Friday, July 13, 2007

eBay 101: How Not to Bid

So I was watching a vintage '80s Members Only cafe jacket the other day. It was black and would have fit me perfectly. (When buying clothing items on eBay, always read the measurements carefully, especially with vintage. Vintage sizing is much different from current sizing. If measurements aren't given in the listing, click on Ask Seller a Question and get them before you bid.)

This great little jacket's starting bid was $9.99. Three or four days before the auction the bidding war began. Don't do that! Don't do it! My strategy is never to bid on an item until there are two minutes or less remaining. These bidders, who ended up pushing the price too high, are a sellers dream and a fellow buyers nightmare (or at least unpleasant dream).

If there are early bids in a eBay auction, I always check the bidding history and look at the sellers. The Members Only Jacket bidders had (0) and (1) after their eBay user names, indicating they are newbies. I generally don't bid if new eBayers are involved because they always drive the prices up too high. (The number in parentheses after an eBay user name indicates the number of feedback comments a user has gotten. My current number is (305), 100% positive. I'll talk more about feedback later.)

The Members Only jacket ended up selling for $41, which was more than I was willing to pay. The seller has a great eBay store called Hellhound Vintage. Check it out. (I'll talk more about eBay stores in a future post and list links and descriptions to some of my favorite ones.)

eBay 101 is an ongoing series.


Your shopping pal Gwen said...

Great website and very helpful tips. Have you tried esnipe? I haven't looked into it, but apparently they will place your bids at the last minute. Of course, if there are multiple bids it is the same auction problem once removed from ebay. Keep the shopping advice coming, I love it.

Material Girl said...

I haven't tried esnipe. But I admit I enjoy doing the sniping on my own. It's a shopping triumph whenever I win something out from under another bidder with 20 seconds to go. (Although terrible disappointing when it doesn't work out in my favor.)