Friday, October 3, 2008

Bidding on e-bay

I'm interrupting my workout this morning because something I want on e-bay closes in 16 minutes. I could run up and do my workout, but what if it goes over or I don't gauge it right? I'll go try. I don't want to waste that many minutes of my precious early morning time. Oooh, maybe I shouldn't -- I just have 14 minutes and 28 seconds left now. Okay, I'll keep on writing.

I just wanted to share my closing bid technique. Maybe I shouldn't. Maybe you'll be standing on the sidelines, waiting to beat me out of my next wanted e-bay auction. But it's fun and it works, so I'd might as well pass it along. Perhaps it's nothing new and you already do it. No matter. I have . . . (refreshing page here) 12 minutes and 58 seconds to tell you something. This might as well be it.

When I find something I want to buy on e-bay, the first thing I do is click "Watch Item." Pretty basic. Sometimes I think "Oh, I'll remember" or "I'll find it later on," but clicking "Watch Item" isn't very tough to do and helps you organize what you've found later on. It's kind of like when I used to look through the Sear's Catalog (especially the Christmas Wishbook -- very fun!) when I was younger. I'd get out a pen (we didn't have Sharpie's then, but they are the best now for catalog paper) and would circle what I liked. If I weren't the only one in the house apt to do the same, I'd put my name by it. (Initials didn't really work since my brothers and I all had names that start with "R" :)).

So I have my items in the "Watching" area of "My e-bay." (Oooh, refreshing and only 9 minutes and 24 seconds left -- I'd better hurry here!) Even if the items I'm interested in will end pretty soon, it's nice to have them all organized in there. That way I can go and compare and ask myself which I really like best, if I want to bid on all of them. Sometimes I delete one or two. Sometimes I keep a few in there that I won't bid on, but I just get curious if they sell or how much they go for. (Yes, it's a form of entertainment).

If the item ends later in the day, I'll set the buzzer on the stove for it. I'll set it for maybe 10 minutes within the time it closes to allow for time to turn on the computer, get one of my kids off of the computer, get into e-bay, etc. (6 minutes and 41 seconds!!! Boy time is flying!) If the item ends the next day or further out, I'll write it on my calendar. Sometimes I'll forget even with it on the calendar (or will find it's at a time when I won't be home), but the calendar usually helps.

Once I'm at the time where it's about to end (like right now . . . 5 minutes and 23 seconds), I click to My e-bay (having to log in -- make sure you click to stay logged in the whole day in case you accidentally get logged out -- saves you precious time later on) and find the item I want to bid on. I click "Bid" and list my highest bid. (4 minutes 14 seconds) This will take me to the last window before bidding, "Review and Confirm Bid." I leave that window alone.

Then I bring up the item in a new window -- not a new tab within the window, but a whole new window that will shrink and allow me to see the two windows side by side. (2 minutes 56 seconds left). I shrink them so I can see the button for "Confirm Bid" on the left and the Refresh green arrows button and the end time (1 minute and 59 seconds -- I'd better hurry here) at the same time.

When I get to within 5 minutes or so, I continually click Refresh to see how much time left. (Just 1 minute and 15 seconds left!) I'd better go. Once I get under 12 seconds, I count to about 5 and click "Confirm Bid." Off to try! I'll be back with my results!

A big "PHEW!" there!!! When I got there to refresh, I only had 28 seconds left. I'm amazed at how much time passed between writing 1 minute and 15 seconds and taking off to bid. I clicked on Refresh one more time after that and it was at just 15 seconds. I counted to about 8. You have to be careful at this point because if you count too long, it could take too long for your page to load and you'll miss the bid. If you don't count long enough, someone else may be sitting there seeing that you raised the bid and will come in within the final few seconds and beat you. It's happened to me before, but not for a long time.

There's always a chance that your bid won't be high enough and you'll still lose in those final few seconds, but if you put your absolute highest bid on there and someone beats you, you didn't want to pay any more for it anyway. At that point, I just figure I helped make someone else more money that day.

For now, I'm off to pay for my new (yes, even NWOT, or "New without Tags") Eddie Bauer black jumper. Retails for $85. I got it for $15.50. I've always wanted one. It's probably because of how Meg Ryan dresses in "You've Got Mail" -- I still plan to write my post about that very fun movie sometime. TTFN! I need to go exercise!

P.S. (I wore my jumper today to church. I absolutely LOVE IT!!!)


  1. YOu will thank me for this: It will snipe the auction for you in the last 5 seconds. Just put in your max bid... walk away... forget about it. And it's free! :-D

  2. Wow! I'll have to try that. I'd heard of something like that, but thought there was a cost involved.

    I'll probably wait until it's something I don't care about much on my first try though -- don't want to risk it on the one that closes in about an hour :)

  3. I'm wondering though if I'll miss the hunt. It is 1/2 the fun (or more?)

  4. Renee, I use for bidding for you the last few seconds. Just set your highest price and forget about it.


  5. What happens when two or more automatic programs are fighting it out? Reminds me of Caller ID and Caller ID blocking. Is there Caller ID blocking unblocking too? Are there any programs that remove other people's bids on eBay? That could come in handy.

  6. I was wondering the same thing, Rusty. If there were just one program that did it, perhaps they'd take a first come, first serve approach. But if two program are fighting? (Maybe there's an anti-fighting software to stop that -- :))

    I really enjoy doing it myself. I haven't lost a bid with anyone getting in there before me yet. The only time I've lost is if I'm not willing to pay more.