Ever wonder how people use ebay sniping to find products at a super low price?
Flipping products on eBay is a quick and easy way to make money online but carries some risk. By learning the art of sniping though, you can take your flipping to the next level and guarantee yourself a good profit. Keep reading to find out more…
‘Flipping’ a product on eBay is one of the best ways to make money on the web and it’s something we’ve discussed right here on the blog in previous articles. The concept is simple: choose a product, buy it and then sell it for more than you paid. In theory, you can then invest your profits back into buying items in bulk or you can start flipping things of greater value; eventually even scaling the process into a full-blown business. You could be making a living from the comfort of your home, without even needing to change out of your PJs…
Of course it’s not quite that easy though and you always run the risk of buying the wrong product and being unable to find a buyer who’s willing to pay your new asking price. Either you then end up with stock you can’t shift, or you’re forced to make a loss in order to clear more space in your basement. This doesn’t just come down to luck though, instead it’s a matter of strategy and good business sense that makes the difference between success and failure. Ultimately, there are two ways you can increase your chances of turning a profit:
Buying items significantly below market value
Adding value to your products after you’ve purchased them
Of these techniques, the former is certainly the quickest, the easiest and the one that’s most likely to work. So the question is: how you find items you can buy for less than they’re worth? The answer? ‘Sniping’.
Sniping is a strategy that you can use to make sure you always get your items for prices well-below what they’re worth. And once you get the technique down, you can pretty much start printing money…
What is Sniping?
If you’ve ever used eBay regularly as a ‘regular’ shopper, then you’ll have likely know the feeling of being outbid right at the last moment. With three seconds to go you were still the top bidder and you had already started rubbing your hands together. One second later though and someone has jumped in and grabbed the prize from under your nose… d’oh!
Welcome to the world of sniping my friend…
Sniping on eBay essentially means waiting until the very last moment during an auction and then placing the winning bid. This way a ‘sniper’ can avoid getting caught up in bidding wars and they can choose items that look like they’re about to sell for a bargain price.
Why Sniping Works
Really, sniping only works as well as it does because of the incorrect way that most people use eBay. The recommendations on the site suggest that you always place the highest bid you’re willing to pay and then leave the algorithms to do the work for you. As you’re probably aware, eBay has a system in place that allows a bidding war to occur without the need for human input by acting on your behalf. The system will place the smallest amount you need to be the top bidder and it will only increase this amount when someone else offers to pay more than that current offer. If you have set your maximum high enough, you’ll automatically beat that new bid and that new value will become the top bid. If your maximum is below what someone else is willing to pay though, then you’ll be out of the auction. In theory then, users only need to enter their maximum bid once and then leave to let eBay do its thing.
In reality though, that’s not how most people like to play. Instead, the majority of people will manually place bids that are just above the current winning bid. Then, when the price goes up, they’ll have to bid again – at which point they’ll once again offer just above the current value.
What this means for a sniper, is that the current value on an item is usually very close to the maximum bid anyone has entered. Therefore, snipers can swoop in at the last minute with a bid worth only a few dollars more and they’ll probably win the auction.
Sniping makes a lot of sense because it means you only need to place one bid and you don’t waste your time watching lots of items. You won’t get caught up in a bidding war and you’ll be keeping your hand close to your chest – no one will know you’re interested until it’s too late.
How to Snipe
There are two ways you can snipe on eBay. One option is to use sniping software which will place last minute bids for you, cutting it finer than you would probably be able to in person. You simply add the items you’re interested in to your Watch List or make a note of the item numbers, choose your maximum bid and then allow the software to do your dirty work. The computer doesn’t even need to be on in order for this to work. But best of all? A lot of this software is free.
If you want to snipe manually though, you simply need to search for the product you’re interested in and then choose ‘Sort: Time: Ending Soonest’.
This will bring all the items that are ending imminently to the top of the heap and if you’re lucky you might find some that are ending in the next few minutes. Otherwise, you can set a reminder on your phone and come back when the auctions are due to end.
Note: If you decide to snipe products manually, make sure not to act in haste. If you rush into a purchase, then you might risk choosing a product that’s faulty or isn’t what you were looking for. Slow and steady wins the race…
So your action plan is simple: choose some products you want to flip, snipe them for less than they’re worth and then resell them for a profit.
Before you get started though, you need to first choose the products you’re going to target and come up with a plan. Sticking to one ‘niche’ can help make the process of searching and listing items quicker, while picking products that are small and light can help you to avoid headaches with packaging. It’s advisable to start out small with one or two items and then to start investing more only once you’re comfortable with the system.
Before you know it, you’ll be turning over a small fortune!