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eBay Hacks, 2nd Edition by David A. Karp

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Hack #31. Manipulate Buy It Now Auctions

Save money with the loopholes of the Buy It Now feature.

The Buy It Now feature that appears in some auctions allows a bidder to bypass the bidding process and end an auction early at some predeterminedprice. Whether or not this is a good deal for the buyer, however, depends on the Buy It Now price the seller has chosen.

The Buy It Now option remains visible on the auction page until the first bid is placed, after which it disappears. (The exception is reserve-price auctions, where Buy It Now will be available as long as the reserve hasn't been met, regardless of the number of bids.) There are several ways to use this to your advantage.

Start with the Obvious

Some of the best deals on eBay are Buy It Now items, where the seller specifies too low a Buy It Now price, allowing you to snatch it before anyone else gets a chance. If you see a good price, why wait? Just click Buy It Now and end the auction without bidding.

Warning

There may be a reason that an auction has a low Buy It Now price; make sure you read the auction description carefully before you commit. And watch out for seller scams [Hack #25] . Buyers have the same obligation to complete Buy It Now transactions as those that end normally.

Click the Buy It Now tab in search results, and then sort by Newly Listed, and the newest Buy It Now auctions will appear first. This gives you a good chance to catch early deals, as they're unlikely to last more than a few hours.

Undercut the Buy It Now ...

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