blog / article

Five Tip to Scoring eBay Bargains

by Leo Chan
8 Oct 2019

With the holidays coming up everyone is looking for that golden bargain. Some brave and daring souls make their way into the Black Friday mire, swinging and grappling to save a few dollars. Those of us with less time and less patience tend to wait for the crowds to disperse or we do the most logical thing. We shop online. The internet is filled with websites offering an unlimited number of products, services, coupons and deals. eBay, however, is the holy ground of holiday offerings. From corsets to cars, eBay has it and a smart buyer can rack up some delicious deals. Learning a few tricks can save you time and money.

1. Look for Misspelled Items

If you are looking to buy an Apple Macbook Air on eBay, you are going to run into a ton of buyers outbidding each other for that precious bit of tech. Everyone is looking for an “Macbook Air” but they won’t be looking for a “Mcbook Air” or a “Macboik Are”. Misspelling items helps you avoid vicious bidding wars. If your brain has reached the capacity for misspelling words, the website has your back.

2.vBuy from Sellers with Yellow Stars

eBay tries to inspire sellers by rating them and granting them colored stars. The system allows buyers to differentiate between top and bottom vendors. Sellers with a rating of 50 are considered top sellers which means they also have more buyers. That also means they can raise their prices. A “yellow star” seller or a seller with a 20-49 rating has to push harder to gain that big 50. They are more accommodating when it comes to discount requests and appeals for lower shipping charges. Loyal buyers’ equal loyal sellers so the longer you stick around and support a seller the more likely they are to grant you perks. Remember to ask nicely though.

3.Use Tools to Find Overlooked Items and Win Bids

We all know the internet has your back if you are looking for ways to save money. Websites like Last Minute Auction  and Baycrazy’s Zero Bids find auctions that are ending soon and have no bidders. Sniping is another way to grab a deal. Sniping apps and programs allow buyers to sneak in and place winning bids right before the auction ends. Gixen lets you authorize the program to place bids for you. Just sign up, enter an eBay item number and the maximum price you are willing to pay. Just be aware that some sellers try to make up for lost costs by charging more for shipping. Double and triple check those charges and do not give sniping sites your eBay password due to potential security risks. If you use a different password, you will avoid the irritation of money being taken out of your account without your knowledge.

4.Check Amazon and Negotiate Prices

Some sellers offer listings on both eBay and Amazon to accrue more profit. If you find a swag pair of Adidas kicks on eBay and you want a deal, check Amazon and see if you can find the exact item you are searching for. If your luck stands and you locate it, contact the buyer, get the URL and request a price match. The whole point of selling is to find a buyer quickly so most sellers will be eager to work with you on pricing. To avoid undermining your own plan, check that the total price plus shipping is lower.

5. Find Super Deals at Night

If you are up and looking for a bargain in the wee hours, check out auctions that are ending soon by using the filter “ending soonest.”  You don’t even have to stay up past the Witching Hour to swoop in and scratch up a steal. eBay runs 24 hours around the globe. You may be just relaxing before hitting the hay but other people in another time zone might already be deep in dreamland. Early birds don’t have to feel left out. You can also find good prices and bargains during business hours. This works better for more lax work environments and for people who work later in the day but if you can hide it from your boss give it a shot.


Cardy Chung is the founder of StreetPricer. Read more articles by Cardy Chung.

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