BAGGING a bargain on eBay is a great way of saving money on designer gear – but did you know you could be paying even less?
Members of money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk have come up with the essential guide for landing every auction you want – and saving some serious money in the process.
Swoop in at the last minute
Ken Brett recommends waiting until the auction is about to end. ‘Load up your bid and wait until the timer is down to 5 seconds – then bid.’
Charlotte Robinson has a similar strategy: "I only ever watch items, and then if I’m interested I bid on them with about 7 seconds to go."
However, Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk warns, "Make sure you are logged in to eBay before you do a last-second bid.
"This is because after you press Place Bid, you’ll then need to login, confirm your bid, and press a third confirm button. All of this takes time!"
Research the market
Donna O’Brien always does her research first. "Have a look at items which are ending soonest to get a rough idea of what something goes for.
"Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy new from an eBay store, or pay a few quid extra for a new item."
Many High Street retailers, such as Argos, have eBay outlet stores. Here, you may be able to find the same products, new, for less.
Look for misspelled words
Siaron Jones suggests looking for spelling mistakes. "Use a site called Fatfingers.com. You enter what you are looking for and it brings up all spellings of that word.
"Years ago I bought a beautiful oak dining table and chairs for just over £100 because the seller had listed it as a ‘dinning table’ so it wasn't coming up when people searched ‘dining table’."
Angle for a discount
Lyndsey Creevy came up with a trick to get discounted items. "If an item is from a Buy It Now listing rather than an auction, put it in your basket or Watch List but don't check out.
"Within a week the seller will often offer a discount for you to buy the item. It happens with me and I usually get about 5 per cent off."
Emma Carter added: "If it’s an individual selling it then it’s more likely to happen as the site will suggest they make an offer. Businesses are less likely to do this, as they will have so many transactions going on it won’t worry them."
Use your filters wisely
Sarah Pitchford knows a thing or two about grabbing bargains with smart filter usage. "I change the filters to Ending Soonest. I’ve managed to bag a few bargains such as clothes bundles that haven’t been bid on and only have a minute or so left."
Claire Louise agreed with this method: "I always search by ending soon. Can grab a lot of bargains in the last few seconds."
Tom Church added, "Lastminute-Auction is a great tool for this. It shows you all the eBay listings about to finish from 99p and without any bids. You can swoop in and nab a 99p bargain. Designer dresses, handbags, furniture, electronics, and more."
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
Rina New likes to take a more proactive approach. "I throw offers at people as soon as I see something I like. They can either say yes or no!"
Avoid bidding wars
Clare McColl suggests that people avoid getting bogged down in bidding wars.
"Don’t keep on bidding, especially if the bids get too high and you realise you can’t pay too much."
Tom added, "This is a very important point. As soon as you get emotional about an eBay purchase, you’ve lost. When you feel your heart pumping, take a deep breath and say to yourself, 'It’s OK to walk away.'".
Get savvy with your devices
Chrissi Brandon increases her chances of winning by keeping multiple devices active. "Have eBay on as many devices as possible.
"I have it on my laptop and phone and I am watching items on both. I recently bagged a brand new Nintendo Switch for £125, the one I wanted with grey controllers.
"It was due to the item being spelt wrong and having eBay on my mobile."
Watch your pennies
Lindy Armstrong uses pennies to win her auctions.
"Always bid using the pennies e.g. £15.69. If you have the extra pennies on you’ll win the bid – at least, it’s worked for me a few times."
Liz Ponsford also recommends keeping your bids specific. "Set your highest bid, then add 53p or an obscure figure that’s over 50p."
Make the most of newbie sellers
Jon Bozzoni finds items by seeking out less experienced sellers. "I always search by newly listed items first, as sometimes folk list things at a low Buy It Now price.
"If it’s a larger item I search by distance nearest to me as sellers won’t post so it limits potential buyers.
"My most recent best bargain is my Vax hoover, bought for half price including postage from the official outlet on eBay as apparently the box was damaged…It was mint, no damage at all! And the hoover is perfect!"
Save your searches
Hannah Smith suggests taking your time to find the best bargains.
"If there's something specific you're after but you’re not in a hurry, then I save a search for the item and check back every few days.
"It may take a while but often you can get what you're after at a bargain price as people list things with cheap Buy It Now prices and having the saved search makes it easy to find."
Keep it generic
Hannah also offered advice on how to search for items. "Often it's good to be quite generic with your search terms as this helps to catch more items where people have put poor descriptions eg.
"If you want a 'blue women's size 10 next dress' search for 'blue next dress' or 'next dress 10' and just look for the ones that match your criteria manually – it does take longer, but helps to find the items with less detailed descriptions. Often these are the sellers with less idea on pricing too."
Tom Church, Co-Founder of money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk said, 'In the fight between eBay and Facebook Marketplace, eBay is still king when it comes to finding the best bargains.
"I bought a pair of new Levi jeans for just 99p when looking for last-minute items without bids. It’s the Wild West of deals, where the winners are patient bargain hunters who strike when no one else is looking."
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