Re: OT: App that keeps track of "Or Best Offer" auctions on eBay to tell you what a seller will accept.

David Berlind

I think those one of a kind opportunities still exist on eBay. To one of
the points made by Dennis, once I know what I'm looking for across a
variety of marketplaces (eBay, CraigList, the Facebook Marketplace,, etc.), the first thing I do is research what that item
has historically sold for on eBay. When you search eBay for an item, you
can filter the search to "Completed Items." (as opposed to active
listings). The results don't just included completed auctions, but also
Buy-It-Now listings that were optionally enabled with the "Make Offer"
button. For those listings, you will never know how much was actually paid
for the item. They only show the Buy-It-Now price. The actual sale price
could have been the Buy-It-Now price, or something less. But, of the
completed auctions where there was actual bidding, you can see what the
winning bids were, and that's what I go by to get some idea of the current
market value of something.

Then, I start to scour all the marketplaces for that item. Sometimes, I end
up buying on eBay. Other times not. The most recent example of this for me
was a B&K 875B LCR meter. My eBay research revealed that they were selling
for $125-$150. I watched all the marketplaces (easier to automate for some
than others). On eBay, I set up an alert to let me know when their were new
listings for that item. Then, as those listings come up, if it's an
auction, I put that actual listing on my eBay watch list (click the "watch"
button on the listing). As the auction gets closer to ending, eBay will
send you notifications that it's almost over. Yesterday, after getting a
notification and as the auction was minutes away from closing, .... I had
it open .. and got the item for $64 (shipping included)

I followed this same technique with the Tek signal standardizer plug in
that I just bought a couple of weeks ago off eBay for calibrating my 7000
series scopes (acquired for $77.. including shipping).

If there's insufficient historical data, and you're patient, another trick
is to wait for one to come up for auction, and just watch it all the way to
the end to see what it sells for a couple of times. I put this exact
technique to use today for a nearly new Atomos Ninja V external video
monitor that sold for $594 with shipping. Now I know what the most I should
pay is.

For Craigslist, you can use Google Alerts to notify you when the item comes
up for sale anywhere in the country. Just use "" as the
target domain in the Google Alert search string.

OK, hope this helps.

On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 2:04 PM Dennis Tillman W7PF <@Dennis_Tillman_W7PF>

There are certainly a lot of people asking me to let them know if I ever
find it again. I remember using all the strategies you describe when eBay
was a lot less controlling of their own auctions. Everything you can learn
about a seller, the price an item sells at, and other bidders behavior
rpatterns is knowledge you can use to improve your odds of winning an
auction. eBay has gradually caught on to this and has steadily placed
restrictions on every bit of information that can be used to give you an

You have seen the very same thing happening. I think I was very lucky to
have been so active on eBay so many years ago. At the time I never realized
that it wouldn't always be that way. This is unfortunate, but it explains
why I turn to eBay for different things now than I did before. Gone are the
exciting one of a kind items you can sometimes get for a ridiculous price
because your put in a bid early and the sniping site had a meltdown moments
before the auction ended and didn’t place any snipes. I remember a few
times when I won something for the opening bid price that way.

Dennis Tillman W7PF

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of
Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2019 10:04 AM
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] OT: App that keeps track of "Or Best Offer"
auctions on eBay to tell you what a seller will accept.

Back a few years before ebay started to obfuscate all the information on
bidders and sellers an app like that would still have been possible to work
on the public information that was available on any ebay member. Back then
I was even doing myself some manual background checks on other bidders I
was competing with for an item. I used to check on their previous bids
history what items they won/lost etc to try and find patterns, and also how
they liked to send in their highest bid (some people like to send even
amounts, others like weird patterns, like $12.34 or $111.11 and so on) to
try to anticipate their next maximum bid. Also back then if you managed to
get in your bid in the last 10-15 seconds before the end you usually won if
your bid was high enough, and I was quite successful (inc synchronizing the
PC clock with ebay clock, make sure to be freshly logged in, etc). I even
had friends asking me to snag something of ebay for them. But nowadays they
even automated sniping and sometimes you get beaten by a bid sent 1-2
seconds before the auction ends. Anyway gathering relevant information on
other bidders or sellers is now for the most part no longer possible as it
used to be. So unless this app has a way to sneak into ebay's servers and
bypass whatever security they have in place to protect their databases I
don't see how an app like that is still possible. Unless someone found a

Dennis Tillman W7PF
TekScopes Moderator

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