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eBay King: Outwaiting, Outsmarting, and Outbidding


Over two decades ago we bought our first home computer. It was an inexpensive model with a monitor that had a small screen, but was absurdly large otherwise. I kept a safe distance from this new piece of home technology, initially finding it a bit intimidating. I watched as my kids typed at the speed of sound, using both hands like my high school typing teacher tried to get me to do way back in 1973, but with little success...

After months of watching, in the dead of night and with no one around, I began experimenting with the keyboard and mouse. I took an evening course at a local high school to learn how to use the computer more efficiently and to hone my skills. Once I developed my skill-set and became confident in my technical abilities, I started searching the internet and that's when I discovered eBay. 

I cut my teeth on inexpensive items first, learning the ins and outs of strategic bidding. But once I felt confident, I went looking for bigger game.

In categories like bicycles and bicycle parts, motorcycle's and motorcycle parts, baseball gloves, leather jackets, sunglasses, to name just a few, I was hitting my stride and not looking back. I was winning auctions with ease and having a great time doing it.

I had become a force on eBay, bidding at precisely the right time and stealing auctions from unsuspecting and inexperienced newcomers. I moved with the grace of a Ninja, hiding my interest, luring the highest bidder into a false sense of security, making them believe they were alone in the bidding. Just when I sensed their complacency, I'd pounce like a big cat hiding in tall grass, stealing the auction out from under them in the final seconds.

After a while, it wasn't as much about the item as it was about winning. I couldn't stand to lose. I'd sit at my computer and watch the clock. I knew exactly when certain auctions ended, studied the habits of other bidders, read their feedback, and fully understood their tendencies. Winning auctions had become both an art and a science.

The key is to remain calm. Winning a bid-auction takes the steely-eyed precision and the patience of an experienced sniper. Buzzer beaters demand a certain level of cool too, like the kind MJ displayed during his career. You can't be afraid of putting your finger on the mouse and taking the final shot. You know it's game time when your adrenaline starts pumping, your pulse quickens, and your palms begin to sweat. It's the last few seconds of an eBay auction that comes closest to the opening moments of an intense meme war. You'll begin to crave it.

My advice to young eBayers is to start small and then work up to larger items, but never overpay! The words in Kenny Rodgers' song The Gambler are words to bid by, "You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run". Winning an auction at all cost is a fool's game. Don't get caught up in that. Your goal is to win auctions at considerably lower than market value prices. If you win every auction, you're probably paying too much. It's okay to lose a few. You want to win the item, but you want to steal it too.

Now that we're all in isolation under the "Stay At Home" order, it's a great time to poke around on eBay and maybe win a few auctions. 

If someone blindsides you in the final seconds and steals the auction, you'll know it's me...

Good luck eBayers!