I am currently waiting to place a sniper bid on eBay. What is a sniper bid, you ask? Just one of the more fun (and sometimes anxiety-causing) aspects of eBay!
(There are thirty-three minutes left on the auction I am watching.)
Behold: I am looking to purchase at least 7 pint-size, blue Ball canning jars to hold one hydrangea blossom each along the front of the sweetheart table. To buy clear jars is simple (I recommend eBay vendor Denny and Kathy's Super Store). But to purchase blue jars is a little more difficult because a blue Mason jar means an old jar, thus an antique and more expensive. Sometimes. However, sometimes you can find the blue jars at a great price on eBay... if you know how to bid properly. *enter evil laugh*
Here's how it works. Find an item you would like to purchase on eBay. If it has the "Buy it Now" button, then by all means, buy it right then and there. However, some items require bidding. Rather than entering a bid with a few days left, simple click on "Watch this item." Now you can see how high the bidding war goes without actually perpetuating it yourself. Once there are approximately twenty minutes left in the bid, simple keep a window open on your computer and watch the time tick down.
(There are twenty-seven minutes left on the auction I am watching.)
I won't lie. This waiting can cause anxiety and tempt you to bid too soon. But as Mel Gibson ordered in "Braveheart," HOLD... HOLD... HOLD!!! Depending on your typing speed and eBay ability, enter your bid with five minutes left in the bidding war. That should give you enough time for the bid to process and for you to find out if you have been outbid by a previous bidder's maximum bid. If you have been outbid, quickly consider how high you think the other bidder's maximum bid might be, determine how high you want to bid, and type that new amount in!
(There are twenty minutes left on the auction I am watching.)
While waiting, I recommend finding something else to keep your mind entertained. Try checking your email or playing a solitaire game... or doing the dishes or blogging... or... oh, just count down faster!!! See? Fun, isn't it? :-)
(There are fifteen minutes left on the auction I am watching.)
There are other options, too. AuctionSniper allows you to enter you maximum bid at any point during the auction and the computer automatically enters your bid at the last couple seconds. But what fun is that? Also, you better make sure your maximum bid is high enough to beat out everyone else's. (Another similar website is EZ Sniper.)
(There are five minutes left in the auction I am watching.)
I enter a bid. I am outbid. I enter another bid. Again, outbid. Hmmm. Now I have to ask myself, "How much do I really want to pay for these jars?" Plus shipping. After trying one more bid, which fails, I decide to pack away my auction paddle and call it a day. Too rich for my blood.
Oh, but look! Another person has listed his/her blue Mason jars. Let the watching begin again...