For those of you who eBay, you’ll know where I’m coming from with all of this.
As many of you know, I’m getting back into photography. I invested in a good digital SLR which can be used with my lenses from my old film cameras. That’s the bonus of it.
However, I’ve wanted a new lens. (Now I should have just purchased this camera with the kit, in which case I wouldn’t be worried too much about it right now). Anyway, I figured the way to go is to scour eBay for a lens and go from there.
I found what I was looking for and started bidding. And losing. And bidding. And losing. I was to the point where I was ready to pay the 130-150 (new) for the lens I wanted just so I could get one. But, as some of you also know about me, I’m not a big fan of always spending my money and I like to wait until I know for sure.
Now, for those of you who DO eBay, you know how things go. You bid, you worry, you watch. Or you hang, bid at the last second and hope you get the higer bid. For those of you who bid early (I do this most of the time), if you’re like me, you bid how much you’ll spend and then ignore it until the end, at which time you sweat it out hoping you win. Then, 9 out of 10 times, someone will outbid you at the last moment, you lose by 25 cents and you’re pissed.
That has happened a lot in the past three weeks to me. Twice, however, I’ve gotten lucky.
My bidding strategy is simple — take the highest dollar amount you want to spend, and add an odd number to offset it. So, if you max is 20 bucks, add 27 cents to it. That sets it up so if someone goes 20, they think you are much higher and you win.
A couple weeks ago, I am bidding on a 1gig memory card. One that sells normally for about 60-70 bucks and I’ve seen get 40-50 on eBay. I place a bid of $20.03. Only two of us bet on this card the whole auction. My initial bid was 5.01, then 7.19. Then after getting outbid again, I pushed it to 20.03.
In a span of a minute or so, my opponent bids six times — in the following order: 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 20. Then stops. This is five hours before the auction ends.
Nobody bids the rest of the time and I get a kick-ass memory card for 20 bucks.
Back to the task at hand. I’ve been trying to win a lens. I’m ready just to buy one outright, but I see one on eBay sitting at 46 bucks with about an hour left. So I watch it and watch it. I make up the decision I’m going to bid 50 bucks on it late in the auction. So I come back and the countdown is on.
Nine bids have been placed on this lens. With about three minutes left, it goes to 10 bids, but the price doesn’t change. I look and it’s the same person — upping their minimum. At that point, I figure I have no chance. Why would anyone bump their bid if only a couple of bucks (and it’s free shipping).
So with 13 seconds left, I go for it. Now, remember my strategy.
My bid? $50.33.
The auction ends 13 seconds later and I finally have my new lens. For 50.33.
That max bid the other pushed it to? 50 bucks. So if I had only said $50, that person wins because they had the 50 bid in first. Instead, that other person is all mad because I swooped in and took it late.
For once, I got the upper hand. And it felt pretty kick ass!
Now, back to some eBaying!