Top 10 Best eBay Buying Tools To Grab A Bargain
There are many free tools and websites to find items you might otherwise miss out on, research sellers and feedback, or even snipe – bid on your behalf at the last minute so that you don’t have to be glued to your screen at four in the morning…
Updated Feb 2015
Before looking at each website or tool, some of the main bargains arise from:
You can take advantage of sellers’ spelling mistakes e.g. if a seller lists a Panasonic TV as ‘Pansonic’ it won’t appear in normal searches for that brand so not as many people will find it. Less potential buyers means less competition, so the odds are high that it will end up selling cheaply – bad for the seller but good for you.
There are several good websites that search for such items – you put in the correct spelling and they find items for sale with combinations of misspellings e.g. Pansonic, Panasoni etc.
Sniping means placing your bid at the last possible moment. This usually means you win more auctions at better prices because there is no time for competing buyers to up their own bids. You can do this manually from your computer but this can be inconvenient. Automated sniping services make the bid for you based on your preset maximum amount and timescale – so you don’t have to be at your computer (it doesn’t even need to be on) because the online service places the bid on your behalf.
Sniping services require your eBay username and password to bid on your behalf. Obviously this is a security risk so do some research and only use services you trust – eBay will not offer you protection if that third party misuses your account… If you do use one, do not use the same password for eBay as for any of your other accounts – especially Paypal, banks or email.
Misspellings tool is designed to find misspelled items on eBay listings. Choice of 10 countries to search. Options to narrow down searches include buy it now, auction only, price range, exclude accessories, search title and description. Also offers:
Local Bargain Finder – search within your local area (user specified distance of your location) for bargains which are for collection only e.g. furniture, PCs and other large items. Collection only items usually sell for less than those able to be posted as the market is necessarily more limited.
Last Minute – search for items by category and price which end in the next hour.
Misspellings tool designed to find misspelled items. Choice of 13 countries to search.
Options to narrow down searches include selling categories, buy it now, search title and description, completed listings, single bid items.
Provides the largest range of services – a one stop shop.
Misspellings tool designed to find misspelled items. Choice of 13 countries to search. Options to narrow down searches include distance, condition, buy it now, price range, local pickup only, search title and description, zero bids only with further filters by category, seller ratings and end time etc. Also offers many other tools:
Free automated Auction Sniper tool. Feedback Checker, Seller History, Bid History, Best Offers etc – all accessible from the Goofbay home page.
Another Auction Sniper tool – it automatically places your bid at the exact time you specify. The free version has 2 main limitations – you can only snipe as late as 10 seconds before the auction ends (Priority paid version = 3 seconds) and you can only snipe 3 times per week (Priority paid version = unlimited).
Another Auction Sniper tool. The free version has 2 main limitations – you can only snipe as late as 8 seconds before the auction ends (Value paid version = 5 seconds) and you can only snipe 5 times per week (Value paid version = unlimited).
Invaluable and simple to use tool to quickly find and filter seller feedback for a specific item. Can save a lot of time searching through pages of user feedback comments for an item you’re considering buying. Easiest way to explain its use is from their website:
“It browses through thousands of feedback comments, picking only those that were given for the item you’re looking for. All you have to do is enter the seller ID and a few keywords, and within a few seconds you get the result”.
Search current offers on eBay (7 countries available) for auctions which meet 2 simple criteria – the auction ends within 1 hour and the price is currently 1 dollar (or equivalent local currency) or less.
Some of these items may be stocking fillers not worth more than a dollar anyway but there may be some gems in there.
8. Official Deal Finder Compare prices with prices on top retail websites to get the steepest discounts on brand new items in entertainment – movies, music, electronics, video games and books. All sellers on DealFinder are eBay Top-rated sellers. Options to narrow down searches include filtering by genre, format, category, price etc.
9. Official Web Browser Extensions
Don’t want to be tied to their website? eBay provide web browser add-ons to get instant search results, desktop alerts, search from anywhere on the web and instant My eBay viewing – without having to browse to eBay’s site.
Browser extensions are available for IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari here – the page will automatically recognize your browser and show the most relevant extension with a ‘Get Now’ button.
Note: the download link for IE8 does not work at the time of writing.
10. Official Mobile Apps
Want to use eBay whilst out and about? Mobile and tablet users can get the official app here. Select your mobile/platform in the top tabs to open a page giving more details and a download link to the particular app web store.
Check the details as the features vary considerably between apps e.g. there are no selling features in the Windows Phone 7 app yet.
Buying on eBay can be fun and, if you do your research, offer bargains compared to other shops and websites. These tools offer a variety of ways to improve your chances of grabbing a bargain whilst avoiding poor sellers.