How to succeed at online auctions

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Here are a few things which may help you to become a successful eBayer - and a few things to avoid

1, Don't get over excited. If you see something you want, fix a price in your head and stick to it. Don't get sucked into the excitement of beating someone to the punch - you'll end up paying over the odds.

2, NEVER pay a lot of money for something you cannot fondle, caress, smell, lick or stroke. Come on people, paying £6,000 for a car on the basis of a couple of pictures and a small description is just bonkers.

The eBay mantra is that "most people are honest" - which is probably true. What is also true beyond question is that some people are also dishonest.
And criminals never sell items for £2.99 - they want a big sting and then they're gone. So, take care when buying art, cars or anything else at high cost.

3, When you lose an auction, don't stress. There will be a similar item along in a day, a week or a month.

4, Don't be afraid to plug your auctions at every opportunity.
We ALWAYS include our username, shopwindows, when we're leaving feedback for other people. It runs along the lines of THANKS FROM Shopwindows:ANTIQUARIAN/RARE BOOKS,EPHEMERA,POSTCARDS,Cds,PAINTINGS. Note that we use capital letters (very few people do, so it stands out) and we always get as close as possible to the 80 letter message capacity which is the largest eBay allows.

5 - If you get down to the last few hours and no one has bid and you don't want to let the item go for 99p because it takes just as much effort to wrap and post a 99p items as it does a £99 item, why not revise it by whacking it up to a 10 day auction. It's amazing how many times something with no interest suddenly takes off.

6. Never finish auctions on a bank holiday. No one stays in to bid.

7. Beware of big sporting fixtures or special occasions. I once listed some stuff not realising it would end slap bang in the middle of the European Cup. What a waste of time. And watch out for Coronation Street. No women will bid if your item is in the middle of such soapy fun.

8. Don't finish auctions while people in your host country are still at work. It amazes me how many auctions end between 9 and 5. If I spot something I put a snipe on it and often win, simply because there is no one around to bid against me.

9. If you have something which will appeal to a foreign buyer, list it so it ends at a time suitable for the country involved. For example, I listed a whole host of American History books at 3am one Sunday morning (I had pre prepared all the listings on Turbo lister and simply had to upload them at that time, when I got in from the club ). They Yanks are usually on board by then - everyone sold to America or Canada (which isn't that surprising I suppose)
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