On eBay You Only Register Once, IndefinitelyOn eBay, you don’t have to register for each day that you bid or for each item that you bid. Simply join eBay once and you are registered to bid on all eBay auctions, indefinitely, as much as you want. There is no need to announce yourself each time you want to bid; simply log in and place bids on any item you’d like to try to win and buy.
eBay Auctions are Time-LimitedThe most important thing to understand about eBay auctions is that they are time-limited. They run for at most a predetermined amount of time from their start date (either one, three, seven, or ten days, to the minute) and the winner of the auction is whomever happens to be the high bidder at the moment the auction ends.
An eBay auction may end earlier than its given end time (if the seller decides to end the auction immediately and sell to the current high bidder), but can never run longer than its pre-established duration, even if active bidding is occurring right up until the end. For this reason, it is important to bid as early as possible on an item you are determined to winthe auction may end at any time, and if you wait until the last moment, you may accidentally miss the auction’s end and with it, the opportunity to bid.
eBay Bids on Your BehalfeBay uses a unique proxy bidding system that bids on your behalf up to the “maximum bid” amount that you specify. This means that you won’t necessarily pay as much as you bid, and that you need only bid once on an auction to win it, even if there are multiple other bidders.
Though the process is public, rather than hidden as is the case with most time-limited auctions, the high bidder overall always wins in the end, and the high bidder only pays a small amount more than the second highest biddernot necessarily as much as he or she bid.
This aspect of the bidding system is often terribly confusing to new eBay users, who repeatedly bid over and over again and become frustrated at the fact that they always seem to get immediately outbid. What such bidders chalk up to “cheating” by someone else or by eBay is actually eBay’s proxy bidding system at work. If you are immediately outbid each time you place a bid, it means that someone else previously entered a much higher maximum bid than you, and eBay is bidding on their behalf each time you place your own bid.
As a bidder, you can do the same thing automaticallysimply enter the maximum amount you are willing to pay and eBay will bid on your behalf against other bidders as the auction progresses.
Just Winning Isn’t EnoughOn eBay there may be many of the same item, often from different sellers. If you fall behind in an auction and are hesitant to bid more, don’t let yourself get caught in auction mentality and bid over and over again in determination to get the item in question.
Because of the size of the eBay marketplace, there are very few “one of a kind” items on eBay. Most anything you bid on is being sold at the same time by several other sellers, in other auctions. Be sure to check them all out, and try your hand at bidding on auctions that will end at times when others are less likely to be biddingweekday mornings and very late at night, for example.
Even items that are relatively uncommon and appear to be listed in limited quantities on eBay often appear with regularity; it may be enough if you are outbid on one auction to wait for another one to appear in a few days. Consider saving your favorite searches and having eBay report on them to you.