How to Place a Winning Bid and Get the Most for Your Money

You want to be a player. You want to bid with the best of them. When you bid, you want to win. When you win, you don't want to overpay.

If you want to be a better bidder, here are 20 ways to help you win more auctions—and pay less money!

  • Search eBay - Second
    eBay (www.ebay.com) has so much traffic that you quite often find yourself competing with a large number of bidders for the item you want. The more competing bidders, the higher the final price—that is, the more you end up paying if you're the winning bidder. The thing is, if you could find a similar item on a less popular auction site, you'd be competing with fewer bidders—and the final price would likely be lower.
    Before you automatically start searching eBay for the item you want, check out some of the smaller auction sites first. Try Yahoo! Auctions (auctions.yahoo.com), Amazon.com Auctions (auctions.amazon.com), or one of the hundreds of other smaller auction sites. If (and that's a big if, considering that less traffic also equals fewer items listed) you can find what you want there, you'll stand a better chance of winning the auction at a lower price.
  • Do Your Research
    Don't bid blind; make sure you know the true value of an item before you offer a bid. Look around at other auctions of similar items; what prices are they going for? Research the price of similar items offline; sometimes, you can find what you're looking for at a discount store or in a catalog or at another online site—where you'll probably get a real warranty and a better return policy. Shop around, and don't assume that the price you see at an auction is always the best deal available.

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