How to Win an eBay Auction: Tips for Last-Minute Bidding

Emma has been placing winning bids on eBay for years. hera ‘s her sniping strategy for winning with the lowest invite possible .

How to Win eBay Bids

There are two theories for successful bid on eBay :

  1. Enter your maximum bid at any time during the auction and allow proxy bidding to manage your bids. If you are willing to spend more than all the other bidders, then you’ll win that eBay auction.
  2. Snipe it! “Auction Sniping” is the term used to describe swooping in at the last possible moment and making your first and only bid just as the auction is ending.

Both of these bid methods will work if you are the maximal bidder, but only one of them will get you the detail at the best possible price, and that, my friends, is sniping. Let me explain why.

Bid Early, Pay More

If you decide to use proxy invite to manage your eBay bids, you will generally wind up paying more for the detail if there is anyone else interested in winning that item. The reason why is most people bid incrementally, gradually increasing their bids as they sit there and figure out fair how badly they want the item. sometimes person will put in a bid slenderly higher than your current visible bid just to test how badly you want an detail. For exercise, if I come along during an auction and see that person already has a command on something I want, I will normally bid a dollar more than what they have showing equitable to see if that person is using proxy bid. early bid constantly encourages nibblers : people who do n’t broadly care one way or the other if they want that detail, but if they can get it at a commodity price, they ‘ll take it, so they ‘ll bid just to see how serious you are. If they see that you are, then they may wander off and never come back to that auction at all—but they ‘ve equitable driven up your command and, therefore, the concluding cost of your detail. Sometimes person will place a bid just to have one in there because they liked the item when they saw it, but they wo n’t follow up on it. They ‘ve fair driven up your offer. Bidding early basically tips your hand by indicating your interest in an item. By bidding early, you indicate to early browsers that an item has value. Simply due to human psychology, showing interest in an item can spark pastime in other bidders who might otherwise have remained neutral over the particular item ‘s sex appeal and therefore passed it by .

Snipe and Win for the Best Price

What is a snipe bid?

A “ sharpshoot ” is a winning bid that takes position in the survive minute or so of an auction. The bidder ‘s intention is to leave no clock for reactionary bids from other bidders. The alone way to snipe effectively is to do it manually. That is the alone way I do them .

Is snipe bidding ethical?

broadly, eBay sellers hate snip, and some like to go therefore far as to call it unethical, a obviously farcical notion since eBay ‘s system is designed to encourage sniping. It is a grok bid serve for bargain buyers, but sellers hate it because they might have gotten more money for their item if early bidders had had time to respond. In this way, the eBay system favors the buyer over the seller. The organization besides protects buyers from unscrupulous sellers who use shill command ( talk through one’s hat bids ) to drive up their prices. A sniper ‘s goal is to win the auction at the lowest potential price. A seller ‘s finish is to sell the token at the highest possible price. naturally, these two goals are mutually single, but this does not make my goal to pay less unfair or unethical .

When sniping doesn’t work:

however, the current eBay wish system is no disadvantage to a serious early bidder who has entered a maximal invite that ‘s more than any other bidders ‘. If his utmost beats mine, even if I swoop in at the last minute, he will however win the auction .

How to Snipe on eBay

  1. Never place an early bid. If you cannot be around for the auction’s close and you don’t want to use 3rd-party services to snipe for you (I never use them), then at least wait until the final day of the auction before placing your proxy bid. Leave it as late as possible. Ideally, your first bid will be during the last minute of the auction.
  2. Put the item into your watchlist and make sure you actually watch it. If If I really want something on eBay, I don’t just rely on email notices to remind me that there’s an auction I need to keep an eye on. I’ll actually set an alarm on my cellphone to remind me to get my butt back to eBay!
  3. Choose your maximum bid wisely. I’ve lost some auctions during the last minute because I was still dithering over what I was really willing to pay and ended up losing the auction to another sniper. If you’re going to snipe, it’s usually a good idea to just bid the maximum price you are really willing to pay for it. This will ensure that you win the bid as long as no one else is willing to pay more. I still kick myself for losing auctions that I really would have happily paid another $10 for simply because I was pussy-footing around with the bid amounts.
  4. Be Logged Into eBay. I missed a bid once because I wasn’t logged in like I thought and had to enter my password again before I could move to the bid screen. Make sure you are logged into your eBay account. Have the auction open on your browser.
  5. Refresh the page. At about two minutes before the auction ends, start refreshing the page to ensure the data is up-to-date.
  6. Bid During the Last Minute. I normally enter a snipe bid 50 seconds before the auction ends. This gives my fingers enough time to fumble around on the keyboard. I’m a touch typist, but sometimes those number keys are tricky. If you place your maximum bid up front, it should be unnecessary to place another one. Even if another sniper comes in, you’ll take it if your bid is higher.

How Long Should You Wait to Place a Bid on eBay?

The moment you see “ 50 seconds, ” place your bid. I have besides successfully station bids during the stopping point 30 to 20 seconds of the auction, but that makes me perspiration. TimHJ on February 23, 2020 : A nice article ! I read it because although I used to be a frequent eBay exploiter ( and serial sniper ) I have n’t used it for years and wanted a refresher course on technique ! One observation I would make on the ethics of snip is that it would be wholly within eBay ‘s baron to put a intercept to sniping in the lapp way that on-line procurement tools work in the corporate world. If I am engaged in a ‘reverse auction ‘ ( one in which multiple suppliers bid against each other, in the promise that the buyer will end up with the cheapest price ) it is pretty much standard drill for the invite window to be automatically extended if a offer is made in ( say ) the last five minutes. I have engaged in many reverse auctions where the window is extended multiple times, frankincense driving the price even lower. If eBay wanted to do that, they very easily could – and since they basically invented on-line auctions, it ‘s open that they KNOW they could. therefore I have no qualms at all about sniping – it ‘s a separate of the procedure that was intentionally ‘designed in ‘ from the beginning. David Stihler on September 08, 2019 : I like to snipe in the stopping point 5 seconds. Anon on June 19, 2019 : Im sol good-for-nothing justin, one feel that but i hope that doesnt happen to me nowadays re: what on May 29, 2019 : a proxy bid is an automatic pistol command what on May 25, 2019 : what is a proxy bid Justin on July 22, 2018 : I am then delirious, I bid at like the 2 min target and last out and watched the timer tick down till I won the bid. Except person placed a offer with 1 moment remaining. I had enough time to click rate bid and type the amount but the foliate refreshed before I could hit enter. Steve on June 11, 2013 : I have to agree with Telecaster ‘s comment above. I ‘m a smart buyer, and unfortunately have to resort to sniping to prevent “ bid fever ”. however, 4 times out of 5, there ‘s always person who places their proxy maximal bid intelligibly a lot higher than me, and credibly 10x the actual value of the token. 4 times out 5, they ‘ll credibly never have to pay that, but the reasonable victim is trumped by only a $ 1 increase. My item is that I feel the arrangement is inherently unfair. I ‘m not one to complain, but items I ‘ve often truly wanted have been snapped in the dying seconds by person who ‘s proxy ‘s are in the thousands. I normally snipe ( without software ) in the last 3 seconds, but normally fail colorado of these “ risk-takers ”. Although it ‘s a hazardous scheme for these “ forced-bidders ”, they seldom run across each early it seems. And why am I complaining and not doing the like ? Cos I believe that bonny and sane denounce trumps the low-lives who live to make petit larceny bargains at the expense of honest customers. Telecaster on November 12, 2012 : There are no such things as silly questions Kuku ! The answer to your question is, indeed, one increase higher than the stopping point person ‘s highest bid ~ but … .. a parole of caution. What if your adversary had besides pitched his/her bid at something ‘outrageously high ‘ ? One of you will end up paying an outrageously gamey price. however, your estimate of outrageously high may be person else ‘s grocery store prize. Your outrageously high gear amount suddenly is n’t therefore exorbitant after all. It ‘s rather immanent. Yes, if you sniped at a Million Dollars for a pair of jeans chances are you will win the auction at, say, $ 5 above the highest bidder. But what if ( and if it can happen, it will ) another person, for a laugh, had a proxy bid running at $ 900,000 ? Oh costly … … If there is any such thing as a fortunate rule on ebay its “ merely Bid What You Can Afford and Want to Pay for an item ” kukuinut on November 12, 2012 : this may seem like a identical silly motion but here it goes … if you enter an outrageously high number for your soap offer in the snip process that you are sure no one else would have put would you silent have to pay that total or do you precisely pay an increase higher than the last persons highest offer ? Raivis from Latvia on August 19, 2012 : Great tips. I will decidedly use them. Sherry Hewins from Sierra Foothills, CA on July 19, 2012 : Sniping makes for some heart-pounding action. It ‘s reasonably steel wracking on the seller ‘s separate besides. My husband had an token for sale that was bid up to $ 770, which was much less than he thought it was worth, right field up until the very end. When it ended the winning invite was $ 1600 ! I thought he would have a heart attack. Great advice, but sometimes it takes nerves of sword. RolyRetro from Brentwood, Essex, UK on April 13, 2012 : I use the Auctionsniper site, you can import all of your watch items and set a maximum price, and how many seconds before the end you want to place your command. Works a cover and you never end up over bid in a panic at the end. If you are buying a commodity token, you can bid on a group of similar lots, and the system will keep bid until you win one of them ! much better than sitting by a calculator for hours sweating on that last moment bid … Telecaster on February 11, 2012 : interesting advice and comments and I suspect the Proxy vanadium Snipe debate will carry on for ever ! There is another proportion to all this, frequently overlooked by writers when they champion their darling on-line auction scheme. To put it american samoa plainly as possible, the tactics to use ( Proxy or Snipe ) are proportional to the Providence and Market Value of the token. For example, a pair of socks for a fiver is best Sniped-for in the hope of picking up a bargain at the last infinitesimal and the epinephrine flow does get the blood race ! however, a £500 collectible with a sleep together market value should be bid for via Proxy, and early. The sniper will argue against me on this but my counter is that at the end of the day both the sniper and the proxy bidder will have done their research and are plainly bidding against each other and the higher offer, no matter WHEN it was placed, wins. The Proxy wish does have two significant advantages over the sniper on high ticket items, though. 1 ) The Sniper will of course know a proxy is running and will have tested for it, but he still has to best-guess the Proxy-max and could fall afoul of his own tactics by sniping entirely to be sniped back by the proxy with even less time to respond, or more likely, no time to respond ! 2 ) The early offer by the proxy out-trumps a same-bid by the sniper AND tied a close-higher attack if the snipe does not meet the next increase, which on higher priced items is going to be £5 or even £10 a pop. And yes, very well … I hear the controversy about bidding early fair allows tinkers to nudge an early bid up and up, but I do believe that is going to happen anyhow, whether you are involved or not. If if it does n’t then how many times have we seen items suddenly declared ‘no longer available ‘ because an annoyed seller pulls it when there is no early activity. Bidding a dangerous soap early is besides fun as there is an element of ‘here I am, catch me if you can ‘ as you watch the auction unfold. thus you see, there is a locate for both types of bid. In close, I would besides like to add that proxy bid is fairer to sellers and lets face it, without them there would be no eBay !

theinfoplanet from The Planet of Information on February 04, 2012 : Wow, I personally never have used Ebay, but auctions seem like an art ! Great work, now if I ever actually want something on Ebay I will know how to get it ! samuel on January 16, 2012 : I have managed to place a invite on the last 10 seconds through my phone app, it makes it easier and quicker. Great advice A********** bob on December 02, 2011 : I never use snipeing. sometimes, its better to wait until last moment. Some sellers might go the extra mile. Have friends are relatives bid on the same token. Driving the price astir. This is called shill biding. This not allowed on ebay. Some bidders get a small hold away with auction. Driving the price up. More than what the item is worth ! I love the bribe it now option ! RedSturtz from A land far far aside …. on November 15, 2011 : I have to admit that when faced with an item I think I may not be able to easily win I use an on-line snipe program – there are some thoroughly loose ones and it about guarantees you to get the item at the lowest price possible. however I ‘ve been hearing more recently that people who shop on eBay are more and more dispose to buy items that have the “ buy it now option ”. so possibly if this vogue continues, auctioned items will be easier to buy ! rAcHAEl WAlkEr on October 21, 2011 : Great advice ! Im presently on Ebay and theres 4 days till the auction ends. il deffo use these tips cuz im rubbish with Ebay most the time ! i have n’t won many auctions ! : – ( BMG from timor laste on April 08, 2011 : great tips … very utilitarian to resolve ebay problem … thanks for sharing …. Exmoor on April 06, 2011 : bang-up article, but a little note. Sniping ( does n’t matter which auction site : Howrse is similar to eBay I imagine ) does n’t work for those on dial-up because by the time you ‘swoop ‘ in, the auction is credibly going to end, no matter how much time you allow for the page to load. Grrrooowwwwllll … kims3003 on March 18, 2011 : very well done hub with bang-up data. Very Nice study ! TERRYTIBBS from Milton Keynes, U.K on March 16, 2011 : The merely trouble with watching an detail with the purpose of sniping right at the conclusion is that sometimes sellers end the auction early and you can miss out on an detail you truly wanted. This is normally because 1 ) The seller gets impatient and apprehensive if their item is not making a much money as they expect for it. and 2 ) Another buyer makes an offer to the seller to end the auction early for a guarenteed sum of money and due to the reasons detailed in “ 1 ) ” the seller accepts. therefore another matter you can do if you in truth want an item is message the seller yourself and make an offer. If the seller accepts your offer then great, you have your item ! And if they reject it and tell you they will let the auction run then you can equitable wait and snipe ! Linda Tadlock from Atlanta on March 08, 2011 : I ‘ve never tried sell or buy on Ebay before but it ‘s good to know more on bid. Great hub. bryanps from Australia on February 24, 2011 : those are actually healthy advice. I love your concluding target. command during the last infinitesimal. That ‘s when the harebrained craze of bids just keep coming..usually mallory on February 16, 2011 : ive never been on ebay before should i use this techingue to ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? usubmariner on February 13, 2011 : If you bid a higher sum of money in the last 10 seconds how hail that you do n’t pay the exact amount of money you bid but ending up paying less as a winning bidder which is in truth a good deal ? Jasnav on February 02, 2011 : Great information ! Will decidedly try it out adjacent time I ‘m about on ebay. Andy on January 23, 2011 : personally, as a seller sometimes, I ‘m on the sellers side. If you want the detail I feel you should put in a genuine, what its worth maximal invite, if you do n’t get it bad, you would n’t have paid more anyhow, if you do great, you wanted it and the seller gets a decent price for his/her item. EVERYBODY wins. from have a bun in the oven, de, 19701 on December 19, 2010 : Hello embitca, Thanks for tips, I got solution of Ebay problem. Emma (author) from Boston on December 13, 2010 : Franks, that ‘s always the problem with Ebay. “ I good got ta have it ! ” luxembourgkid from Luxembourg, Europe on December 11, 2010 : nice tips to remember : ) KLeichester on December 02, 2010 : very nice indeed. Interesting and utilitarian for me. matthewjason on November 11, 2010 : nice enlightening stuff ! I dont use ebay but iodine will decidedly try these steps and use to buy something on ebay. Thank you so much for this data ! GREAT theme to buy something in less price .thanx once agin great hub ! Regards ! Joy56 on September 14, 2010 : belly laugh, the things you learn on hubpages, e.bay is great if you know how to work it your advantage. Emma (author) from Boston on July 03, 2010 : MacGruber, I ‘m surely there is some shill wish that takes place, but most understanding Ebay bidders constantly bid last moment manually or use a sniping plan to do it for them. MacGruber on July 01, 2010 : I was suspecting the sellers were doing a stopping point second bid using a different I.P because they were dysphoric with the current price of 99 cents. Guess that was barely far-fetched. Donna Wallace from North Carolina on June 11, 2010 : Great advice ! many people are intimidated by eBay when they are new, so this is the perfect cock to help them out. kartbahnfan from Dusiburg, Germany on May 24, 2010 : hectometer, that ‘s probably nothing for me, good introduction for newbiews though ! Dave The Dog on April 22, 2010 : well TUT – May i add that if you open the lapp auction page in the backgraoud ( NEW WINDOW ) the place then side by side practice one windowpane to click stead invite – enter you maximum bid You are WILLING to pay here and leave it where it says CONFIRM BID. now with the early window just watch the time tick down and wait until about 6 seconds or so before the auction ends and grap a winnings at the stopping point possible minute. If you have a slower connection merely be carefull to not leave it excessively deep for the page to send data binding to the server ! hope this aid every one bring good wins ! Mark from Alabama, USA on April 21, 2010 : you can besides use programs such as auction sniper to do the bid for you. When I was using Ebay regularly I won tons of auctions using it. Emma (author) from Boston on April 19, 2010 : Jack, capital estimate ! Jack on April 18, 2010 : Yeah another thing you can do is add some cents to it incase person bids the like amout. Should help. Carl on September 15, 2009 : yea you are wholly right. I ‘ve lost items before because one was either not logged in lol or because my reminder on my call would come up and i will snooze it for an extra 4 mins and forgot about it. I besides loose all the clock time because one was to cheap to bring my maximum offer 10 bucks extra like you said and then at then end iodine would realize the person beat me by a .50 penny to a dollar. My strategy is alike to your actually but the only difference is one use a clock to keep up with the bid clock. I will leave the bid page on in the browser with my maximal bid and barely leave it sit there while one monitor it in my early computer and see what the bids are and, it kind of give me and estimate of how much extra to add to win. 10 irregular left on the clock, I will just submit. Most seller would send me messages saying i was incorrect for doing so but honestly who wants to pay extra. cym from Europe on August 14, 2009 : That ‘s how I do it, win an ebay auction, precisely how you describe it, starting at around 50 seconds before it ends. I thought that was the only way how you can win an auction. All the auctions where I put a offer earlier, a few days or thus before the end of the auction, I always lost the auction. The only ones which I won, were the ones where I placed my bid in the last minute. But I inactive have the feel that I frequently paid way excessively much for the item, despite bid in the final infinitesimal. I guess I normally put in a command which is a lot higher than the current bid, because I want to be certain that I will win the detail. And then in the last moment the highest invite of the other bidder is revealed, because my bid will automatically be 50 cents more. And sometimes that is higher than I expected …

joblot from Ringwood on April 30, 2008 : Great sensible advice ! specially sticking in your maximum invite near the end preferably than nibbling .

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