Ebay can be a good source for new and used stereo equipment, but since it is an auction site, some strategy and planning is necessary to make sure you get what you want and don't pay too much for it. Buyers have different strategies for getting the right product and the best deal and the following is a summary of the different ways to win a bid on Ebay. Consider which methods will suit your personal preferences before bidding for an item.
Research the Item and Previous SalesMake sure the item you are bidding on is what you want. Email questions to the seller if necessary and do additional research on sources other than Ebay to find out how much the product is worth. Next, do a search for the item on Ebay and look at previous sales of the same product by checking the 'Completed Listings' box in the Search Options section on the left side of the page. This will tell you how much others have paid for the same item on Ebay. Research the seller by reading the comments. Make sure you include shipping costs in determining your bid - large, heavy items such as speakers can be expensive to ship.
Make Sure You Understand the Ebay 'Proxy Bidding' System
Proxy Bidding is an automatic bidding system where bidding is done on your behalf. You place a bid for the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for an item. Ebay places a bid for you starting at the minimum bid plus an increment and your high bid is not revealed to anyone else. Ebay continues bidding for you until the price exceeds your maximum bid, then notifies you that you have been outbid and you can place a higher bet or back out. If no other bidder exceeds your maximum at the end of the auction, you win the item even if your current bid is not a high as your maximum bid.
Examples of Proxy BiddingI'm selling a widget with a minimum bid of $1.00. You bid $10 in hopes of outbidding everyone else. The bidding increment is $.25 so Ebay places your bid at $1.25 and your $10.00 maximum bid is not revealed to anyone else. Bidding continues until you are no longer the high bidder at $10, then Ebay notifies you. You can place a higher bid or back out. If no other bidders have a higher bid at the end of the auction, you are the winner even if your current bid is not a high as your maximum. Proxy bidding saves you time because you don’t have to be there for every bid and you could pay less than your maximum bid.
Ebay Bidding StrategiesThere are two Ebay bidding strategies to consider: make your first bid early and make it your highest bid. Or, wait to bid until literally the last minute (also known as sniping) then place your maximum bid. Some believe that making your highest bid early discourages bargain hunters and keeps competing bids low. Other, like snipers wait until the last minute to bid so they don't communicate their interest early and raise the minimum bids too high. They snatch a deal at the last minute. It's hard to say which method is best, but the key is not to get caught up in a buying frenzy and raise the bidding price too high.