Lucky Fairy God Mother

How to Win the eBay Lottery

by Robert Perkis / Lotto-Logix

Ebay is not your grandfather's auction house, it is really a 
lottery disguised as an auction and much more exciting since 
you only pay if you win!!!

We play lotto, enter contests and sweepstakes because we like to win nice prizes. Winning is what it's all about for lottery players and eBay has plenty of opportunities to play and win your heart's desire.

Ebay is incredible, possibly the most important synergy of market place and bank to come out of the internet. Like the proverbial Hollywood and Vine everything ever made will eventually appear for auction on eBay where you can win it!!!

Lottery players will find their fine tuned lottery playing skills of tracking and waiting to pounce will stand them in fine stead to take on the challenges of winning at eBay.


In the beginning eBay can appear a bit tricky, computers for one cent, what's that all about? These aspects can confuse some and anger others, but once you know what it's really about, it won't bother you in the least.

Ebay was the first and still is the greatest market place on the World Wide Web and they've merged with PayPal the first viable bank on the Web creating a powerhouse company unrivaled to this day. As eBay has no inventory investment and nibbles just a bit from every transaction, they are almost pure profit incarnate.

Ebay attempts to maintain a level playing field for sellers and buyers to do business in an honest atmosphere even offering to guarantee smaller purchases will be satisfactory or your money back. When this much business passes through your toll booth you want to keep a good reputation.

How to Join:

You don't have to join to look around eBay, just use the search box on this page to see if that special item you wished for is currently available.

If you decide to join eBay, just click on one of the sign-up invitations and fill out the form. Don't play games because the address you provide is where your wins will be delivered. You should also join PayPal because that is the easiest way to pay for items you win.

When you join eBay you will receive your own very useful home page called "My eBay" where you can watch items of interest and automatically keep a list of the items you are bidding on.

PayPal is a real online bank and part of eBay. You open an account just like you would at your local bank and can fund the account with your credit card or leave the account at zero and PayPal will act as a buffer between you and seller billing through your credit card. There are three stages of having an account, unverified (not everyone will do business with you) verified address (this plus funding through your credit card is very good) and Verified where you link your local bank account to your online account (too scary for me).

To join PayPal just click on the PayPal banner on this web page and fill out the form. When finished you will have an online bank account. Having the account and paying for things online is free, PayPal takes a bite when you get a refund or someone sends you money.

How to find things on eBay:

Ebay offers both an index and two search engines. The lesser search engine is the eBay search box just like the search box on this page. If you wanted to see if there were any lottery books for sale you could type in lottery book and get thousands of listings for lottery and or book or you type in quotation marks "lottery book" and you will be shown only listings with lottery book in the title. If that isn't enough listings check the box [X] to look in Titles and Descriptions.

The better search is [Search] at the top of every eBay web page. This more sophisticated search allow you to select only sellers who accept payments by PayPal which makes life much easier. When you use this search the items are listed in the order in which they expire first to six days out, easier then the Index listing which first sorts them by I don't know what seemingly random [Current] offers.

While the Index isn't really all that useful, when you visit a page you can generally find more of the same by looking at the top of the page where it tells you what section of the Index the page is listed under, click that and see them all.

Winning on eBay:

It's all about winning, getting the greatest deal at the lowest possible price. Ebay looks like an auction, but it isn't really because it has a timed ending.

In a live auction bidders bid until they exhaust their budgets and the one who bid the highest amount for the item wins.

On eBay, the highest bidder at the moment the auction times out is the winner, big difference as we shall see!

First things first, know the value of what you bid on. Bidding and what you receive is always chancy. If the item is available locally for the same price you are better off buying it off the shelf where you can examine it firsthand.

Once an expectation of good value for the likely win price has been established, check the Shipping and Handling charges.

Every listing on eBay is a different seller so shipping charges can vary considerably even being an extra source of income for some sellers. Avoid if possible all auctions where the Shipping and Handling charges are not clearly defined and reasonable.

With Shipping and Handling, it's all a matter of balance. You have to look at whether the total package is a good deal or not. If it is an overall great deal don't get annoyed paying six times the postage rate to get your prize.

For example, won a $99. value 512k computer memory bar for $28. and the Shipping and Handling charge was $6.00. When the package arrived the postage was 60 cents, the memory works and is everything it's supposed to be, I learn to live with it.

Watching: As lottery players we have a tendency to pounce on a good thing. Many first time eBay users think they have to bid on the first item they find that fits their requirements often just so they can find it again. This is why the [My eBay] page has a [Watching] area. As you find possible candidates for bidding click on the [Watch this item] and it will be added to your [My eBay] page's watching section where you keep your list of possible items to consider bidding on.

Bidding Strategy:

A win is the item we want at a great price. We accomplish our goal by not causing the price to rise through useless bidding.

There are only three times you want to actually place a bid.

When you will be the first bidder, bid the minimum. It is surprising how often people will see a bid was placed and move on. Expect to be outbid at some point, don't worry about it as the single purpose of the bid was to reduce the total number of biders bidding up the price.

When you will be second bidder, bid the minimum, expect to be outbid (sometimes instantly by Proxy Bid) don't worry the only purpose of the bid is to be among the bidders. We do this because some people get really weird after thinking an item was theirs for a week only to get outbid at the last minute. Don't bother if there are already several bidders, just watch.

Update: ebay has a rule against snipping, waiting to the last minute and bidding a large amount. While enforcement is rare it is now a good idea to place at least one bid prior to the final bid at the auction's end.

Many people still think eBay is an auction. I am always amazed to watch someone think the goal is to be highest bidder fighting off their challengers all week, what they are doing is bidding up the price, stupid, stupid, stupid. Actually some times this becomes a great opportunity because they chase off other bidders making their tiny increases, which means if you wait until the last minute, you can bid an amount greater then their usual bump and take home the prize.

Yes, the only time you really need to bid, is at the last moment possible, a minute before the "auction" ends.

What exactly do we mean by bidding at the last minute? Have an amount written down, know your password, be logged in, on the item page watching and refreshing as the time drops to two minutes, check your watch, enter the bid, go to the Confirm your Bid page and at about 90 seconds remaining, Confirm the Bid. See if you won, pay immediately through PayPal. Wait by the mailbox.

Last Bid Strategy: Normal auction: Know what you are willing to spend to get what you want after shipping and handling, say $60.00 add to this an amount that will be cents over anyone bidding a round figure at the normal rate of increase.

Say the eBay recommended bid increases are $1.00 and the item is now at $38.00 and the newbies have been one upping each other all week and there's maybe someone using strategy out there watching as well.

Wait until the last minute and bid $61.17 for example, this will beat anyone who drops $60.00 or $60.01 at the last minute and still be above any slew of dollar increases coming in at the last second from the newbies. (Newbies: People with few or no bid wins after their name/handle.)

How can you bid $61.17 when the current bid is only $38.00 and the recommend next bid is +$1.00? You can bid any amount you like over the current amount because eBay allows it and you will only have to pay the recommend bid amount over the next highest bid if you win. ie: If the newbies only bring the bid up to $42.00 you would pay $43.00 not the full $61.17 bid. Cool huh?

The original intent of Proxy Bidding was bid and forget. The bidder would find the perfect item, bid the maximum they would be willing to pay and come back in a week to see if they won.

The Proxy Bid acts like a friend sent to a real auction with instructions to only bid up to a certain amount. The intended purpose behind the eBay Proxy Bid is to push up the price as others who want to win must bid past the Proxy Bidder and the amount necessary to do so is unknown.

Lucky for us the Proxy Bid works just as well at the last minute for winning the final bid as it does for bidding up the price when used as intended.

Dutch Auction: A Dutch Auction is very much like a normal auction except there are more then one of the item so several people can win. Bid like you would for a normal auction only at the end if bidding has been active aim for outbidding the top bidder which should put you somewhere in the middle wins.

Watch out for Dutch auctions for bare bones computer systems. You can often get a lower price by visiting their online eBay store. Make sure they don't just take PayPal, but that they do so through eBay Checkout. If you do buy a computer this way, take the Intel cpu and upgrade the Power Supply and fans.

Reserve Price Not Met: Sellers can start an auction at any amount even one cent. They can also set a Reserve Price. They don't have to honor the win until the Reserve Price has been passed. Treat a Reserve Price auction like a normal auction, watch and see what it looks like at the end. Chances are the Reserve Price will be passed and from then on the auction is normal.

Buy It Now: Until the first bid the item can be purchased at once for the Buy It Now price. If reasonable and what you want, feel free to Buy It Now. Keep an eye out for new Buy It Now listings because the good deals get snapped up fast. If not your first bid will remove the Buy It Now feature and turns it into a normal auction.

How Not to get Taken:

Surprise, there are some crooks on eBay. Here are things to watch out for.

Greed Head: What happens when you think you are dealing with a seller who doesn't realize the value of what they've got. You think you've lucked on to a hot deal, but it isn't what you think because you're dealing with . . .

The Kid: Pretends he doesn't know how to use the item or couldn't get it to work so he's selling it, always broken!!!

The Busy Pro: Claims he doesn't have time to test the item, or is missing the power cord or something simple to make you think you have a chance to get lucky, not gonna happen.

The Liar: Claims to be selling the Family Treasure, was pulled from a dumpster. Fully refurbished means sprayed down with Windex. Looks to be in good condition, guy needs glasses. Fully tested, the power light came on, etc. Won't give you a straight answer to the question, "Does it work properly?"

Missing Parts and Information: Items are often used and parted out, the laptop with the long list of features must come with a working battery, you'd think so, wouldn't you? Funny the seller also has your battery for sale separately, used no guarantee. Don't count on anything not mentioned being included.

No Refunds: Claims something along the lines of having sold a good item a buyer ruined and was unfairly forced to refund so never again. Skip the agony of doing business with this loser.

Short Refund: Offers an extremely short refund period, unless you are ready to use the item the day it arrives the offer is more of a trick to avoid refunds then a guarantee.

No Such Item or Person: Often a teenager, creates a throwaway email, eBay and PayPal accounts to sell a bogus item and run. Signs can be a description of the item that doesn't match what you know about the item, lack of satisfied feedback from previous sales, phrases like "I'm selling another one . . ." without any sign of having sold any. Poor response to Questions to Seller requests for missing information. Watch out for listings showing the seller to be a member of eBay for years with no feedback as seller or buyer a sure sign something is out of whack, avoid at all costs it's a fake!

PayPal Switcher: Look out for warnings eBay Checkout or PayPal mysteriously doesn't work for their company through eBay Checkout. They are trying to avoid paying eBay their fee and your chance at recovery if there is a problem because you won't be covered by eBay and PayPal Insurance Purchase Guarantees. Avoid unless so minor it won't matter if you have to toss it or never receive it.


There are three forms of insurance, Postal, eBay and PayPal.

Postal: If the seller offers postal insurance for a dollar or two and you have any concerns they might claim to have shipped and didn't, taking Postal insurance should help prevent that nonsense. Actually collecting would be almost impossible as the seller submits the claim of loss.

eBay: After 30 days if you can't contact the seller to resolve an issue or get your goods, and your Credit Card can't or won't get your money back, you can file a claim for 75% of the amount minus shipping for refund from eBay.

PayPal: When you fund the purchase through PayPal you may be offered the opportunity to insure the purchase. Again if you have any concerns the seller might not ship or will ship defective product, consider taking the insurance or taking the chance depending on gut feel.

Feedback: eBay offers the option of buyer and seller providing feedback on the joy of dealing with each other. If there is a problem you can as a last resort threaten really bad feedback, but never actually do it because some sellers won't sell to people who give bad feedback. You can always give bad feedback as if Positive for any who actually read the feedback of a seller.

Update: Some sellers of large items such as cars and trucks are requiring feedback be submited at time of delivery before you have the chance to fully investigate the purchase. While this should be avoided, if the only way to aquire the desired vehicle, be sure to log out of your account after leaving feedback using the seller's computer.

How to Win the eBay Lottery Roundup:

Join eBay and PayPal

Establish value of what you're looking for

Find several potential items and watch them

Bid minimum if first or at least once

Synchronize your computer time with eBay

Watch your items, especially at the end

At the last minute bid your max plus few cents.

What about the one cent items? Many under a dollar to start are there on the first day, but a price that starts off low is often the first to draw bids so it doesn't stay that way very long.

Good luck to you. Robert Perkis / Lotto-Logix

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