The Best Ways to Bid on eBay


Bidding on eBay can be stressful, especially when you're in competition for an item in high demand. There isn't just one way to bid on items successfully, but everyone has a method that works best for them. Try out a couple of different styles of bidding to determine what you're comfortable with before going in for the big purchase.

Starting off High

  • If you have the money to spend on an item right off the bat, there is no harm in starting your bid high. Many people use this option if they don't want to wait around for the auction clock to tick down or they won't have access to a computer when the time runs out. By making yourself the highest bidder in the competition, you will reassure yourself that there was nothing else you could have put forth if you lose. You may be outbid by the time the auction clock runs out, but you will have peace of mind knowing you had bid as much as you were willing to pay.

Bidding in Increments

  • One of the most common ways to bid on eBay is in increments. To do this successfully, click on the "Watch Item" option to keep tabs on what you're bidding on and other offers being put on the item. As bids flood in, sporadically check back on the item and offer higher bids. Set a ceiling for yourself and stop when you've bid the highest amount you're willing to pay. The objective is to bid small increments at a time in an effort to stay below your ceiling and still bid enough to win the item. If you want to play it safe in online bidding, this is the best method.

Getting Down to the Wire

  • Another popular way to bid on eBay is by waiting for an auction to come down to the wire. The site even offers a way to filter your search results by "Time Ending Soonest" to sneak in a final bid. On the item page, offering a bid anywhere from $5.00 to $10.00 more than the current bid as the auction clock winds down to 10 seconds is a quick and easy way to snag a hot item. This is one of the more stressful methods of bidding, but experienced eBay buyers will tell you that if you have quick fingers, it's the most efficient way of getting the best deals.

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