eBay bargain hunting tips and tricks

Search for misspelled items to find bargains

Finding misspelled items is a great sport on eBay. Remember that 65% of eBay buyers find items by searching. If someone spells an item name incorrectly it will not come up in a search. These items usually get very few bids and this is a great place to shop.

Here are a few misspelled words to try: paystation jewelery, strawberi, Ken Griffy, Porsch, beaney, If you want to buy something specific on eBay, think of how the word could be commonly misspelled and type it into the search box. You will often be surprised how many items come up.

Alternatively you can use the misspelled typo search engine from idigital.
All you have to do is spell the name correctly and let the search engine do the rest.

You can also choose numerous eBay countries from the list.

Click here to visit:    eBay typo misspelling search engine

Quick eBay bidding Tip

Use the .02 or .03 rule

Most people bid in even numbers. If the bid increment is 50 cents, make your bid .52 or .53.

This way you will just outbid someone by a few cents instead of a large increment.

How to let eBay bid for you

Let eBay Do Your Bidding for You :

Many new users think that eBay work like real-world auctions,where one person makes a bid, then someone else ups that bid, then the first person has to come back with another bid to stay in the running.but eBay works differently, here auction process is automated. on Ebay you don’t have to keep biddingevery time someone else enters the auction; you can let eBay handle all bidding activity for you.

How to do this in eBay: When you place a bid, you just enter the maximum amount you’re willing to pay-which may be a lot higher than the current bid price. eBay will keep your maximum bid secret, and bid for you only the minimum amount necessary. When another user bids, eBay will respond (as your proxy) by placing a new, higher bid for you. If the other bidder goes higher, eBay continues to respond in kind until your maximum bid level is reached.

When that happens eBay drops you out of the bidding and lets you know (via e-mail). At that point you can call it a day or decide to enter a new maximum bid and start the process all over again.


foxtion tutorial

How to uninstall a Firefox addon

On the main Firefox menu go to Tools ->addons-> make sure you are in the extension (icon blue jigsaw piece).

You should be able to see a list of the addons you have installed.
Click on the addon you wish to uninstall. Make sure it is highlighted
An uninstall button will show. Click this button. Firefox will require a restart.

One great function of Firefox is when you uninstall an addon/extension it is absolutely and completely gone
No residue files are left anywhere.

How to change Country Options

On the main Firefox menu go to Tools ->addons-> make sure you are in the extension (blue jigsaw piece).

You should be able to see a list of the addons you have installed.

Click on FOXtion it will then be highlighted and you should see an options button.

Click the options button, choose your country and then click save.
Your done! Enjoy!

click here to go the the downloads page

Sticky Notes

Sticky notes to be implemented.
The FOXtion you are using is a temporary update

The latest firefox release came a little quick and has required a temporary update to FOXtion. The sticky note function will be included shortly. Have a few more tests before release.

You can stick notes onto any web page, these are stored on your computer so notes you leave on pages
cannot be traced and better still you cannot be marketed to.

If you click the sticky note link on the toolbar you will be directed to this page.
When finished the downloads will be available here and at the official mozilla site for all countries.

eBay Foxtion Updated for Firefox 3.6

Updated all versions to reflect the new security requirements required in the release of Firefox 3.
The tool bars can either be downloaded from https://addons.mozilla.org by searching for Foxtion or via the website http://foxtion.googlepages.com.

If you are interested in making some better Icons for the toolbar please contact me. The eBay toolbar is a freebie. So will get bragging rights as you will be listed as a contributor.

What is shill bidding?

How to spot shill bidding…

First of all, you may be wondering how and when you should suspect you’re being shilled.   For most victims,  it is a sneaking suspicion that creeps up on them over the course of the auction,

but it doesn’t hurt to be proactive and a little paranoid. :)

The following are some warning signs to look for:

The Devoted Bidder.

A bidder who  bids exclusively or nearly exclusively on one or two sellers’ items–yet rarely wins. It is true that many people lowball their bids on one seller’s auctions hoping to win a bargain. Usually, however, the items are similar products–perhaps this seller’s specialty–and the bidder hopes to get a bargain on shipping as well by buying all from the same person(s).However, the “devoted bidder” is especially indicative of shilling when the items are varied. It is highly unlikely, for example, that a bidder just happens to need a quilt, a man’s suit, a woman’s dress, a backpack, 2 laptops, a lamp, and a slot machine, among other items, just at the same time as one seller happens to have all of those items up for auction!

How do you find out if the ID you suspect is a “devoted bidder”? Do a Bidder Search on the User ID, using the eBay Search link located on the top navigation bar of almost every eBay page. Sellers’ names are now listed on the Bidder List page, so you can quickly and easily see if the bidder prefers one (or two) seller(s).

Bidding to Lose.

Question:  When you want something that has an opening or current bid of, say, $10.00, and you’re willing to pay around $20.00 for it, would you put in a proxy bid of $19.99?   Of course not.   That would be stupid, you answer.   You’d go with the even $20, or, if you’re really smart, maybe $21.00 or $23.00, or even $20.37,  just to throw other bidders for a loop and increase your chances of winning.   Maybe you’ll even bid $15 now and watch the auction to see if you need to bid $20 later.   But $19.99?! Who wants to risk losing by a cent? So what is the putz that bid $19.99 doing?    This is a “loser bid”.   It is specifically designed to lose, not to win.   It’s guesswork shilling, hoping to push another bidder (that’s you) up to the next increment, or–if they’re really brazen–your max.Be careful! The amount of the “loser bid” depends on a) the opening bid and b) the current high bid (determined by other bidders). It’s NOT unreasonable to bid £19.99 when the opening or current high bid is £9.99. Also, you may get confused about which bidder is a potential shill. Make sure to check the time and date of bids. You can find this information in the Bid History, after the auction is over, from the link on the main listing page.

Similarity of seller & bidder IDs.
This is something you’ll only come across by chance, and you sometimes need to take the category into account. Watch for alliteration and initials, as well. For (fictitious) example, “jsmith” might have a shill ID “joesmith@anyisp.com”. This is the type of similarity you should report as a potential shill. Sometimes the similarity is based on common interest, however. Another fictitious example: Seller “sanrio-rules!” has a bid from user ID “ilovesanrio!”. Seller “sanrio-rules!” sells (you guessed it) Sanrio products. Check the other warning signs if you want, but the ID similarity is probably purely innocent and based on a common interest. If you see that “ilovesanrio!” is also buying a toaster from “sanrio-rules!”, however, you should probably report it to SafeHarbor.
Seller is too quick to relist.
When items are accidentally won by a shill account, they are often relisted soon after auction closes. This is particularly salient for non-duplicable items: handmade, unique, or rare/hard-to-find items, especially antiques, art, and collectibles.   Though it does happen that a high bidder refuses an auction immediately after winning, it is more likely that they’ll string the seller along for at least a few days.   Relisting in fewer than 4 days is far too soon to not activate your radar.How do you know the item has been relisted?   Far be it from a shiller to eat the listing fees on an unsold item. That just wouldn’t be fair. The shiller will likely relist using the eBay relist function in order to get their listing fees back.   Therefore, the original listing page will have a link to the new auction. Of course, their intelligence may for once override their greed, and they might start up a whole new ad, which can be found in the current seller history.

Shotgun feedback.

Feedback is exchanged during a curiously short period of time (3 days at the outside). Feedback between shill and seller ID is known as “shill feedback”–a little consolation prize for the seller who accidentally wins their own auction. Few find it easy to resist. These days, with instant payments more and more common, it is really only the bidder-to-seller feedback that counts here. Which is just as well, because

it’s the seller (the primary account) who’s usually the lucky feedback recipient.It is possible for a bidder to receive an item and leave feedback within 3 days (it happened to me once by the good graces of the Royal Mail Fairy). Possible, but not common. Look for other indicators, such as fast relisting, and use your own judgment. It won’t hurt anything to report it–the seller will get to explain to SafeHarbor.

Numerous Retractions.

More than 3 in a 6 month period and you have the right to be suspicious. Let’s face it: anyone truly that stupid or careless should not be using eBay. I mean, considering that after the first time you bid £1000 instead of £10 you needed to change your shorts…would you really let it happen again? The bid retraction option has been the favourite tool of shillers since the beginning. The shill bids outrageously high in order to reveal your maximum, then retracts and either:

  • gives some lame retraction explanation like “oops, wrong amount” and bids again just under your max,or
  • gives some lame retraction explanation like “don’t want it”, signs in under another account, and bids just under your max.

Since the number of bid retractions now shows up in your feedback profile, it is significantly less popular. We see more and more shillers using the guesswork technique, chipping away slowly at other bidders’ proxy maximums. However, the newbie criminals still use it. Report ‘em and nip ‘em in the bud while they’re young.


Nibbling is when you see someone who has placed a series of bids one after another, upping their bid a little each time.

If this has resulted in the bidder winning the auction then it is a often not a problem and is just an indication of a bidder who does not understand how the proxy bidding process works, or had no fixed maximum price.

When the nibbler has retracted their highest bid leaving another bidder as the winner then you are looking at suspicious activity.

How to report shill bidding:

  1. Use the report link on the Shill Bidding Policy page, found here:
    Shill Bidding Policy
  2. You can still use eBay’s direct e-mail, which is safeharbor@ebay.com
  3. When forming your reports, it’s important to include as much evidence as you can. This includes all user IDs, auction numbers, and miscellaneous evidence to help your report.
  4. Keep the details because if safeharbor don’t see enough evidence the first time around, you can use your initial report plus any new evidence should the behaviour continue.

How to avoid shill bidding:

  1. Check out your seller’s feedback thoroughly before you bid! Are there a disproportionate amount of “not a registered users” in their feedback profile? Is there a disproportionate amount of “0″ and “1″ feedback users in their feedback profile, with suspicious dates? For instance, make sure feedback is being exchanged only a few hours after the auctions close.
  2. Check out the bidding history of your seller. Are they placing bids exclusively on another seller’s items? If they are shilling for another user ID, the chances are someone is shilling for them as well!
  3. Check the bid histories of ALL the bidders on the auction. Simply view the “bid history” of the auction in question, and plug those names into the bidder search engine. Are any of the bidders bidding exclusively on your seller’s auctions? This is perhaps the most important step to avoid shill bidding–always check the bid histories of any auction before you bid!
  4. Snipe your bids!  The closer to the end of the auction that you place your bid, the less likely you are to be SHILLED.   For instance, placing your bid 10 seconds before the auction closes would practically ensure you wouldn’t be shilled AFTER placing your bid, as there isn’t enough time.   This doesn’t guarantee that the auction hasn’t already been shilled up to that point, but it does prevent it from being shilled further AFTER you bid.

Article  by bearalltosee

eBay Foxtion Toolbar updates


An update on the FOXtion eBay Toolbars. Version 2.0.0
All the country toolbars have been updated to work with the latest Firefox 3 release.

To download the eBay Toolbar visit the official FOXtion website: http://foxtion.googlepages.com

Have added the most requested links to the tools button, added a convenient button for the misspelled
typo search $pelling Power..
If you haven’t heard about this kind of eBay search. Many auctions cannot be found and end with little or
no bids, just because they have been spelled incorrectly.
So this search allows you to find these items and all you have to do is spell the item name correctly.
For example playstation. It is very cool.

Also in the toolbar search section are links to going, going gone and Zero bids.

My toolbar does not automate your ebay login or store your login details. I think that is safer.
Does not open popups…Yuk! The FOXtion toolbars are on the Mozilla addons site.
There are links to download from Mozilla on the official FOXtion website if you require.

Here is a screenshot of the Australian Version.
FOXtion the eBay toolbar for Firefox versions 1.5-3.0.*