When is the Best Time to Go Shopping on eBay?
When you go shopping on Ebay depends a lot on your own
schedule. But, when you can find the best deals depends on other factors.
Obviously, you may have the internet just about to yourself at 1:00 in the
morning. But, you may not have many auctions to bid on that are closing in
that time slot. You are able to bid on any item you want (not just those near
closing), but your bidding procedures should be different depending on how
much you are willing to spend. There are many auctions closing around
noontime, but the internet i.s s..o s...l...o...w then
because so many people peek in during their lunch break. It could take you 6
to 10 minutes just to get a bid through, and that is after you finally get the
page to load.
One method a lot of people use is to go browsing on a weekday morning or late
in the evening on any day of the week. This gives them lots of speed so they
can look in on many more auctions. When they see something interesting, they
just bookmark it for later. That way, they can go back near the end of the
auction to do some serious bidding (more on that is coming in a later
chapter). There are many other times you can be assured of speeding through
the internet: on a holiday; 7:00 to 9:00 on an important voting evening; while
the most popular t.v. shows are on; Sunday mornings; any Saturday night (date
night); while the Olympic gymnastics finals are on t.v.; etc.
There are two ways to speed up your internet shopping at any time you want......
know the name and description of what you are looking for, you can do your
initial shopping without pictures. You can "turn off" the images
through your browser. In Netscape, click on Edit on the top bar, then click on
Preferences, then Advanced, then click on Automatically Load Images to uncheck
the box. You can shop through hundreds of auctions without waiting for any
images to load. If you get to an auction that looks like a great one, you can
then click on Images (on the second bar from the top) to see these pictures
only, and click on Images again to turn them back off and continue shopping.
Shopping at any time of the day or any day of the week is always slowest
with a dial-up connection. And, most dial-up connections get lost often. Cable modem
or DSL can make your shopping (and everything you do on the internet) at least 10 times
faster - without disconnects. You only need to be disconnected just before bidding
on something once to know how important your internet connection is. And, that is just
an example from the point of buying. Sellers listing on ebay who use AOL simply cannot
be having successful sales - their photos take forever to show up. Photos that just won't
load or take SO long to load cause buyers to go on their merry way.
If the sky is the limit on something you really want, you may want to try to
be the first bidder. If an item worth $20 is the one missing piece to complete
your collection, you may feel like bidding $200 and not care if the bidding
really goes that high. That kind of bidding almost guarantees that you
will win the auction. We say almost because you run the risk of bringing extra
attention to the auction that way. If two or three people want an item, the
bids start going back and forth and the price goes up and up. Let's say the
item you really need is a frog beanie baby. Many people who collect
beanies will note that the auction has more bids than normal and peek in to
see why. If your name is recognizable as a regular beanie baby collector, now
their curiosity is really peaked. "If _______ is bidding on this frog,
she must know something that I don't know...If ________ doesn't have this
frog, it must really be rare!...I've got to get this frog!" Whoops.
If you want to get the best deal, you may want to wait till near the end of
the auction. We will tell you in a later chapter just how to get the best deal
whether you shop at the beginning, middle or end of an auction.
One other thing. The best time to go shopping is after you have done your
research! Browse through many auctions to see how much that item normally
sells for and in what condition it is normally available. If you have looked
for weeks and never found one at all, you may be willing to spend much more
when you finally find one being offered. You may find out that what you want
is listed all the time and almost always in great condition, so you may not
want to bid at all on one that is damaged or overpriced in comparison. Why do
so many auctions have no bids at all? Maybe the opening bid is way too high.
But, only an informed shopper would know the difference. Why does that
wonderful item in perfect condition have no bids at all? Maybe the shoppers
who did their research know that it is a brand new copy. If you don't care,
bid away. If you do care, you need to be able to tell an original from a copy.
Almost every copy will have obvious signs, you just need to know what they
are. (If there are copies available in your item, it is not wise to bid on an
item without a picture so you can see the item for yourself.) If you have the
time and patience, you can do most of your research through the auction
results. Sometimes you have to go to collector or antiques sites on the web to
find answers. But, the best source of all is a reference book right by your
side while you shop. Books are available on almost every collectible and are
often very affordable. But, a $50 book is worth every penny if you could make
a $200 mistake on just one wrong item.