How to bag a bargain on eBay

I have been working hard in a factory as well as for the business for a good few months now, its really starting to affect my knees, my back and although i have lost lots of fat, and turned it into muscle i still ache all the time and generally feel sorry for myself  🙂

But, i have managed to earn enough money to get straight with rent – and that was the main reason for starting there again in the first place. I finish there in two weeks time, and by the end of it i should hopefully of saved up enough money to tax my car too, maybe even MOT it.

And depending on how much overtime i cram in, i may even be able to treat myself and buy myself a little present.

Ive been looking for a new phone on eBay for a while now, and ive looked at everything from blackberrys to nokia N82’s, and more recently the 3g apple iphone.

Now im aware its quite fashionable to have an iphone at the mo, but i want one for the simple fact they are so clever, they are designed so well, and it means i can access the internet and do anything i need at the drop of a hat.

The only problem with fashion, is that it usually causes the price of popular “fashionable” items to rise considerably, and this is bad news for people who actually want it for its functionality, and not for the kudos you’ll get from your mates down the pub.

So here is my guide to finding bargains (not just iphones) on eBay!

Olstars eBay Bargain Hunting Guide

This guide is 100% my own, and is not a guarantee. I have just found that by following this process closely i have found items for really good prices on the jungle that is eBay.

Step 1 – The most important!

Think of a rough (realistic) price that you will pay for the item you want. Once you have this figure, write it on a post-it and stick it on your monitor – and make sure you stick to this price! You are trying to bag a bargain here!

I am looking for a 3g iphone, and i want it for £200 ovno.

Step 2 – Find out what cha’ workin’ wit 🙂

Search for the item you want using its name, but dont be too specific. So if you were looking for a 16gb 3g apple iphone, initially just search for “iphone” then narrow your search using the category links on the left hand side.

Browse through the results, and analyse the following

  • The current price of the item
  • The amount of bids
  • The time left
  • Item location

Step 3 – Narrow the search

Look for items that are below your price range first, then narrow them down with the specifics of your requirements. In my case i want a 3g one, so all the 2g’s have gone. I don’t want one that is scratched or that has no photos of the actual iphone that is being sold – this is a very important point, if they don’t show you actual photos then its not worth the bid, you may pay £200 for a piece of shit.

I’ve now got a handful of items in my watched list, so i will move onto the more in depth cleansing of the list.

Step 4 – Psychology

If the item has been started at 99p, and is at say £100 with a lot of bids, then get rid of it. People who enter a bidding war tend to stay with it. They lose sight of their price range and end up bidding just becasue they don’t want to lose.

Try and find an item that is already at £100, and has no bids or only 1 or 2. This item is likely not to of been picked up by the all of the people initially looking for this item.

Its also handy to read the description, sometimes people can be very misleading and tell you what you want to hear yet magically miss out or avoid the bad bits. I’ve seen an iphone description said it had small white lines on the screen but they were hardly noticeable. They included photos of said white lines, and the photos were blurry and you could hardly see a thing. What you could see was the very top of a 5mm white line that ran down the screen. Nice try!

Step 5 – The stragglers

One of the best things about eBay, is that some people are morons. And by that, i mean they cant spell, punctuate, and have no concept of how to list a product properly on eBay. This means that if you play about with a few misspellings of name of the item you are looking for, you can find items that have totally slipped under the radar!

I got a pair of limited edition 100% genuine adidas superstar underworlds for £27 once, because the guy was a moron and had no idea what he had, or how to spell!

Step 6 – Stakeout

The last step is to wait, and watch the auctions carefully. If one you are watching is nearing the end of its time and is still below your budget, then stick a cheeky bid in. NEVER bid with more than a few minutes remaining. If you bid and there is a day left then your just bumping the price up and giving someone a whole day to out bid you. You should never leave it too late either. Some people put a max bid on so as soon as you lay yours down, you are outbid straight away. You need to leave a few minutes so you can put 3 or 4 bids in until you are the highest bidder. Only ever bid the minimum amount as well.

If your target figure is breached, then BACK OFF. There must be millions of items listed on eBay every day, and unless your item is rare, then its likely it will come up again soon and you can do this whole process all over again until you reach your goal.

Wish me luck in my quest for a £200 3g iphone – and i hope this may help someone else bag a bargain on eBay!

One reply on “How to bag a bargain on eBay”

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