to Win at eBay:
Use this link to get to eBay whenever you buy and it helps me write more like this, thanks! Ken.
This is the easiest part.
eBay has a tool with which you can see exactly what other items have sold for in the past few weeks. You can search and see everything about completed listings.
To browse eBay's completed listings, search for a list of items, scroll down the page of search results, and under "Preferences" on the left side, click "Completed listings."
Unless you're looking for something really uncommon (which is the main reason to use eBay), you'll see exactly who paid what for what for lots of similar items.
You'll see for how much other similar items sold, or didn't sell.
Only the green numbers count, since those are the only items where someone actually bought something. Many listings have no buyer (listed in red or black), because they were listed with either a ridiculous Buy-it-Now or opening bid amount. Ignore these.
Likewise, ignore other for-sale ads from conventional dealers elsewhere when researching prices. If you find an item offered by a regular dealer outside of eBay, it's likely his asking price will be much higher than the price at which an item would actually sell on eBay.
The 20% rule
Never pay more than 80% of the new price for a used item, even if it's being offered as "like new in the box."
10% of the time that I buy anything through eBay, it's junk. The other 10% is the extra effort it takes dealing with most likely an individual, instead of a store, in case of returns.
If it's only 20% or less extra to buy the real thing from a real store, I always do. Often items offered "in the box" are missing the internal packaging, missing the back half of the box that was ripped off for a rebate, or whatever.
Never bid more than 80% of the new price of an item.
Remember, after buying hundreds of items over eBay, 10% of them have been defective. I often have been able to return them, but just as often, it wasn't worth the effort.
Next: Auction Fever
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