The Handbook

Score on eBay

For style savvy guys, eBay is an amazing resource for finding cool, eclectic and quality pieces for their home and wardrobes for far less than you'd pay in a traditional store. But the site is massive, with more than 150 million active buyers last year bidding on everything from designer clothes and vintage watches to antique furniture and old cars. In a virtual sea of options, unfortunate knockoffs and aggressive bidders, finding what you want and getting a deal can be tricky. Here's how to succeed.

Search Smarter


Be as specific as possible with your search terms. Once you have your results, narrow them down using the left rail's additional criteria like sizes, delivery options and price caps.


Save searches by clicking the "Follow This Search" link at the top of the page. This will save you from narrowing down your searches in the future and move any current or future listing aligning with that search to your eBay homepage. It also allows you to set up alerts for those hard-to-find pieces, so you'll be emailed as soon as their listed.


Use the "Sort" button at the top of your results page to see options that others may've missed. You can sometimes get a last-minute deal when sorting by "Ending Soonest" or find a reasonably priced "Buy It Now" option under "Newly Listed."

Be a Better Bidder


Don't bid early—it'll only drive up the price. Instead, add the item to your "Watch List," a dashboard of sorts that allows you to monitor the current price and time remaining. You'll also be alerted a few hours before the auction ends.


If no one's bid on the item yet, try contacting the seller to negotiate a lesser price. Give them an offer and the seller may update the listing with a "Make An Offer" option to allow you to purchase the item for the price you offered.


For auction items with many bidders, wait until the actual last minute, put in the highest price you'd be willing to spend—it starts you at the current bid, but ensures you'll win if your max price beats other bids.


Don't be chained to your computer. The eBay app allows you to track prices and put in that last-minute bid from the comfort of your mobile device when you get that fateful "auction ending" alert.

Do Your Homework

Whenever you're buying something secondhand, be sure you know what to look for. Can you tell what the condition is from the photos? Does the seller have a high positive feedback score?

Instant Collection

Want a grouping of something to kickstart a collection? Try searching for the item and adding the word "lot" behind the search term. This will offer sets of similar items for sale in one auction.