To have the best chance of winning an auction for the best possible price, you need to get schooled in science of sniping, or bidding at the last possible moment.
Step 1: Register on eBay Register on eBay, if you're not already, and make sure you're signed in on the day the auction ends. Keep track of the auction you wish to win, including the current bid price, time left in the auction, and the ending time. Set up a text or e-mail alert with eBay to remind you to bid.
Step 2: Read carefully Read the auction description carefully and ask any questions before sniping, which will leave you no time for questions or to retract your bid.
Step 3: Get ready Get ready to snipe by going to the auction page a few minutes before the end time and opening the auction page in two separate browser windows. Reposition and resize the windows so they are side by side.
TIP: If it's a hot item, there's likely to be several snipers. The one who submits the highest bid closest to the end of the auction is the winner.
Step 4: Put in your bid Put your maximum bid in the first window and select Place Bid but do not hit the Confirm Bid button on the next page. Scroll down the page so the Confirm Bid button is visible.
Step 5: Confirm bid Go to the other window and refresh the page so you can see the current price and time left. Keep refreshing until there are 10 to 15 seconds left. Then go back to the other open window and hit the Confirm Bid button. Hit the Refresh link to see if your bid was accepted.
TIP: If you have a slow internet connection, you won't be able to refresh as fast and will probably have to enter your bid about 30 seconds earlier.
Step 6: Use one-click bid Use eBay's one-click bid feature to quickly increase your bid if you're outbid and there's still time left. You need to be signed in to eBay and have at least one bid on the item already.
Step 7: Use sniping services Check out fee-based, online sniping services if you don't plan to be around for the end of the auction. They can't increase your maximum bid, but they do the sniping for you, and many services offer a free trial. Happy hunting!
FACT: EBay is the world's largest online marketplace, with more than 90 million users worldwide.