Since 1995 eBay has been one of the leading sites for bargain hunters and cash strapped individuals. Even though you may be able to find an amazing deal on the item that you need or want, there are several ways to secure an even better deal on eBay by using the following 12 hacks.
1. Compare and Contrast
Obvious? Sure. But, this is one of the best ways to save money on eBay. Instead of being spontaneous, take the time to do a little research on the item that you’re looking for. Typically featured listings are sponsored by professional sellers who charge more money than an item that is further down on the page.
Additionally, if you read the description and examine the pictures of an item carefully, you may notice that there are some flaws. This means that you may be able to negotiate with the seller to land a better deal.
2. Negotiate With the Seller
Speaking of negotiation, you may able to get a better deal on an item by simply getting in touch with the seller. For example, a seller may have a $20 ‘Buy It Now’ option on a sweatshirt. You may be able to get that sweatshirt for $15 just by emailing the seller a realistic and fair bid. If the seller agrees, they will change the status of the listing and you’ve just saved a couple of bucks.
3. Automate Your Bids
This can get a little tricky if reserves aren’t met, but eBay offers buyers the chance to automate their auction bids. This works by you entering your maximum bid amount on an item and eBay will increase your bid in increments whenever someone else bids on the same item. So, if you want to purchase an iPhone and you set your maximum bid at $300, but the next highest bidder was at $150, then you’ve won the auction by paying $151.
Instead of constantly paying attention to the auction, you’re letting eBay do the work for by placing bids on your behalf during the final minutes of an auction.
4. Become an Ebay Sniper
Similar to automating your bids, you can also swoop in at the last second in the last couple of seconds to snag an item at a great price. If you want to learn how to become an eBay sniper, then you should tricks like entering an off number for an auction. As opposed to $20, submit a bid for $20.87 to throw other bidders off.
5. Don’t Add Items to Your Watch List
Auctions can get very competitive and you’re bound to come across those people who will intentionally raise the price of an item either to ensure that they’ll get the final bid or just to ruin the auction for everyone else if they can’t win the bid. To avoid this, don’t watch an item. Bookmark the page to keep tabs on the auction. This way, those competitive bidders won’t know how many people are actively watching the auction.
6. Wait To Place Your Bid
I mentioned this briefly, but you don’t want to place a big right away. That’s going to raise the price of an item as other bidders make their offer. Try to hold off until the last five minutes or so of an auction to make a bid. The fewer the bids are are, the less of a chance there is for the price to be driven up. Besides, if you wait until the last moment, you can probably sneak in and get the item at a great deal.
7. Look For the Best Deals
You don’t have to spend hours of digging through eBay listings to find the best possible deal. There are a couple of useful tools that you can use to discover amazing eBay deals. The first tool that you can try is GetItNext. While GetItNext can be used to refine eBay searches to exactly what you’re looking for, it has a handy ‘Find A Deal’ tab that will show you which listings have 0 bids and less than 4 hours remaining.
Another similar tool is BayCrazy. You can search for bids that ending during the middle of the night so that you can come in and place a bid when no one is. BayCrazy also has a useful feature where you can search for unwanted gifts on eBay. This could mean that you could purchase a brand new item at a used price.
Don’t forget Ebates.com, their cashback app can alert you to Ebay deals, promo codes and give you 1% cashback on the amount of money you spend on Ebay.
8. Track Keywords
There’s a handy free service called Stuff Alert that will send you an email notification for the specific items that you’re looking for on eBay. It’s useful during those times when you go on eBay and can’t find that your pair of ski boots in your size, for example. It can even save you some money because you’ll get an alert when those ski boots are listed at your preferred price.
9. Take Advantage of Typos
If a seller accidentally misspells a word on a listing you may have the opportunity to snag it at a great price because there weren’t be an many people discovering the listing. Thankfully, you don’t have to manually misspell words when conducting an eBay search. You can take advantage of these errors by using tools like Fat Fingers, Auction Bloopers, or Typo Bay.
10. Download the Mobile App
If you’re a frequent eBay shopper, then there’s probably a good chance that you already downloaded the eBay app on your mobile device. If you haven’t already downloaded the app through the App Store or Google Play, then you should get on top of that. It allows you to track and bid on items wherever you are. That means that you won’t miss out on a steal just because you’re aware from your PC.
11. Buy Local
Did you know that you can purchase items from eBay members in your neck of the woods? By doing so, you may be able to save on shipping costs since you can physically pick up the item yourself. Also, you probably won’t be competing with as many bidders because you’re searching for items that are only in your region as opposed to competing with bidders from across the world.
12. Get a Second Chance
Don’t feel defeated if you lost out on a bid. There’s always a second chance. After the auction closes email the seller and let them know that you’re interested in the item. This way if the buyer doesn’t pay for the item the buyer can work out a deal for you. There are even eBay sellers who have more than one item in their inventory, so you may have a chance to purchase that item before the seller lists it on eBay. In either scenario, you may be able to negotiate a favorable price.