Using Buy It Now on eBay

In: Auctions

23 Feb 2009

Tired of waiting around for the end of an auctiononly to find out you didn’t have the winning bid? Well, there’s a way to actually buy some items you see for auctionwithout going through the bidding process. All you have to do is look for those auctions that have a Buy It Now option.

eBay also offers true fixed-price listingsthat is, item listings with no bidding allowed. These work pretty much like Buy It Now auctions, except that your only option is to buy at the stated price; you can’t place a lower bid.

Buy It Now is an option that some (but not all) sellers add to their auctions. With Buy It Now, the item is sold (and the auction ended) if the very first bidder places a bid for a specified price. (For this reason, some refer to Buy It Now auctions as “fixed-price” auctionseven though they’re slightly different from eBay’s real fixed-priced listings.)

Buying an item with Buy It Now is really simple. If you see an item identified with a Buy It Now price (as shown in Figure 8.1), just enter a bid at that price. You’ll immediately be notified that you’ve won the auction, and the auction will be officially closed.

Of course, you don’t have to bid at the Buy It Now price. You can bid at a lower price and hope that you win the auction, which then proceeds normally. (The Buy It Now option disappears when the first bid is madeor, in a reserve price auction, when the reserve price is met.) But if you want the item nowand you’re willing to pay the asking priceyou can use the Buy It Now option to make an immediate purchase.

You should use Buy It Now only if you really, really, really want the item; if you think the Buy It Now price is reasonable; if you fear that the final price will be higher than the Buy It Now price; or if you don’t want to wait for the auction to run its course to complete your purchase.

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