Bid on smaller items to learn
If you are either new to eBay or you are having trouble winning items you are bidding on, consider first learning the ropes and then using that knowledge to bid and win.
Learn about bidding and winning by bidding on small inexpensive items just to get the feel of it. You can adapt the way you bid by winning these items, because the habits you form here will carry over when you are going for more meaningful or more expensive items. This is the time to try and perfect any sniping program you are using. If you make mistakes here, you can correct them now before you bid on more valuable items. Plus, winning smaller item boosts your positive feedback, and that's always a good thing.
Try bidding in the final seconds
Practice putting in bids at the last second and see how fast your computer reacts. There may be a lag time between when a bid is entered and when it actually shows up on eBay. This knowledge will be extremely valuable when waiting for the last few seconds to make a bid. If you know, for example, that once you press the “Bid” button that it takes 5 seconds before it registers on the site, you will know that your final bid must be placed a minimum of 5 seconds---at the very least---before the auction ends.
Learn about shipping and handling
Understand how to use any shipping calculator that is placed on the site, and inquire about handling charges. You may think that you have just won a valuable item for a great price, but if you don't calculate the shipping charges and find out about the handling charges, you may be in for a rude surprise. Many people bump shipping charges up and will also add in handling charges for one reason or another. You may end up paying more for shipping and handling than the item is worth. Learn how to apply shipping and handling charges to smaller purchases, and ask questions if you are unsure. See this blog post for more information about shipping, handling and taxes: Know total price of eBay item before you bid.
Practice and save
Using these principles will get you the best deals for the money, and by understanding how the whole eBay experience works, you'll always win an item and pay for it with the best price possible.
Start out small, learn the ropes and then bid to win, because as always, no matter what you bid on at eBay, BAM's got your back!