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For those who are familiar with eBay, they’ll know the platform offers more than the regular eCommerce websites on the internet. One of such features is the ability for sellers to auction their products on the website. Although this is one feature most users make use of, most people on the platform are unaware of this feature. eBay is an e-commerce website that’s known for its auctions and consumer to consumer sales. It’s also an extremely popular platform for online merchants to use as a sales channel. On eBay, a seller lists an item, adds photos and a description of the item, adds a price and other shipping options. If a seller places an item on auction, a buyer can make a bid on the item. However, if it’s not on auctions, a buyer can simply buy it using the “Buy it Now” option. When a purchase is been made, the buyer makes payments via any of the available payment options, and the seller ships it to that buyer.

Before diving into eBay to bid on auctions, there are important things you should know about making bids on eBay. Learning about how to make bids on eBay is cool but you might never close a bid without knowing the following.

eBay auctions Have a specific time. Normally, during auctions, bidders bid continually on the item to be sold. Once the bidding stops, the auctioneer pounds the gavel and the item is sold to the highest bidder at that time. However, on eBay, auctions are open to bids for an exact number of days. A seller chooses this time frame at the time of creating the auction. The auction would last for 1, 3, 5, 7, or 10 days. Once the specified time elapses, the highest bidder wins.

Your bid must be higher than the current bid. On eBay, you cant bid the exact amount that is the highest bid at that time. You are required to bid an amount higher than the current bid. To know what amount to bid, you’ll find a text below the bidding box. The text would look like “Enter $7 or more.” At this point $7 is the current minimum bid a user can make. You must either enter that amount or a higher amount you want to bid.

You Could pay less than your bid if you win. Unlike regular auctions where a bidder could go way above the previous bid and walk away with the item paying that amount, eBay runs its system differently. On eBay, when you bid a very high amount, eBay keeps that amount and helps you bid by a step value above every incoming bid. Let’s say you bid $750 on a product a user bid $12, eBay would automatically bid $13 to your favour. As long as no user bids above $750, you’ll always have the system bid slightly higher to your favour. This only occurs when you’re the highest bidder. Therefore, if you win the auction you only get to pay a small amount more than the next highest bid—even if your bid was thousands of dollars more.

If your bid wins, you must buy. Your bids on any auction on eBay are seen as a legally binding contract. If you have the highest bid whenever an auction ends, you have purchased the item and must pay the seller for it. You can’t back down after an auction ends.

You can Use 1-Click Bid to place small bids. So the auction is time-based and not determined by the highest bid not countered. Let’s say it’s almost time for an auction to end, In the last 15 minutes of an eBay auction you’ve bid on in the past, you can instantly bid one increment higher than the current bid by clicking the “1-Click Bid” button. This gives you the option to beat the previous bidder by a little topped up amount.

Other bidders may use an automatic bidding system. Many shoppers use eBay’s automatic bidding system. This helps them bid automatically and assists them in winning an auction. If you’re a newbie on the eBay auctions, it may not behave in ways that make sense to you. eBay does its automatic bidding not just for you alone if you are a high bidder, but for all of your competitors as well.

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The current highest bid is secret. Since eBay bids on your favour, it would always bid with a value that’s slightly above the current bit. However, none of the other bidders knows the maximum bid entered by the current highest bidder. There is absolutely no way to know “how much is enough” to “just barely” outbid the current highest bid. You might just have to keep bidding till you notice your bid Is the current highest bid. You might also need to watch the item as other users might want to bid on the item. It is, however, advisable to bid the highest amount you’re willing to pathways with for the item under consideration. Although many bidders are not aware that eBay has (and always has had) this feature, eBay would help you reduce the amount you bid for while trying to secure the item for you. A downside is that eBay doesn’t advertise this feature much, though it is described in eBay’s help pages.

How to Bid on eBay

Although I had to leave the long note above, I’m certain it’s not why you’re here. You’ve probably heard of auctions on eBay and never spotted the “place bid” button. This is because not every item sold on the platform is auctioned. Most items are sold for their market value. Auctioned items are mixed with other products on the platform so you might not spot them unless you choose to see only auctioned items. The following steps on how to bid on eBay should help you make your first bid.

  • Go to eBay.com on any browser of your choice on your PC.
  • Navigate to the category of product you want to purchase an auctioned item.
  • On the left row, you’ll find a menu for sorting several choices.
  • Scroll down and select the radio button beside “Auction”.
  • eBay would then list items that are on auction.
  • You can sort the auctioned items in the following categories, Best Match, Time: ending soonest, Time: newly listed, Price + Shipping: lowest first, Price + Shipping: highest first. Distance: nearest first, Number of bids: fewest first, Number of bids: most first. This would help you find an option that favours you.
  • To sort this, hover your cursor over the sort dropdown at the top right corner of the product list. Select the option that suits your need.
  • Click on the desired product you want to bid for.
  • Type in your amount and click on “Bid Now”.
  • You would be redirected to your login page to verify you are the one taking the step. Authenticate your process.
  • You should now see a pop-up window for you to confirm your bid. Click on the blue “Confirm” button.
  • You would be redirected to a page to “Review and confirm your bid”. Paypal should be selected as your mode of payment, click on the “confirm bid” button.
  • You should now be redirected to PayPal to confirm your bid.
  • After that, your bid is placed.

Remember, no matter the amount you intend bidding, eBay would automatically bid slightly higher than other users bids in a bid to save you some change. So if you want to bid for a product without having to keep watching the item for a rise in price, it is advisable to bid your maximum budget at once.

Additionally, if you find a message that says “You have reached a temporary limit on purchases. At the moment you can buy items only by adding them to the eBay cart and paying them immediately. This option will be offered to you for all adverts in fixed-price format or Buy it now by clicking on the Add to cart button. If the Add to Cart “option is not available, find an ad where it exists.” It means you’re not eligible to bid on that auction. However, you can still buy from other items on the website with the inscription “Buy Now”.