How to Buy Cheap Things on eBay Easily

How to Buy Cheap Things on eBay Easily

When I buy something, it usually happens from the stuff cloud .
I get the item (used) on eBay or eBay classifieds and use it as long as I need it. When it is no longer needed, I sell it in the reverse way.
Instead of owning things permanently and accumulating more and more clutter, I simply pick things out of the “clutter cloud” if necessary and return them back to where they are needed.

But first a warning. In this article, I show how I can shop extremely cheap and comfortable things. Of course, this should not be abused to suddenly buy a lot of clutter, just because it is cheap.

Auction instead of instant buy

When I sell an item through eBay, I usually do not place it as an auction, but as an instant buy offer. Why? If you buy a fixed-price offer, you will receive your article directly after receipt of payment and you do not have to wait until the end of the auction.
We humans were knitted by the evolution so that we would like to have things immediately (keyword: instant gratification ). That’s why – at least my observation – fixed-price items go on average to higher prices on the virtual counter. When buying I use this effect in reverse and therefore offer preferably on auctions.

3,2,1 … mine!

Have you ever bid on an eBay auction? I can tell you, that’s the thrill!

Log in a few minutes before the auction ends . The article already has a few bids, but is still far below what you would pay. So you give yourself a bid – 20 €.
Zack, for two and a half minutes you’re the highest bidder, then someone raises the price to $23.81.
Nagut, let’s wait … and pass them all a few seconds before the end of the auction. So you lie in wait and watch the auction clock, which is ticking in big red letters towards the end.

Just over two minutes left. Take a deep breath and take a long drink from your glass of water.

One minute and thirty seconds. Slowly you feel the nervousness rising in you. You start to sweat. The price rises to $26,13.

The last minute begins. Now you clearly feel the heartbeat in your chest. One last check: Are you sitting right now? Does the internet connection work? The price jumps to $37.54.

20 seconds left. The adrenaline shoots into your veins. The pulse jumps to 180. Now it’s full concentration. Very slowly, digit by digit, you type in your highest bid in the input field – $50.

The last seconds. Seven, six, five … you pull off ice cold. The time while the page reloads seems endless. Finally, the relief: Your shot was a hit, you won the auction. For $43.65, the article belongs to you.

Have you ever had this experience? Do you know the excitement in the last seconds of an eBay auction?

That’s how bloody beginners do it.

Fully automatic offer with snip

Proper eBay pros do not even get their fingers dirty, but hires for the article shooting a serious contract killer. And that means in my case: Snip .

Snip is a so-called online bidding agent that automatically submits eBay bids to you, even when you’re sleeping or when your computer is turned off. You simply tell Snip which item to bid on, how much money you want to bid, and how many seconds before the auction ends the bid is fired. Snip takes over the exciting part fully automatically.

Snip is operated by Polish developer Piotr Tomczyk, but there is also a German translation of the site. To use the service, you must first register an account with Snip and associate it with his eBay account. As a new user you will receive five free shots. If these are used up, the snip credit must be recharged – this can be conveniently done via PayPal.

A shot is counted only if you have won the auction and then costs around $0.15. Shots that “miss” do not incur costs.

Add an article to Snip

After registering and linking your eBay account with Snip, you can add shots to auctions. All you have to do is copy the internet address (URL) of the eBay auction and paste it into Snip’s designated field.

After clicking on Snip this! a form will appear in which you enter your highest bid.

Think about exactly one price that you are willing to pay up to. From that you deduct the shipping costs and receive your highest bid.

The Shot Buffer field indicates how many seconds before the end the bid is fired. The default setting should normally be sufficient here.

Then you click on shot add – done. Now you can devote yourself to other things again. Snip does the rest and you get an e-mail from eBay when you win an auction.

With groups bid on multiple auctions
In the shot settings, there is also another handy feature: the shot group .

Imagine, you want to bid on a lawnmower. To increase your chance of winning an auction, Snip will offer you three or four auctions simultaneously. What you want to avoid, of course: that Snip wins several (or even all) of these auctions for you and you end up by accidentally buying four lawnmowers.

Exactly for Snip there is the group feature. First, go to the top of the navigation group and click on Create New Shot Group .

Then you give the group a name and set the shot limit.

If you add several auctions to the same group of shots, then at most as many items will be auctioned, as your shooting limit dictates. For example, if your shooting limit is 2 and you win two auctions in the group, then Snip will not bid on the remaining auctions.

If you only want to buy a single item, you simply leave the limit at 1.

Cozy online shopping on eBay

Now we have all the tools and know-how we need to go shopping on eBay – almost fully automatic and just as relaxed as on Amazon or in-store.

The other day I wanted to buy a new pair of shoes for skating. In the store such treads are hardly available for less than $50 €. On eBay, I usually get some for $10 to $20. Often they have not been worn more than a few times.

And so I go shopping:

  • First, I create a new shot group at Snip. In this case she is simply called skate shoes .
  • Then I enter on eBay a matching search term in the search box (eg ” skate shoes 43″ ). Important: Also, look for a few alternative terms or brand names, such as ” Skater Shoes 43 ” or ” Nike 43″.
  • For the delivered search results, I set the search filter to auctions only and sort the list to B ald ending. So I get all the auctions that expire within the next few days. What also works well: Sort the offers by lowest price including shipping , without filtering on auctions. As a rule, the auctions should appear first, as these typically have a low starting price. The advantage of this method: So I do not get cheap instant buy offers through the rags.
  • Then I leaf through the list bit by bit. All the offers that I like, I click on and look at the pictures and the description. I like the article, then I add the auction at snip to my group. 
    When I filter for near-ending auctions, I flick through until the auction ends a week or more away. If I sort by price including shipping , I will scroll until the prices are higher than I am willing to pay.
  • Now my snip group is first fed and I can devote myself to other things again. If I did not win an auction after a week (or there were no suitable offers at the moment), then I just repeat the process.

That’s how I bought a pair of skate shoes after a few days. Very comfortable and without much excitement. I paid including shipping exactly $8.00.
And what do I do if I do not like the shoes or do not like them? Then I just sell them – either on the spot in the circle of friends, on eBay classifieds or again on eBay.


With an automatically bidding agent like Snip you can shop on eBay super comfortable, almost like in a usual online shop. At auctions, second-hand goods are often available for a fraction of the original price. You do not have to spend a lot of money on expensive equipment, hobby equipment or branded products. In addition, our environment and the resources of our earth are happy when used things are reused and less new junk is produced.

Have you also had experience with eBay auctions? Do you even use an automatic bidding agent? 
Or do you know quite different ways to buy cheap stuff from the Stuff Cloud? 

I’m looking forward to your comments!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *