Creative ways to find bargains on auction sites

We all love to find a bargain, and auction sites are great places to shop. But how do you get a good deal on ebay, listia, etc?

Here are a couple of ways I have found that work:
-Know your product before shopping. I love Vera Bradley products, but they are very expensive. While they often go on sale, that is still a bit steep. So I try to find what I am wanting on an auction site, and often with good results. It is NOT a good deal to get caught up in the auction frenzy and pay more than you could get it on sale in the store or on their web site.
-Determine the condition of the product you want. Do you need it to be NWT (new with tags) or will used work? How about gently used? When I am buying books for our home school or my college girls, used is just fine.
-Look closely at shipping costs! Some people try to make money on shipping, and offer low purchase prices. I once was looking at a small item- running shorts for my Cross Country running daughter, and the seller was charging $15 shipping, for something that was going to cost her <$4.00. I bought from another seller.
-Try creative ways of searching- I have found great deals by spelling the name/ title incorrectly. Try it, you will be surprised how careless some sellers are. Back to my Vera Bradley example, my last couple of purchases have been listed as Vera Bradly- and I got a GREAT deal.
-Shop in the off season. Just like the stores, auction sites will have more stock of items in season, but your best prices may be in the off season.
-Don't be in a hurry, if you can wait. Watch a couple of auctions and see what others are paying for what you want. This will give you an idea of what you can expect to pay.
-If you make money from surveys, etc. have it deposited into a paypal account and then use this "free" money to shop on your favorite auction site.

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About dwolters

mama to 4 wonderful kids. live on a farm and raise sheep
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