All About Auctions
The value of an item is determined by how much someone’s willing to spend to have it. That’s what makes auctions exciting. eBay offers several different kinds of auctions, but for the most part, they all work the same way.
An auction is a unique sales event where the exact value of the item for sale is not known. As a result, there’s an element of surprise involved — not only for the bidder (who may end up with a great deal) but also for the seller (who may end up making a killing). A seller pays a fee, fills out an electronic form, and sets up the auction, listing a minimum bid he or she is willing to accept for the item. Think of an auctioneer at Christie’s saying, “The bidding for this diamond necklace begins at $5,000.” You can bid $4,000, but it won’t do you any good. Sellers can also set a reserve price — sort of a financial safety net that protects them from losing money on the deal.
Bidders duke it out over a period of time (sometimes the minimum three days but usually a week or even longer) until one comes out victorious. Usually, the highest bidder wins. The tricky thing about participating in an auction (and the most exciting aspect) is that no one knows the final price an item goes for until the last second of the auction.
So you wanna sell stuff
If you’re a seller, creating an auction page at eBay is as simple as filling out an online form. You type in the name of your item, a short description, add a picture if you want to, set your price, and voilà — it’s auction time. eBay charges a small fee ($.25 to $4.80) for the
When you list your item, millions of people from all over the world can take a gander at it and place bids. All you do is sit back and watch the bids come in. With a little luck, a bidding war can break out and drive the bids up high enough for you to turn a nice profit. After the auction, you deal directly with the buyer, who sends you the payment. Then you ship the item. Go out and meet your friendly mail carrier, courteously accept your payment, and grin wildly all the way to the bank. Abracadabra — you just turned everyday clutter into cash!
So you wanna buy stuff
If you’re a collector or you just like to shop for bargains, you can browse 24 hours a day through the items up for auction in eBay’s thousands of categories, which range from Antiques to Writing Instruments. Find the item you want, do a little research on what you’re buying and who’s selling it, place your bid, and keep an
eye on it until the auction closes.
When you see an item you like, you can set up a bidding strategy and let the games begin. You can bid as many times as you want on an item, and you can bid on as many auctions as you want.