Looking at Bid History on eBay gives you the advantage of knowing what you're up against in a particular auction. Use it to determine what to do in the auction - or whether to even bother placing a bid at all in that auction!

Before even considering bothering with an auction, here's the basics of these considerations. Determine the popularity and scarcity of the item in consideration. Many Nintendo and Super Nintendo RPG games are extremely valuable and are often put to auction instead of Buy-It-Now, because it draws many bidders into the auction - including inexperienced folks, who tend to do little else than jack up the price by early and frequent bidding!

When I come across auctions like this, I move on and look for Buy-It-Now listings. Sometimes I "frankenstein" my games together with games like this, purchasing components instead and eventually completing the sets. It is far less costly in many cases! Use your judgment in individual cases.

Here's What to Look For in the Bid History:

  • Experience levels of the other bidders
  • Automatic Bidding
  • How many bids have been placed
  • How many bidders involved
  • Who's there now and who's given up

The numbers in the parentheses (with the stars) say a lot about the bidders. The higher the number, the more experience the bidder has. Note that this number isn't always just buying activity but both buying and selling! In this listing, I knew I was up against some experienced folks here, especially the one with 2669!

Each line represents a bid that has been placed. Notice that some are lighter gray than the others. These are "automatic bids." If you place a "maximum bud" you automatically go into incremental bidding wherein eBay places bids for you each time you are out-bid by another bidder. This goes on until your maximum bid has been reached. Bidders can't see your maximum bid and they will either keep trying to outbid you or give up. The more experienced a bidder is, the more likely you will find these automatic bids in the queue.

This CAN be dangerous! It's where I made my error! Look on the right of the image. You can see my error already in place in the Place Bid field! I was doing some serious overkill here! More on that in the next page...

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MBrownie Premium
Thanks for the great info Daniel. I don't know much about Ebay but your information has now peaked my interest!
When you are new to eBay or haven't used it very much, it is very easy to get caught up in doing the way eBay suggests, which isn't always in your best interest.

I've been around eBay now since 2001, though for a long space of time, I did not use it. The last couple years, I've been using it extensively again, but most of the tricks I know now I've learnt in the first three years using it, learnt by doing.

It's sad to see folks on the first day of an auction placing bids on it. When I see that, and enough people having done it, I pass that auction by.
JewelCarol Premium
Great stuff, thanks for sharing, Daniel. :)
WilliamBH Premium
Great info .. Cheers, William
lstrickland Premium
Hi Daniel thank you for the information.
onmyownterms Premium
Thanks for sharing!