Welcome to the Ebay Forum! Since we sell lots of merchandise on Ebay, we thought we would let you in on the secrets (and explanations) of how to win an Ebay auction.

There seems to be a confusion about bidding and that everyone thinks that they have to sit in front of their computers to bid up to the final seconds. This is the WRONG way to bid unless you don’t care whether you win or not! Most people want the items and when they lose to someone else, they call or email asking if we have another one. Well, in the world of vintage jewels, we don’t! Most items are one of a kind and we don’t sell copies of anything. So, sit back, grab a cold one, and keep reading as you are going to get the scoop on how to win auctions.

 Ok, here’s what you do... Lets say we have an item we just listed about an hour ago and the current bid on it is 5 dollars. Since we start most everything at 1 cent and no reserve, this is a realistic number for 1 hour out of the normal 10 days the item will be on. Now, you look at the item and see that you can’t live without it. So you place an incremental bid of 2.50 higher than the 5.00 you currently see. Well if the persons high bid was 5 dollars, then you will be the high bidder at 7.50 leaving the next person in line to up it by at least another 2.50 to 10.00. This is the WRONG WAY to get it! The only time you place an incremental bid is when you either want an email to remind you to watch that auction as it sits in your email “IN” box or the bid you placed (in this case, 7.50) is the highest you will want to pay for the item. Trying to play bidding games at the final seconds of an auction is a sure way to lose the item for good.

 Losing an item in most auctions is no big deal as someone else will more than likely have another one (like in the case of a camera or computer) and you can just bid on that one. In the area of Vintage Jewelry, 99.9% of the time you have just 1 shot at winning it and no way to get another. A lot of vintage jewelry was melted in the 1980’s when gold shot up to almost $900.00 per ounce and that’s why good vintage jewelry is very rare.

One bracelet back in 1980 would have been melted to get that $900.00 and that’s AFTER the gemstones were pulled from it! It was very profitable to melt anything of gold back then and that’s why there is very little of the older items left. Now, back to bidding... The right way to bid in the case above would be to determine the absolute maximum you want to pay for the item. Then when you see the 5 dollar bid, and you know that (let’s say the item is a real nice one) the item is a 2-1/2 Carat Solitaire Diamond set in Platinum from ...let’s say 1920 and that it’s not going to close for less than $1,000 and probably upwards of 3 to 4 Thousand Dollars! So, lets say you are willing to pay up to $2500.00 for the ring. You place the bid for $2500.00 when it says 5 dollars and you will notice that the bid goes up to .......$7.50 (The next bid increment!)

 Yes, just up to $7.50! Not the $2500.00 dollars like most people think it will. Now you can sit back and watch the action over the next few days or up until the end in some cases! Now the person that’s going to lose the auction will probably be the person that has never read this or visited this web site as Ebay does a rather bad job in explaining this to you. This is called Proxy Bidding and Ebay’s computers will up the bid to the next increment but not to exceed the dollar amount of your maximum (in this case the $2500.00). So if Joe Bidder comes along and bids $500.00, the Ebay computer tells him that he is NOT the high bidder and that he needs to place a bid of, in this case if it were at $500.00, another $50.00 higher. The current bid now would be at $550.00. Joe Bidder has to go higher to in order to try and beat you. Well, no one but you knows how much you proxy bid for so Joe Bidder can try and beat you or he may just give up.

 What he will probably do is throw what our company calls a “Mercy Bid” at the end of the auction (mercy because he is praying to god that he will win with this last attempt as there are only seconds to go before closing) and he will find out that he lost and you won. Let’s say the final 5 to 10 seconds of the auction the bid is at $2100.00 and you are winning, Joe Bidder will bid the minimum or even a little more (in this case $150.00) to $2250.00. By the time Joe bidders screen refreshes, the auction closes and Ebay will tell him he lost and you won with a close of $2350.00 that Ebay put in up  at auction end! See, you don’t even have to be there in order to win with a proxy bid and you will never pay more than the maximum amount you put in (and that’s only if someone wants it as bad as you do, then they may bid $2600.00 and you will lose). 

 I hope you understand that putting a large bid in does not mean that you are going to pay that much unless someone else wants it almost as bad as you do or worse. Then you are going to lose anyway as they could just proxy at $5000.00 in the beginning and you come along seeing it at that $7.50 (I am reversing the situation here) and place a proxy of $2500.00. Then you will see a message saying that you have been outbid and the next bid is $2700.00 as his proxy went 100 dollars more than your 2500.00 thus letting it stand at a current price of $2600.00 and the next bid increment is 100 dollars bringing it to $2700.00 if someone wanted to bid that much. The people you always see winning this stuff are the ones that use this system and use it to their advantage. Now you know about it and can win more auctions whether they are ours auctions of others.


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