Chapter five. Buy from ebay?


Sure, why not? Just like any other source from which you buy, you may do well, or maybe not! There are lots of factors to consider. Make sure you "connect" with a few silver companies first so you can compare what is on ebay with a retailer. I see people bidding up over the retail selling price for items all the time. Especially for silver bars.

There are a few ways to buy on ebay. Auctions, Buy and Best Offer. I have used all three at one time or another. Let's start with Auctions. Here are a few tips:

The way ebay works is if you bid an amount on an item, they will place that bid amount for you automatically and just offer from it the least amount required to make you the high bidder. So, for example, if you bid $100.00 on a coin or silver bar which starts at $50.00 (or has already been bid up to that amount) ebay will place you in at $51.00. Unless the other bidder has bid higher already, then it will seek an amount which is a dollar more than the highest existing bid. Your $100.00 will lurk out of sight until the auction time is over. All the while any other bidder that jumps in will increase the amount - with you still ahead at a dollar more than them, unless or until someone exceeds your $100.00 bid. Then at that point they win. But, if they exceed your bid of $100.00, and there is time left, you may increase your bid and possibly still win the auction.

Be careful in this. You are obligated to buy whatever you bid on. It is a contractual obligation and near impossible to get out of. So bid wisely.

Also - know what your are buying! Read the description carefully. Look closely at the photograph(s). Today (9-1-2014) I found this advertised in print:


"1881-S MORGAN DOLLAR PCGS CERTIFIED UNCIRCULATED BU MS64+ OLD GREEN HOLDER".
With this photograph:



As you see, it is NOT a plus (+) coin. The label is NOT green and (I know) it is NOT an old holder. The coin shown is currently worth about $15.00 less than what the print describes. So, be careful.


Here is a way to get past all that bidding. Don't place that bid. Just make up your mind about how much the item is worth to you and sit tight - put it on the watch list on ebay. When ebay notifies you the auction is close to ending (I use five minute warning) then see if the current bid is less than what you "want" to pay. If it is, you could end up as the winner. Remember, ebay wont necessarily spend all of whatever you bid - just what is needed to beat the other guys.

Don't bid yet. Now, sit and watch the item as the clock ticks down. Begin to click in with your bid but don't make that final click yet. (You will need to do a little practice on this to see what I mean - but once you get it right you will be buying stuff!) So, watching and waiting as the onscreen clock ticks down toward the end of the auction. When it reaches a few seconds before the end ZAP it in! If you timed it right (I use six-seconds before ending) you will get your bid in and anyone watching wont have time to counter your offer! You win.
Screen shot. This is it. If you click "confirm" it bids automatically for you.
In the shot above, you will see there is 5 minutes and 58 seconds left. WAY to soon to bid! That screen is active and the timer is counting down. Wait, wait - wait. When it reaches under ten seconds (I use 6) click on it! In the case above, I got the coin for $91.00, which, of course, pissed off that guy sitting on his/her $85.05 bid. But, I got the coin.

How can you know how much to use as my maximum bid? I'm not telling! I have to retain some edge!

This is actually simpler than it appears at first. After a few times you will be able to buy like crazy and be as broke all the time, like I am!