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Finding Hidden Deals

Winning the auctions that don't get the bids

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Sometimes the best deals to be had on eBay are found not by searching for what you want, but by searching for what someone else thinks they've got.

If the previous sentence made you do a double-take, don't worry, the concept is actually simple, if not immediately obvious. The best deals to be had on eBay occur when an auction gets many fewer bids than it deserves. For the most part, this happens for three reasons:

  • The seller has timed their listing poorly
  • The seller has misidentified their item
  • The seller has misspelled the name of their item

All of these can be turned to your advantage, allowing you to buy at a great price, if you're aware enough to look for and make use of them.

Badly Timed Listings

When you come across a listing for an item you're interested in buying that is very poorly timed, consider bidding on or at least watching it. Poorly timed auctions include all of the following:

  • Items that will end when no-one in the nation is awake (in the United States, after 1:00 AM PST but before 6:00 AM EST)
  • Seasonal or holiday items that are listed well out of or immediately following the related season or holiday
  • Items scheduled to end during major holiday celebration prime times

In short, any item that is scheduled to end when nobody is looking is likely to be a good deal. The catch, of course, is that you must either bid well in advance (eliminating the possibility of sniping), or you must be there to bid when nobody else wants to be if you plan to win.

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