From the moment a sought-after collectible is listed until auction ends nearly endless scenarios unfold (some very upsetting to active bidders). My focus could be bidding strategies but any comment re different scenarios of how auctions end (win/lose, good/bad), any such comment (or venting) is welcome in this thread. I've made many such comments re bidding in "auction watch" category, although the comments apply "in-general" they expire in that category. Bidding strategies (or buying strategies) is very much a part of our hobby. What are the winning strategies? Members opinions vary. I've always liked "Buy it Now" (as seller & buyer). Many changes have been made to that option through many years. In 2001 ebay policy was for sellers to contact buyers directly (ph #s and direct email addresses were not blocked). At some point the policy reversed... no direct contact is permitted. FWIW I almost never contact/critique a seller unless I have an interest in buying the item. For many years any attempt using ebay messages (by then, the only option) to: make an offer, strike any kind of other deal the messages were often deleted by ebay (w/o notice to either side). All ebay messages include caution: any deal outside of the listed auction is not permitted. report such activity. vs CURRENTLY... every item, if you click on "contact seller", every item has a "MAKE OFFER" line item (despite many sellers that do not want it there). Many buyers/sellers (& myself depending on item) will prefer auctions to run until the end. Little or no interactions expected (well presented, what you see is what you get, high bid wins). Nearly any change to ebay auction policy (and there have been more than any user can keep track of), nearly any change can effect a bidder/buyer's strategy. Due to latest "make offer" option on every item, currently (which could change any day)... one's "bidding strategy" for a particular item should probably include >contact seller >make an offer (if you don't others will and poof, auction ends, item SOLD, maybe for far less than you are happy to bid , i hate when that happens). ------------------------------------- Many members to this day have strongest dislike for SNIPERS. Ebay would like to eliminate snipers, if they could. YET, I'm confident to state that sniping is a winning strategy. Further for global collectors markets (stoves included), the end of an auction will often includes *3rd party SNIPER programs and *3rd party "buyers" (3rd party buyers note the ebay scores in the many thousands). *an observation is repeatedly shared on CCS collectors from Asia have buyers that can outbid everyone (".... another stove ships to Asia"). My own experience includes the middle east oil monies as well. No doubt there is money to burn throughout the globe. Where ever they're from there are buyers with very deep pockets, if two happen to compete for one item, it can sell for thousands above previous prices. STRATEGY: SNIPING, still, imo, sniping has best potential to have auctions end near market price or below market price. There are of course occasional Sniper bid wars but (unlike bid wars) prices do not increase hour by hour, you put in your one best shot that pops in there in the final minute or so (win or lose). Ebay always prefers bid wars. Insanely high prices can result, ebay promotes all things that generate higher sales price HOWEVER they also have to recognize online auction trends / competition and adopt to best survive (good / bad, ebay constantly evolves).