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Is Bidding Behavior Changing On eBay

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Ralph asks, I used to get lots of bids during the course of an auction, but now most of my bids come on the first day and the last 24 hours. Is this change in bidder behavior happening with all sellers?

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I had some auctions ending last night, and I spent a few hours watching them. I try not to watch my auctions because it’s really unproductive, but I was curious about something.

You see, it used to be the bids on my auctions would go up in a natural progression over the course of the listing period. Slowly, over the duration of the auction, the bid amounts would climb toward my expected sales price. They didn’t change much in the last minutes.

This doesn’t happen anymore. Now, most items just get a few bids and only reach about a third of the price I expect. Then, in the last few seconds, the prices shoot upward as snipe bids are entered.

Last night, almost every one of my auctions got bids in the last ten seconds. In some cases, the price quadrupled in that same ten seconds.
This means the majority of buyers in my niche are now snipe bidding.

Why is this important to you?

First, you don’t want to end eBay auctions early.

Last month, I was watching an item I wanted for my collection. The seller had cancelled the listing and then relisted it for another bidder as a Buy It Now. By doing that, the seller missed out on a potential bidding war; he probably would have done better just waiting for the auction to end. In fact, a week later, a similar item went for over $100 more than he got for his.

The lesson here is to allow your auctions to end normally when there could be snipers watching. How do you know? Your “My eBay – Items I’m Selling” page shows the number of people who are watching an auction. If you have watchers, you probably have snipers. Here’s an article on Seller Uses For eBay Watch Lists.

And the second reason…

Looking at active auctions is not a good way to determine values.

You probably already know this, but it it’s so important it bears repeating: always search completed auctions when researching antiques values.

Did this answer your question? If not, try looking at the questions and answers within the General category, or do a search for other questions.
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