Yesterday I sniped on ebay to get a set of alloy wheels (4!) for £16. Starting price was 99p, and buy-it-now was £50. I reckon I did well. The seller says they need refurbishing and so forth, but I’m only interested in the wheels adding safety to my car, not in their prettiness etc.
The fun thing is how I went about it. The auction ended at 4.30PM and I knew beforehand I would be in a meeting just at that time. Since I no longer trusted this ebay sniper software (can’t remember what it’s called now), I thought I have to do it myself. So I borrowed a colleague’s watch and, while sitting in the meeting, kept an eye on the time. At approx. 4.28PM I apologised, saying I needed to go to the bathroom, rushed to my desk and started refreshing the auction (I had set up ebay and logged in before the meeting). 25seconds or so before the end I put in a bid of £25 – I had noticed the price had started going up so there was obviously at least one other sniper. However I was the best – the others must have only incremented by a smaller sum.
Here’s how to snipe if you really want something:
- don’t start minutes before the end of the auction, putting in only small incremental bids
- instead: wait till 25s or so before the end, and go in with your max bid then (as in: whatever highest amount you’re willing to pay)
- that way, you can zap all the other ‘last minute’ snipers who use the method of small incremental bids
And tonight after work, I’m driving straight to Glasgow to pick the wheels up – the seller is away on holiday from Friday so it’s got to be tonight. Not ideal but at least I can then get my car fitted with the wheels at the week-end.