BAM eBay Blog

Posts for eBay buyers about buying on eBay

Bidding With Knowledge About Dishes (China)-Chips, Cracks and Crazing

Classification of China

set of china dishesChina is classified in several different ways when placed up for auction. A description of mint or near mint means the China will exhibit no chips or cracks, and all of the gold leaf paint, glazing or designs will be wholly or almost completely intact. If you are looking for China that is mint or near mint, expect to bid high and win it paying a premium.

Yet if you are willing to live with some cracks or chips, the bid price may plummet, depending on the maker.

Small Chips

Small chips, in innocuous places will always bring down the bidding price of the China, but they won't necessarily detract from the beauty. A chip on the bottom rim of a tea cup or a small chip on the underside of a serving platter rim will ensure that the item will not get top dollar, but no one, in real life,  may even notice it is there. That means, you'll get that cup or platter for a far less final bid, and it will still look terrific.


A crack is a different matter altogether. If the crack is too deep, which means it will go through one side of the piece to the other, it may actually compromise the structure of the item. Deep and long cracks may actually break in two after being used only a short time. Cracks will enlarge when subjected to a repeated hot and cold wash cycle, no matter how gently you handle the piece. So realistically, unless you are willing to live with the fact that a crack may eventually cause a failure, it might be wise to pass up a bid on an item with a deep crack, no matter how inexpensive it may be.


Crazing, on the other hand, are small spiderweb-like cracks in the glaze finish. These cracks do not go into the structure of the China and are therefore relatively harmless. Some people even value crazing because it shows the dish has personality. If you can live with crazing on China, you may score a serious bargain on any that you bid for.

What are your needs?

Ultimately, think about your needs here. Mint or near mint China is almost flawless and it is the most highly coveted and perfect choice for the most special of occasions. But for everyday use, a few chips, shallow cracks or some crazing is not all that bad. If you are willing to live with those flaws, you can still present to people the best China service out there, while not breaking the bank on your final bid price.

Knowledge about what to look for when bidding on China is the key, and as always, no matter what you bid on at eBay, BAM's got your back!

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.

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.

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.