Wednesday, June 1, 2011

5 Steps to using Price Advice to Bid on Auctions

By providing you with pricing information on used items, our goal at Price Advice is to save you money.  Since many used items are sold on auction sites like eBay, it would be helpful to understand how you can use Price Advice to bid and fetch the best possible price.
  1. Use the search tool.  Type in what you are looking for.  You can be specific or generic.  For example, you can type in “Rolex” and get a listing of all Rolex watches, or you can type in “Rolex Submariner” and only get a listing for that subset within the Rolex brand.  Alternatively, you can search by category by selecting one of the tabs in the upper left corner.

    1. Refine your search.  Once you have a list of items, you can further refine your search by price (using the sliding price bar), brand or other criteria in the vertical blue bar on the left of the screen.  Each product category will have different refinement criteria unique to its characteristics.
    1. Take note of the market price.  Price Advice has scoured closed transactions across the web to determine the estimated selling price for every item on our site.  That is the price you should expect to pay for the item.  It is a good jumping off point for setting your top dollar price.  For example, let’s say you want to buy a used iPad 2 with 32GB of storage and the market price is $432.  You can set your budget for $432 and then search for auctions below that price point or very close to that price point.


    1. Use the bell curve to determine the lowest possible price.  Sometimes the current auction price will be much, much lower than the market price.  This gives the illusion that the item is a steal, however, the current auction price is not the price you will necessarily pay.  That price isn’t fixed until the auction closes, which could be several days away. By reviewing the bell curve you can determine the lowest price your item has sold for and use that as an indictor of the best deal you can expect.  In the example below, the lowest price paid is $358 so expecting to pay $150 might not be realistic.  That doesn't mean that you can't still find a great deal below the average selling price of $459.

    1. Don’t bid to early.  As stated in Step Four, the final price of an item isn’t set until an auction closes.  If you see a great deal such as 50% off market price, the best strategy for winning that auction and keeping the price low is to not bid right away.  Instead, add the auction to your “watch list” and monitor the bid price.  As the auction close nears you can use the market price and lowest price data from Price Advice to determine how much you should or are willing to bid in the closing minutes of the auction.  Bidding in the final minutes of an auction is called sniping.  Using Price Advice to snipe will help you save money.
    Let us know about the great deals you have found either on our Facebook Wall or Twitter Feed.  Happy bidding!


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