If you are just dying to get that big TV or that Sony Playstation III and you simply can't afford it, or if you are looking for a hard to get item, you might want to start checking out the different online auction sites that are available. The three top online auctions are eBay, Yahoo and Amazon and here are a few tips that might help you get what you are looking for.
Do some research before you go off bidding on one of the sites. Know what you are looking for and do some research on similar items being sold by retailers as well as looked at some archived auctions to see what they have sold for during a different auction.
Once you decide on something that you want to bid on, it's always a good idea to make sure that you check out the history of the person who is selling the item or items. You can check out what the comments are about them from others that have won bids from them and have dealt with them at this level. All bidders have the opportunity to rate their experience with the seller and this should give you an idea on whether or not you want to chance bidding on this person's items.
You also want to make sure that you give sellers feedback after you have dealt with them. Because this way they will be encouraged to do the same for you. Buyers as well as sellers can receive this feedback which helps everyone know right up front what kind of person they might be dealing with. At least when it comes to business dealings.
If you have any questions about the item that you are interested in bidding, you should feel free to email the seller so that they can answer any questions that you might have. If the seller doesn't seem to want to answer your questions that might be pretty good indication that you don't want to deal with this seller and don't bid on their item.
Make sure that you look at the item description and read it over carefully. There are some sellers out there that like to try and hide the negative information or use language that is confusing or may even put the description in really small print. These kinds of things are ways to keep the buyer from really finding out what they need to find out about the item.
You should also make sure that you find out what the shipping is before you bid on it. If there is no shipping listed you need to email the seller and find out what it is. Sometimes sellers will try and get away with overcharging for shipping just to make some extra money in the deal.
A good way to bid is to use the proxy bid procedure. Here you can make the initial bid and then set a maximum bid you will pay and then your bids will automatically be increased with every competing bid until you reach your maximum bid. You will be emailed when you have been outbid.
In order to sneak above other bidders you should add pennies to your bid each time you bid. This is especially good if you find a bidder has a maximum of $50 and you bid $50.04. You just beat them by four cents. Another thing to do is to wait till the very last minute before the auction is scheduled to end to place a bid. A lot of times you can sneak in with a winning bid by doing this.
Final note: Do your best to use credit cards if at all possible. They provide your protection that checks and money orders do not provide. And never, never send the seller cash.