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Before Bidding eBay Tips
General auction merchandise questions:
The most important auction tip is never hesitate to ask questions of the seller. It is crucial to your buying satisfaction that you ask all questions relating to authenticity, size, and condition. Also, ask any other question that is specific to the product you are bidding on and hasn't been disclosed by the seller. - If a seller doesn't answer your questions, it doesn't mean it was stupid, it probably means that you just saved yourself from dealing with a bad seller! Regardless of feedback, a seller should always answer legitimate questions in a timely manner.
All auctions tip : Always check Payment and Shipping
Make sure that the delivery method of the product you are bidding on is acceptable to you. Make sure that it is not highly overpriced or not going to arrive for an unreasonable amount of time. Beware of sellers who use the funds at auction's end to purchase the goods that were advertised. This can promote long delays for the buyer, and can usually be picked up by noting an unusually long amount of time before item leaves sellers possession.
All auctions tip : As for payment terms, make sure you are capable of paying within the terms described. Do you have a credit card if that is the only form of payment accepted? Are you willing to spend additional money for a money order or cashiers check if necessary? It may be safer to use an escrow company if you are purchasing a bid ticket item and cannot pay by credit card. Sending a check or money order for an expensive auction purchase can be dangerous!
All auctions tip : Read those auction descriptions
Make sure you don't miss a word such as Gucci "Style" which tells you that the product you are buying is not authentic but in fact a replica. Often times sellers will use this "key" word one time and omit it from every other reference to "Gucci" or whichever namebrand they are using to describe their product. Don't get burned Auction Bidders!
eBay Tip : Check those feedback
It's very important to note that the number specified next to a seller's name such as:
bid_n_sell( 66) this tells you that he/she has 66 positive feedbacks after subtracting any negative feedback, if any. An auction seller's feedback rating is very important in determining his/her level of customer satisfaction. The higher the rating the more assured you can be that your transaction will go smoothly. Please remember to check the percentage of positive/negative feedback. If they have negative marks, be sure to check to make sure they aren't related to the item you're interested in. Not Good ! That would be the first sign to run! Another, auction feedback thought is to check how many of the auction seller's feedback remarks list him/her as an auction buyer or auction seller. He/she may be the greatest auction buyer in the world but that doesn't mean you should trust him with your money!
All auctions tip : Placing your bid:
If you decide that everything looks good, and you are ready to bid, then let's look at how to make this a successful purchase. First, remember that if the auction ends with you as the high bidder, you are legally obligated to follow through with the purchase (unless you did not meet the seller's reserve price). Don't be a deadbeat bidder it's torture to the sellers >: ) I advise that you avoid getting caught up in the buying frenzy that often carries an item price waaayyy above its market value. I'm going to tell you a couple of techniques about how to avoid this.
eBay uses a hidden proxy bidding system for standard auctions. This means that your bid is hidden from public view and eBay's computer bids for you in your absence up to the maximum amount that you decided on when you placed your bid. The amount bid by proxy in your behalf is governed by how much other bidders bid and a pre established minimum increment. Theoretically, you could bid a million dollars on an auction item, but you will never pay more than the minimum increment it took to overtake all other bidders maximum bids.
First, evaluate the item and decide what it is really worth to you. If you're planning of re-selling the item the best auction tip I can give you is to think from your potential customer's perspective when determining value. Second, Now you need to write that amount down, and the time one hour before the auction ends next to it. Your going to have to be around to put your last minute bid in so plan ahead. (If you can't be there then click here: Gotta Bid Now!) When the time comes you need to check on your item and hit your browser refresh every few moments. When there is about 20 minutes left, if you haven't noticed much activity you are safe to put in a your maximum bid and let eBay do the rest. If you already see that people are bidding frantically, try placing a bid under your minimum but above the current bid. See how fast someone overtakes your bid. If instantly, there is a good chance that some one else has set a maximum bid using eBay's bidding proxy. I suggest you keep trying with the minimal bid increases to determine what their maximum is. Stick around till the last minute!
If you can, try puting in conservative bids one at a time when there are many sellers with the same item. If you don't win one, then try bidding a bit higher on the next one. If you don't have time or the patience to check up on an item remember to still Take the Time to make sure the deal, really is a deal! The last thing I want is one of this site's visitors getting burned! Then, decide on your threshold price and put in a maximum bid that wont leave you feeling buyer's remorse. eBay will bid for you untill all others stop bidding or your maximum bid is reached. This is a good way of sticking to your own good judgement concerning an items value.
When you are the high bidder:
Contact the seller within 3 days of auction end, unless they specified otherwise. This is the first step in assuring that you receive positive feedback points as a buyer. Then email him/her your shipping address (double check it) and make them aware of your payment method. Request any info that you need to complete payment to them and make sure to take care of it as quickly as possible. Include your address on and in any regular mail correspondance you have with the seller. Try not to worry if your item is a day late, don't think the worst. Especially if a seller does tremendous volume of sales online than a brief delay can be understood. Any longer and you should submit him/her a polite email confirming that the item has in fact been shipped.
And check back next month for our Power Buying Tips that will take you to a whole new level of buying expertise! - This is just the beginning, and good luck bidders!