BAM eBay Buyer Blog

Posts for eBay buyers about buying on eBay

Bidding Early On eBay Instead Of Sniping

Virtually everyone you talk to about eBay will tell you that the way to win great deals is by sniping. As we all know, sniping means waiting until the last possible moment to place a bid with the intention of beating out anyone else's high bid at the last moment. And one of the best programs to do that with is by using the BAM software tool for winning on eBay.

Letting your bid ride

But sniping isn't always the answer. A lot of people snipe and win, but conversely, a lot of people snipe and lose. Although there is no doubt that you will greatly increase your chances of winning when you use the BAM software, there are some times when it is better to place a bid early and let it ride.

Here is how that works

Let's say you see an item that you want, and you know what you want to pay. After all, if you have been doing a little research, you will have gotten the general idea about how much the item is going for and how much you'll expect to pay for a winning bid.

So, at the beginning of the auction, punch in your top bid and walk away. That's it. Just by doing that, you'll be surprised how often you'll be winning instead of losing, and there isn't a lot of stress to this method at all.

Set Prices and Sniping

The reason why this works is because most people, like you, have a set price that they are willing to pay. Because most people win by sniping, they are counting on their one and only last and final bid to win the item. Since they punch in their bid at the last moment, there is generally no time left for another bid. If that last bid is less than your original bid, they don't have enough time to bid again and...you win!

This technique works best if there are several of the same items listed. The first few will be gobbled up quickly by high bidding snipers, but after that, the winning price will stabilize and an original first bid may be very likely to hold up through to the end.

Bid Increments

Many people employ bidding by increments to see how high the price may be. Ebay allows you to bid a minimum each time you bid, but won't show you the highest first bid—yours--until it is reached. This works in your favor if someone decides they only want to pay a set amount for an item. They will bid in increments until their set price is reached, and they will give up at this point if they haven't reached their set price. Granted, if they bid higher than you they will win anyway, but for those bidders looking for deals, they will either be hesitant to bid a higher increment, or they will give up and wait for the next listing.

Think Out of the Box

Sometimes doing something that is not of the norm is the way to winning items on eBay for the best price possible. That's called thinking out of the box. And in this day and age when sniping is considered the best way to go, bidding early might be the difference between winning and losing. So take a shot, bid early with your highest possible bid and see what happens. And when you win you'll be smiling all the way to the check out button. Hey, you heard it here first, because as always, knowledge is the key and BAM's got your back!

Are You Taking Advantage Of eBay Bucks Rewards?

What are eBay Bucks

eBay bucks is a program created by eBay to try to attract more buyers by offering percentage of the purchase back to the buyer. If you choose to sign up for eBay bucks, you will get 2% back on qualifying purchases. There are some days when eBay offers higher percentage. I have seen 5% on one day but those are not common. This rewards program is currently open to US and Canadian residents who are 18 years or older.

Program Restrictions and Limitations

The program has some restrictions. Those include:

  • You have to pay with PayPal using eBay checkout system
  • Purchases you made before signing up for eBay bucks do not qualify
  • Your bids need to be placed on eBay US or eBay Canada global sites

 

There are some categories that do not qualify for eBay rewards:

  • All eBay Motors categories
  • Classified Ads
  • Real Estate
  • Gift Cards
  • Coins & Paper Money - my favorite category :(
  • Business & Industrial

 

See "eBay Bucks Rewards Program Terms & Conditions" for full details, restrictions and limitations.

There are also limits on how much you can earn. Maximum amount you can earn for a single purchase is $100. You can earn maximum of $500 for calendar quarter.

How to sign up for eBay bucks

You're not automatically enrolled in this reward program. To earn eBay bucks, you have to manually sign up. Any purchases you make before you sign up, will not be eligible (I learned this one the hard way). Sign up for eBay bucks.

Accessing your eBay bucks

To see details about your bucks, including your total, which transaction earned you how much rewards and countdown to when you'll be able to start spending your eBay bucks, you go to My eBay and click on eBay Bucks:

 

Redeeming eBay bucks

You start earning eBay bucks at the beginning of a quarter and earn them for three months. Within 15 days after the end of a quarter, eBay will issue you eBay Bucks Certificate. From that day, you have 30 days to use your certificate. If you do not use your eBay bucks within 30 days, you will lose them.

When you get your certificate, it's easy to redeem your rewards. After you purchase something (auction or buy it now) and when you start PayPal checkout, it should automatically use the certificate as default payment method. If you don't have enough to cover your purchase, you'll be able to choose another payment method to cover the reminder. If you have more in eBay bucks than the purchase amount, your entire purchase will be paid for with rewards. You don't have to use your eBay bucks on one purchase. If you have some bucks left over after your purchase, you'll be able to use the reminder for another item.

Conclusion

If you purchase a lot on eBay, you might want to consider signing up for eBay bucks rewards program to get 2% back on qualifying purchases. Those rewards can add up quickly and It's always nice when you get your certificate at the beginning of the quarter and you don't have to pay out of pocket!

If you still have questions, check out this Video Tutorial created by eBay that introduces eBay Bucks.

If you buy a lot on eBay, I invite you to try Buyer Auction Manager - eBay Software for Buyers. It's free for the first 30 days.

Robert

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.

Using eBay Best Offers To Your Advantage

What is eBay Best Offer

Best offer is an eBay feature that allows you as a buyer to negotiate the price of the item. It allows you to get the item you want at the price you're willing to pay, assuming that the seller accepts your price.

Why use eBay Best Offer

If a seller listed an item as Buy It Now and added best offer option, this means that they are willing to accept less for the item than Buy It Now price. If you find an item that's priced close to what you want to pay and it has best offer, you might be able to get a good price. Just make sure you've researched completed eBay listings so you know what this item is selling for on eBay.

Also, when you submit your offer, seller can come back and give you counter-offer which should be lower than Buy It Now price.

Best Offers can save you money

I've had some success with best offers. Several months ago, I was able to get an item for $1320 where seller was asking $1450. I was very happy with this deal. After doing my research on completed listings, I found that similar items were selling for $1400 - $1450. I also noticed that this seller just made a lot of money selling something else by searching for completed listings by seller. I figured that he'll be happy with the other sale and he might sell me this item even if he has to take a loss just to get rid of it. I was right and he accepted my offer.

I also had a lot of best offers declined. I learned that if you offer unreasonably low price, seller is just going to decline. If you submit reasonable price, even if seller does not accept, they might send you counter-offer. If that happens, you can decide to accept it, submit another counter-offer or just move on to the next item.

Unreasonably high Buy It Now prices

Some eBay sellers set Buy It Now price that's way above market value and add second chance offer. I usually don't waste my time with those listings as those sellers try to be slick and will not give you good deal.

Final thoughts

I don't specifically look for best offers but when I search for something on eBay and I see a decent Buy It Now price with best offer option, I'll look at it to see if it's worth pursuing.

Best offer is just another tool you can use to find good deals.

If you're interested in other way to save money, take a look at eBay software that I've created called Buyer Auction Manager. It's for eBay buyers and it will help you find good deals and save you money.

Robert