winning for far less money every time. And remember, no matter what you bid on at eBay, BAM's got your back!

Buy Items on eBay After Prime-Time For Really Good Deals

Sellers want their auctions to end at prime-time

One of the secrets to selling an item on eBay, and making the most profit, is to have the auction item end during prime-time, between 7 pm and 10 pm. That way, the most people possible will be viewing and bidding on the auction before it ends.

Because of that fact, the most diverse array of items will be found to bid on that end during that time frame. You will automatically be bidding against the highest amount of people that are interested in that item because it ends during the time when nearly everyone is around.

Best time to buy on eBay

Consider this. If you can find the same or similar item listed that ends long after prime time, particularly in the middle of the night, you stand a far better chance to getting a really good deal. You see, just because the auction concludes so late, many people would rather sleep then wait for the auction to end. Let's face it, people have to work the next morning, go to college, get their kids off to school etc. etc. etc. Viewed that way, in most cases sleeping seems like a far better idea than bidding on an auction.

Less bidders means better deals

This behavior opens up a window of opportunity to those that can stay awake. Because most of the bidders will be sleeping, those hardy souls who stand-to at their computers have the golden opportunity to be one of the few bidders left. And generally, the fewer the bidders, the less the item will eventually sell for.

In reality, all you are doing is playing the percentages. The higher the percentage of people that are available to bid, the more bids there are likely to be, the higher the bids have the potential to go. Conversely, the lower percentage of people that are available means less bidding and a lower price when the auction ends.

Sniping can help but be careful

For those of you with sniping programs, this task is even easier. Do your research, find the item, and set the sniping parameters to bid on the item, as close as you dare, to the auctions end. But remember, a power outage, a funky computer blip or even if someone inadvertently turns off your computer, any of these conditions will negatively affect your sniping results.

Although this strategy may not be right for everyone, just knowing it means you can buck the odds. If there is something you really and truly want, it may be worth your while to stay up late, have a few more cups of coffee, and win an item on a low bid because you waited until after prime-time! That feeling of instant gratification of getting a really good deal, will be worth any of the sleep that you lost.