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How to Win at eBay:
Using Your Watch List
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When you've found something you want, don't bid until the last second!

You have to remember to come back and bid at only the very last moment.

I used to keep a written list of what closed when, so I could remember to drop in my bid at the last second.

Then I learned to use eBay's watch list, which save me a lot of record keeping.

I didn't trust it at first, since it's important not to let early-bidders know your intentions, but the only person who sees your list is you. Sellers know how many people have added an item to their watch lists, but that doesn't affect your ability to get the best price at the last second.

When you find something, click "Watch This Item," at the top left of its listing. Be sure you log in so eBay knows to put it in your list, and now eBay will keep track of these for you, in order of when they end.

To see your list, click My eBay, and select Watched Items. Bingo, everything is there in the order it closes.

eBay tries to get people to bid too early, which ultimately inflates the final price, and therefore eBay's profits. Therefore eBay doesn't help us by listing the exact close time for each Watched Item. You'll have to make do with the approximate "4 hours left" markings, and click on each full listing to see its actual close time in teeny-tiny type just below "End Time."

The Watch List is also very helpful if you work from different computers. You can add items to your Watch List from any computer on Earth, and when you log in from any other computer, the items you've added are right there for you.

With a Watch List, I can browse on my big computer, drop items into my Watch List, and do the easy part, dropping in a bid at the last second, from my wife's iPod touch.

You want a real machine to see what you're doing as you browse, but once you've done your homework, the winning bid is easy to drop in at the last seconds from anywhere on a portable device.

If you're more paranoid than I am, you may prefer to keep your own watch list and not use it through eBay. Sellers get excited when they see a lot of people watching their auction, and if they do, aren't likely to lower their reserve or buy-it-now prices, or do other things more likely to get you a better price. If you stay off their radar by not adding it to your eBay watch list, they might behave in a manner more likely to get you a lower price. Just one person alone won't make much difference, so I don't worry, but if you're more paranoid than you are lazy, go ahead and keep your own list.


Now that you've added an item to your watch list, there isn't much more to do until the instant it closes. Yes, if you're serious about winning, you do have to work your personal schedule around being at a computer at the moment the listing ends.


Next: How a Typical Auction Listing Progresses

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Thanks for reading!



Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.


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