Author Topic: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it  (Read 126392 times)

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Offline Voixdelion

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Re: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it
« Reply #50 on: Thu, 29 May 2014, 19:06:29 »
[
What sniping program do you use? I tried to use Jbidwatcher once and it didn't work >:(

 

Try gixen - so far its been working for me
"The more you tolerate each other, the less enforcement will happen."-iMav

Offline DzyDzyDino

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Re: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it
« Reply #51 on: Fri, 24 October 2014, 03:40:57 »
What sniping programs to people use now? I'm reluctant to use ones that require you to dump your ebay login info to a website, and would prefer something I run on my computer.

Also, I really really like ebay's recent (I don't know how recent? Maybe I just never noticed?) addition of the "Make Offer" and that the seller can counter offer. I've gotten really good deals on this by finding auctions that seem like they've been posting for a while, or sellers with a large stock and just lowballing. If the Seller wants a quick buck, they take the lowball offer, and (as I realized) when you make the offer, if the seller accepts it, it completes right then and there. When you make the offer, it's like agreeing to buy at that price already.
If they don't like your price, they can make you a counter-offer. If you accept the counter offer, then you pay right away and it's done.

I actually really prefer this method, and when I'm just browsing ebay, I often look for auctions that allow offers to be made.

Offline ed_avis

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Re: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it
« Reply #52 on: Tue, 09 December 2014, 12:04:56 »
FWIW, I prefer to bid rather than snipe.  I just decide the maximum I'm prepared to pay, take off a little bit just to be on the safe side, and bid that amount.  Then walk away.  Ebay automatically takes care of the bidding and it is impossible to be 'sniped' by someone putting in a higher amount before I have time to react.  The Ebay automatic bidding will always work.

Now, it is true that by doing this I am sometimes showing my hand early.  If I have a max of $100, and somebody enters $50, they will see at once they have been outbid.  That gives them a chance to enter a higher amount if they want - whereas by waiting until the end of the auction, I might have lulled that other buyer into only entering $50 as their maximum.  But this information goes both ways.  By entering my maximum bid as soon as I know it, I can see straight away that I'm *not* going to win the auction, in many cases.  So I forget about that item and can look for it elsewhere if needed.  Of course, the knowledge that you *do* win the auction is never certain until the auction is over.  But it is often useful to find out before the auction end at least some of the cases where you *don't* win.

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it
« Reply #53 on: Tue, 09 December 2014, 13:11:58 »

I might have lulled that other buyer into only entering $50 as their maximum. 


This is the totality of the reason that sniping is effective in keeping prices down.

If you are going to bid the old-fashioned way, you need to make sure that your bid blows everybody else out of the water.

"I never understood wind. I know windmills very much, I have studied it better than anybody. I know it is very expensive. They are made in China and Germany mostly, very few made here, almost none, but they are manufactured, tremendous — if you are into this — tremendous fumes and gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right? So the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything. You talk about the carbon footprint, fumes are spewing into the air, right spewing, whether it is China or Germany, is going into the air.
A windmill will kill many bald eagles. After a certain number, they make you turn the windmill off, that is true. By the way, they make you turn it off. And yet, if you killed one, they put you in jail. That is OK. But why is it OK for windmills to destroy the bird population?"
- Donald Trump - Turning Point USA speech – 2019-12-22

Offline Hellmark

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Re: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it
« Reply #54 on: Fri, 02 January 2015, 09:08:29 »
I used to sell a few odds things on eBay, but man, it sucks now. They now charge a flat 10% fee, plus you have the 2.9% PayPal fee. I am trying to sell a USB fiber microscope (for inspecting fiber optic cable), and I have it listed at $500 opening bid. I am expecting to pay $65 or so in fees. Plus you then have the guys trying to low ball you. One guy offered me $450 including shipping to BIN. Dude, doing that will have my take home be $380, for something that has only sold for $705 at the cheapest on eBay. WTF.

Isn't really worth it anymore, but for somethings, they are they only game in town. Niche items are too hard to sell elsewhere, typically.

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it
« Reply #55 on: Sat, 03 January 2015, 08:20:07 »

I am expecting to pay $65 or so in fees.

Plus you then have the guys trying to low ball you.


Fees are now charged on shipping as well as price.

Ignore the low-ballers, unless you really need to sell. Under the "Buy-it-Now" section, the "Accept Offers" is automatically checked. It took me a while to realize that you have to click that button a dozen times to make it go away.
"I never understood wind. I know windmills very much, I have studied it better than anybody. I know it is very expensive. They are made in China and Germany mostly, very few made here, almost none, but they are manufactured, tremendous — if you are into this — tremendous fumes and gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right? So the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything. You talk about the carbon footprint, fumes are spewing into the air, right spewing, whether it is China or Germany, is going into the air.
A windmill will kill many bald eagles. After a certain number, they make you turn the windmill off, that is true. By the way, they make you turn it off. And yet, if you killed one, they put you in jail. That is OK. But why is it OK for windmills to destroy the bird population?"
- Donald Trump - Turning Point USA speech – 2019-12-22

Offline Hellmark

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Re: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it
« Reply #56 on: Sat, 03 January 2015, 09:48:39 »
They charge on shipping now too? I guess to get the people that would have a penny item and hundred dollars shipping on   what is normally a hundred.

I did notice that on accept offers, and unchecked it.

Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it
« Reply #57 on: Tue, 13 January 2015, 09:35:59 »
[rant]

What is the point of offering best offer if they are all just auto-declined???

[/rant]

I honestly don't understand this feature if a person isn't going to actually take offers why waste peoples time in having it active.

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it
« Reply #58 on: Tue, 13 January 2015, 09:50:36 »

What is the point of offering best offer if they are all just auto-declined???


"Accept Best Offer" is on by default. If you don't know how to turn it off, you might be compelled to set auto-decline to the same price as Buy-it-Now.

Tip: To turn it off, you have to click the check box perhaps a dozen times, and eventually it goes off.
"I never understood wind. I know windmills very much, I have studied it better than anybody. I know it is very expensive. They are made in China and Germany mostly, very few made here, almost none, but they are manufactured, tremendous — if you are into this — tremendous fumes and gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right? So the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything. You talk about the carbon footprint, fumes are spewing into the air, right spewing, whether it is China or Germany, is going into the air.
A windmill will kill many bald eagles. After a certain number, they make you turn the windmill off, that is true. By the way, they make you turn it off. And yet, if you killed one, they put you in jail. That is OK. But why is it OK for windmills to destroy the bird population?"
- Donald Trump - Turning Point USA speech – 2019-12-22

Offline zzyjayfree

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Re: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it
« Reply #59 on: Sat, 19 September 2015, 01:03:31 »
Very nice observation and conclusion
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Offline E3E

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Re: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it
« Reply #60 on: Wed, 28 October 2015, 01:06:14 »
They charge on shipping now too? I guess to get the people that would have a penny item and hundred dollars shipping on   what is normally a hundred.

I did notice that on accept offers, and unchecked it.

I love seeing items that have a low listing price but have shipping that places it around the same price as all of the competitors. Such an annoyance.

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it
« Reply #61 on: Wed, 28 October 2015, 07:21:28 »

I love seeing items that have a low listing price but have shipping that places it around the same price as all of the competitors.


I hate it too, but honestly, people are weird. I have listed items with free shipping (which I prefer to do) just sit there for days, but when I divided up the same price to make shipping separate, they sold quickly.

I wish that domestic shipping and sales tax were mandatory to be included in the ebay price, with surcharges allowed for expedited and international shipping.
"I never understood wind. I know windmills very much, I have studied it better than anybody. I know it is very expensive. They are made in China and Germany mostly, very few made here, almost none, but they are manufactured, tremendous — if you are into this — tremendous fumes and gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right? So the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything. You talk about the carbon footprint, fumes are spewing into the air, right spewing, whether it is China or Germany, is going into the air.
A windmill will kill many bald eagles. After a certain number, they make you turn the windmill off, that is true. By the way, they make you turn it off. And yet, if you killed one, they put you in jail. That is OK. But why is it OK for windmills to destroy the bird population?"
- Donald Trump - Turning Point USA speech – 2019-12-22

Offline SamirD

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Re: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it
« Reply #62 on: Fri, 17 November 2017, 23:58:22 »
Since I started to buy from ebay (prompted from needing something for work that was only available on ebay), I finally read this great thread.  It will be interesting to use a lot of these tips in the future if I start to use the selling capability.

One thing I can say for buyers to avoid being caught up in the bid frenzy if you plan to snipe and bid the old-fashioned way, is to already know your limits.  It's actually no different than buying or selling stocks--you decide beforehand what is your max bid before you even place a bid.  And with that already settled, you can snipe at full speed at the end of an auction if you want to attempt to get something at a great price.  I've used this a few times now with great success.   :cool:

Offline ander

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Re: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it
« Reply #63 on: Mon, 19 February 2018, 18:15:20 »
One thing I can say for buyers to avoid being caught up in the bid frenzy if you plan to snipe and bid the old-fashioned way, is to already know your limits.  It's actually no different than buying or selling stocks--you decide beforehand what is your max bid before you even place a bid.  And with that already settled, you can snipe at full speed at the end of an auction if you want to attempt to get something at a great price...

Samir's exactly right, as usual! But then, we've come to expect such wisdom from him—he's an insightful type o' geek. :?)

Something else to keep in mind: If someone does outbid you, don't get bummed, thinking "I might've won if only I'd had time to bid again!" Most likely, the winner entered a maximum bid well above what you would've been willing to pay (believe it or not, there are many people in the world with so much dough, they don't care what stuff costs as long as they get it), and eBay's page automatically advanced their bid just enough to top yours.

You can apply this philosophy to other areas of life. For example, there was a girl in high school I was crazy about. I worked up my nerve a couple of times and asked her out, but she turned me down. Rather than taking it personally, I thought: "Maybe a slightly better-looking guy asked her out for that night, and she'll find out his looks aren't enough to compensate for his lack of personality—then I'll have another chance!" In eBay terms, I figured the item would be relisted.

As it turned out, she never did go out with me. But I stumbled across a photo of her last year, and she's completely lost her looks—so HA!!! But I digress.
Every day is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor; we've got 24 hours each. – Christopher Rice

Offline ander

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Re: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it
« Reply #64 on: Mon, 19 February 2018, 18:18:43 »
Here's another eBay tip, in case no one else has mentioned it:

As the ends of their auctions approach, people often become willing to accept lower offers. So if you're looking at an assortment of items, try sorting them by "Time: Ending Soonest", and submitting low offers on any "Make an Offer" items that interest you. And don't tell your significant other that I gave you this advice.
Every day is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor; we've got 24 hours each. – Christopher Rice

Offline ander

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Re: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it
« Reply #65 on: Wed, 04 July 2018, 05:58:31 »
Also, you should never bid on stuff when you've had coffee (up) or when you've been drinking alcohol (down). In other words, bid from the middle range of your obsession only.
Every day is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor; we've got 24 hours each. – Christopher Rice

Offline method_

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Re: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it
« Reply #66 on: Thu, 16 August 2018, 04:06:48 »
One thing I can say for buyers to avoid being caught up in the bid frenzy if you plan to snipe and bid the old-fashioned way, is to already know your limits. 

+1  ;D
thock program.

Offline ander

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Re: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it
« Reply #67 on: Sat, 08 September 2018, 02:37:46 »
Limits? What are those? Oh, you mean staying married. Well, yeah, there's that.
Every day is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor; we've got 24 hours each. – Christopher Rice

Offline ander

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Re: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it
« Reply #68 on: Fri, 05 October 2018, 01:26:28 »
Also keep in mind that all anyone really needs is one buckling-spring keeb in good shape, as it'll likely last longer than you will (or, as my wife's dad would've said, "It'll see you out").

That's what I keep telling myself, anyway. I'm telling myself right now, by posting this. Yeah, that's right—just one keeb, only one... [cancelling PayPal account, giving credit cards to wife for safekeeping, lying down in quiet dark room, moaning softly]
Every day is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor; we've got 24 hours each. – Christopher Rice

Offline ander

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Omitting eBay URL gunk
« Reply #69 on: Tue, 29 January 2019, 20:19:11 »
In case anyone's still reading this thread, here's another bit of advice, though it's somewhat esoteric (what—us, esoteric?):

If you post about something on an eBay page and include an embedded link, you can omit the ? in the URL and everything after it. For example, I just posted about something at this URL:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Unicomp-Ultra-Classic-Model-M-Black-Spring-Keyboard-US-APL-Layout-2017/143107500795?hash=item2151df2afb:g:ZE8AAOSwsZhcTz-x:rk:3:pf:0

See all that stuff after the ? ? It's just crapola eBay's using to track me. Sometimes there's a ton of it, and the URL works fine without it:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Unicomp-Ultra-Classic-Model-M-Black-Spring-Keyboard-US-APL-Layout-2017/143107500795

I know you guys are into precision and/or obsession, so I thought this might have some appeal around here.

Also (and this is even more esoteric), if you're wondering how I posted that first URL without it appearing as a hyperlink (whose underlining, I felt, would distract from the point), I did so by inserting an empty img tag:

[img src="" width="0" height="0"][/img]

...between the two Ts of http.

BTW, I've had coffee.



Every day is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor; we've got 24 hours each. – Christopher Rice

Offline ander

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Re: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it
« Reply #70 on: Tue, 29 January 2019, 20:20:43 »
I'll let you puzzle out how I posted the visible img tag. (Buh ha ha!!!)
Every day is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor; we've got 24 hours each. – Christopher Rice

Offline ed_avis

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Re: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it
« Reply #71 on: Thu, 20 June 2019, 08:31:05 »
In fact, you can abbreviate further, stripping out the crap between /itm/ and the item number.  Thus:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/143107500795

Offline chale_moore

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Re: Ebay Buying Advice - you asked for it
« Reply #72 on: Thu, 09 July 2020, 09:30:52 »
My first real experience with ebay was about 10 years ago when I needed money and sold off much of my vinyl record collection, mostly jazz and rock from the 1960s and 70s, much of it original and rare. I had a general idea of what things were worth, but ran everything as an auction. I sold about 50-75 LPs per week for about 3 months and made some pretty good money ($14K gross @ $10K net). It was a monumental amount of work and practically a full–time job.

At first I sold lots (“5 John Coltrane LPs on Impulse”) but quickly realized that lots are never worth as much as individual pieces. Taking ebay’s advice and starting at $0.99 was sometimes OK, but after getting burned a few times I realized that you are an idiot unless you start your bid at the lowest amount that you would be satisfied with accepting. A person buying a $50 record does not care whether the starting bid was $1 or $20.

“Buy It Now” is something that I seldom used, in the early days, after getting burned when I did not realize that BIN evaporates when any valid bid comes in (including at 1 second before closing). It only makes sense if BIN is close to starting price, which defeats the purpose, and ebay charges you for that service, also. “Reserve” is just plain stupid, for everyone, and I almost never bid when I see a reserve on something. I quickly learned not to use it myself, because ebay charges you to use that service, too, of course.

I also learned how profoundly prejudiced ebay is in favor of buyers and against sellers. They understand that supply will always be there to fulfill demand, so all effort must be used to entice demanders. Before you challenge that concept, consider, that if there was a demand for 1,000 IBM SSKs at $1,000 each, the supply would materialize quickly.

Demand is not people “wanting” something, demand is people “wanting to pay” for something. Big difference.

After selling almost 1,000 vintage records, I gained a very good understanding of what they might be worth. With that knowledge, today, if I could do it all over again, I would have sold 90% of them at fixed prices. But to sell at fixed price, successfully, you have to really know what your items are worth.

Ebay encourages sellers to sell everything by auction, lowest possible starting bid, shortest possible duration. For that, their fees are the lowest. Why? Because that is where a buyer has the best chance of getting a bargain.

Ebay does not want sellers to make money, ebay wants buyers to get bargains so they come back.

Never forget that fact. Ebay is a reluctant partner with sellers, but an enthusiastic champion for buyers.

Frankly, I “think as” a seller even when I am buying. My best chance of getting a deal as a buyer is by clever maneuvering. My best chance of making money as a seller is by preventing clever maneuvering.

These days, I know the value (quite well) of 95% of what I sell, and use that to my advantage. That is why I use the “reverse auction” procedure of starting at a very high fixed price and dropping incrementally until it sells. For this, ebay taps me for its highest possible fee structure, but I can accept that.

However, I believe that it is worth paying ebay any fee, because it is my window to the world. If they can connect me the person, somewhere, who will pay top dollar, then I consider their 10%-15% tribute well worth it, even if I still complain sometimes.

When I do put something up for auction, I start it on Thursday and run for 10 days, across 2 weekends, to ensure a good audience. A standard auction is 7 days, and ebay encourages (and by “encourage” I mean charges the lowest fees) shorter auctions of 1-3-5 days which is completely silly.

My advice to buyers is generally pretty simple:

The more hurry you are in, the more you will pay. The less hurry you are in, the less you pay.
The more demanding (“new in box”, "clean", “complete”, “tested”, “working”) you are, the more you pay.

Do not begrudge a seller his shipping costs. Shipping is becoming more expensive by the day. Ferrying a keyboard from the US across an ocean costs $78, and domestic shipping costs $12-$17 no matter what. This is the buyer’s responsibility, not the seller’s. A really frugal buyer might look into container shipping, etc, but most will not.

If there is something that you really want, decide how much it is worth to you now, tonight. Fix that number in your mind, and adjust it later if necessary. Do not let go of it. If you can buy the item at that price, be happy. If you can buy the item at a lower price, be happier. If the item sells at a price above yours, ignore it.

The definition of a good business deal is: when both parties are satisfied with the outcome. If something is worth $50 to you and a seller is willing to sell it for $50, everybody wins.

However – and I want to emphasize this strongly – shipping is not part of the price.
It is part of the cost to the buyer.


If your budget is $50 and shipping is $20, then do not complain if you do not buy an item at $32 + shipping.

Buyer and seller alike are only concerned with the money that is left in their pocket "after the dust settles” and the seller is the one who pays all the fees and intangibles, and does all the work.

HE  PAYS  ebay 10%  and  HE  PAYS  Paypal  3%  and  he spends 10+ minutes carefully packaging the item,  another 10+ minutes driving to the Post Office (each way) and  HE  PAYS  the Post Office "many" dollars in postage, all while the buyer sits lamely on his doorstep waiting for somebody to place the item into his sweaty hands.

If you see something at a “Buy It Now” price that seems fair and within your budget, just  BUY IT NOW !

If you are mildly interested in something, but only at a bargain price, here is the best way to pursue it:

Put the item on your ebay watch list. Consider odd listings, wrong categories, and goofy mis–spellings.

Use Auction Sniper or some other similar service. They cost pennies (and even then only when successful) and can easily save you tens of dollars, or more.

When you see something that is within your realm of possibility, put in a snipe at your maximum comfortable number (factoring in shipping and handling) and then just forget about it. I have gotten some of my best deals while in bed asleep with the computer turned off.

Put in a “low–ball” snipe every time and one day you may get lucky.
Thanks for your valuable tips I will sure follow your instruction.