How could eBay sniping be any easier? Check out our Ten Reasons to Snipe.
BidSlammer How-To: Reselling on eBay Re-sellers: Tried Sniping?
Newletter Sponsored by BidSlammer.com

I have been buying and re-selling on eBay since 1995. I have been with them through the changes and have learned quite a bit over the years, refining my tactics along the way. I would say that, each year, I get about 20% better than the year before.

However, a friend of mine introduced me to BidSlammer, and I doubled my sales in about 2 months. Over the next several months, I added another 50%. Thanks to BidSlammer, I was able to quit my day job and now I feel that my worries are truly over. I am making well over $80,000 a year profit just on the items that I sell.

So how did I do this? I'm happy to share my secrets -- however the names of some of the items I buy have been changed to protect the innocent -- or naemly, to protect you from going off and re-selling the same items that I have been finding.


Step 1. Find an item.

The first thing you need to do is locate an item of interest, something that you know a lot about, so that you can identify good deals, or something where you know the market value very well. When I started buying/selling on eBay in 1995, it was mainly a collectible site, so I will use the example of baseball cards (or Barbie dolls) for the discussion.

So, I decided to start buying up a bunch of baseball cards for good prices, and then re-selling them.


Step 2. Market research and 75% point.

Use eBay's "search completed items" feature to look at old items and how much they have sold for in the past. This is a critical step. You must know what the "80% point" is.

The "75% point" is the value which represents 75% of the market value of the produce. For example, if I know for a fact that a 1960 Mickey Mantle rookie card goes for $10,000, then I would tell myself that I would buy any such item for $7,500.


Step 3. Place your bets!

If you are new to eBay, then you may not be familiar with the concept of "sniping," or placing your bid at the last second so as to mask your interest -- and keep the price of the bid down. Let's take a moment to talk about that.

When I started buying on eBay, I realized very quickly that if I placed bids on auctions several days before they closed, then I simply would not win. I also noticed that the person that won the auction ended up paying a lot more for the item than I would have.

Truly, the only way to win an auction at a good price is to wait until the closing seconds of the auction. This way, people do not know of your interest. They won't be waiting around until the end to manually place a bid.

BidSlammer automatically places the bids at the last second for you. In fact you can place 100's of bids across items, and just win one of them if you wish.

So back to the bid placing. Okay, so I will identify about 50-100 different items that I want. I will select a standard bid which I will place across all the items. Using BidSlammer, I simply surf eBay, and when I see an item I want, I place my bid into BidSlammer's "Slam-It" control panel. After about ten or fifteen minutes, I have several items selected.

Also worth mentioning here: I don't necessarily have to win 50 items if I don't want to. I can "group" them together, such that if I win one of the items in the "group", then it will shut off the other bids in that group.


Step 4. Look over your loot!

About 3 to 7 days later, I go to my BidSlammer home page and then look over my loot. Sure enough, I have WON several of the items for which I placed bids. Generally if I place bids on about 100 items, I will win anywhere from 5 to 15 of them, depending on how agreesive I was.

The thing that you have to remember is that the higer yor bid, the better likelihood that you will win the auction. For example, if I place a full-value bid (100%), then there is a very high chance I will win the auction, perhaps 80%. However, if I place a 50%-value bid, there is more like a 10% chance I will win the auction. The likelyhood goes down exponentially as I decrease my bid.

That's why I use the 75% point. It's a perfect interim value. Works every time.


Step 5. Reap the rewards!

Now I have paid for my items and they have all come in the mail. I leave positive feedback where applicable for all my sellers -- this is a critial step also. It is important to leave positive feedback to a deserving seller -- that way you will increase you own feedback rating as well, when they return the favor.

Let's say that I have managed to purchase 10 items. I will always list one of these per day, so that if a potential buyer misses out on one of my items, they can always try again the next day. Also, I always set my items to end at 7pm Pacific time.

I never set a reserve price on popular items. A popular item will start off with bids early, and the number of bids showing will attract even more bidders. Sometimes bidders decide to place a bid simply because they see that several others already have done so -- they figure the other folks have perused the auction and found it satisfactory to bid on. THIS IS A KEY STEP. YOU MUST DESIGN YOUR LISTING SO THAT YOU ACCUMULATE BIDS.

The next thing you know, at the end of the week, I have sold all of my items -- all of them for market value or better. I have reaped a 20% reward for my troubles.


Step 6. Other miscellaneous comments

If you are an experienced buyer, then you have already figured out that the above tactics only work on very popular items. There are a few reasons for this which are all related. First, you simply cannot guarantee that you are going to sell the item. Second, you cannot guarantee that you will always be able to sell the item at market value. Third, your method of starting the bid price low may backfire on you, and you might have to sell an item for less that what you paid. Setting a reserve price does not solve this problem -- if an item is not popular, you won't get bids. It's that simple.


Would you like to write for BidSlammer, in exchange for $50 of free service? Send us your story, and we'll print it! Drop us a line by clicking on "Help" above.