How To Bid On eBay

How To Bid On eBay

Here are the basics. Items for auction on eBay have a ‘Place bid’ button for entering your bid. Above that is the current winning bid. An auction is open for a fixed amount of time and the person with the highest bid at the end of that time wins the item. So far, so good. It’s just like an auction room, huh? Well no, not really. eBayers be cray. eBayers have tactics for ensuring they are the winning bidder that far surpass the ability to scratch a nose in a dusty auction room. But don’t get scared now, (name that film) here are a few simple tips.


Don’t bid too soon. You’re outing yourself as an interested party and other bidders can see what you’ve bid. Hold your cards close to your chest and remember to add to your watch list. I know that the free eBay online app on my phone always lets me know when an auction is soon to end, so I see this as my cue to survey the scene and enter my bid.

Bid Odd Amounts

If you’re in a bidding war, other bidders will try to second guess your next or final offer before offering their bid. Using strange, unrounded amounts like £3.67 rather than more rounded numbers like £2.50 can work in your favour when it comes to securing your bid increments in your big bid.

Maximum Bidding

eBay gives you the opportunity to enter your maximum bid automatic but don’t worry you don’t have to pay that amount if the auction doesn’t make it that high. The full site bids on your behalf everytime another bidder offers a new amount but never reveals your final amount. If a bidder outbids your maximum bid you will be informed that you have been outbid. This is a prime time to use the odd amounts tip above.

Make an Offer

I’m always surprised by the amount of people who don’t use this function. Get in there an offer your amount before another buyer swoops in, hits that ‘make an offer’ button and steals, steals that Goddamn bag out from under your nose. Lesson learnt. Clock the option and know when to use it.

Research, Research, Research

You’re bidding on eBay so you must have access to these ‘ere interwebs. You have the greatest research tool at your finger tips – use it! You’ve found an item you like and would really love to own it but don’t want to get get carried away with the auction excitement, so now would be the time to research the value of the item. Head to the eBay advanced search section and type in the item you’re looking for but be sure to include closed listing in your search. Scroll through and work out a rough price average for that specific type of item before deciding if you want to start laying your money on the table and if so what your maximum bid will be.

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New Sellers

Whilst I always check out seller feedback and I’m very wary of people with lots of bad feedback, I’m not too wary of new sellers. Lots of other buyers won’t risk their money on a new seller (I probably wouldn’t if it was a very large amount or valuable item) or a seller with only a small amount of sale under their belt and because so many other people are cautious of new sellers they tend to avoid their auctions meaning the price often remains pretty low.


Use a sniper service such as Goofbay to sneak in and bid at the last second when you can’t be there. I’ve won a great many auctions with the help of a sniper.

I’ve somehow managed to create a bit of an eBay series because aswell as this I’ve recently discussed how to search effectively and showed some of the best things you can buy with the buy it now function. So if you want to see more do of course let me know. And because so many of you ask on a daily basis, here are a few bargain priced things that have me swooning at the moment –

I’m loving 

1. A really rather fabulous deer antler necklace.

2. These flatform-ish coral shoeeeeees. How nice are they, I can’t really do heels but I’m thinking these could be good for a couple of summer weddings and parties I have coming up.

3. I can’t knit anymore (oooh me joints) so I quite fancy snatcing up a circle scarf. Loving that coral pink, frankly I’m growing obsessed with that colour.