How to win a bargin

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Ebay is a bargain hunters paradise but unlike traditional shopping you need to master some cunning techniques to track down good deals

  1. Look for local items Sellers of bulky, heavy or fragile items often specify that they must be picked up in person. As buyers have to factor in time and fuel costs, it creates a lack of competition, which keeps prices low. Find these items by sorting your search results by distance - nearest first, or use Local bargain finder. This clever site allows you to enter your postcode, distance you want to travel and maximum budget, and trawls eBay to find local hidden gems.
  2. Look out for poor spelling misspelt item descriptions or those with typos will attract fewer bids because many people don't see them when they search using the correct spelling. Two clever sites to help you track down these listings include Fat fingers and Goof bay.
  3. Find no bid items Sellers often start auctions at just 99p hoping to attract attention and fuel a bidding war. This doesn't always happen as many items go undiscovered and remain at this super bargain price. To track down no bid items, visit Last minute auctions, which scours for eBay auctions that are due to finish within an hour but are still under £1
  4. Sign up for favourites If you are in the market for something that is quite rare or just much cheaper to buy second hand, set up a saved search to keep up to date with new listing without having to constantly check eBay yourself. When you have searched for the item, click the save this search link and you'll have the option to receive email notifications from eBay when sellers list new items that match your search.When you have tracked down something you want to buy, the fun part starts with some clever bidding tactics. Have a budget in mind and do some research to find out what final price similar items have sold for to avoid paying over the odds.
  5. Don't rush to bid Yes it is tempting, but avoid bidding early. Even with a bid as low as £1.50 for example, it can trigger competing bids from other buyers, which will drive the price up. The best tactic is to sneak in with a cheeky bid in the last few seconds giving no time for others to bid back.
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