This really is a response to two other guides offerring advice on how to bid. Whilst not wishing to be critical of someone elses opinion it has to be said that so far nobody has recommended either guide.
Whilst not claiming to be an expert here are my thoughts and opinions about how to bid.
If we take a CD as an example - CHECK THE POSTAGE COST before doing anything else. I was caught once by bidding on something that looked like a bargain but then realised that the postage costs were more than the item. There are some sellers out there who use postage costs to boost their profits so be careful.
Having established that you are buying the genuine article (yes there are people passing off copies as the real thing) decide what the maximum price you are willing to pay and bid that amount as soon as possible. I know all the arguments for waiting to the last minute or sniping; I used to do the same but ultimately you lose more than you gain. E-Bay effectively bids on your behalf and will only take your bid to the next increment so you will not lose out or pay more than you might otherwise have done.
If, for example you are bidding on a CD which you are willing to pay £15 for but the current bid only stands at £2.50 you could bid only £3 but the result of that is you are likely to be outbid and have to do the same again. By placing your £15 bid early you are protected against other snipers who will sit at the computer with the current price at £10 waiting for the last few seconds to up it to £11. If you got in first you will beat them.
I'm sure we have all been in the position that we have sat with the winning bid waiting for the auction to end only to lose it to a sniper for the sake of a couple of quid and then cursing that we did not bid more in the first place. If that is you then ask yourself this - If you were willing to pay more for the item why did you not bid this amount in the first place? If you bid your maximum in the first instance the only way you will lose is if someone bids higher amount than you were willing to pay.
Hope you found this useful