Auction Bidding Strategies

With eBay it’s seems to come down to the last minute high bidder is always the winner.

The Buyee model seems to be closer to what the market will bear, being that the auction end time increases by 5 minutes every time someone outbids you near the ending.

I have had zero luck winning (Buyee) auctions on YAJ using their snipe bidding.

What have you found to be the best method for winning auctions on YAJ?


I believe that with the 5-minute increment there is no strategy, it is about having deep pockets and being willing to go to the end. When I’m interested in an item, I’ll check in at the time the auction ends, and I’ll fight to get it, if it’s within my budget, I’ll stay until I win.

I recently saw a PG2003 go for 25000 yen, which is surreal. But it only takes two people crazy about an item to reach stratospheric prices.


Yes, these are two very different forms of auctions.
eBay has a timed auction and sniping is always the best way to go if you really know your high price. Waiting until the end helps avoid telegraphing your intent too early, denying a reactive counter-bid (of course, you can still get outbid by other snipe bids).

Yahoo Japan uses a dynamic auction feature where into the last 5 minutes of an auction, subsequent bids will bump up the auction time by 5 more minutes. HOWEVER, not all auctions have this. ALWAYS look to see if “Auto-extension” is YES or NO. I’ve stupidly forgotten to check on some occasions and lost.

A number of years back, “sniping” was rarely done. Now? It’s very commonplace. If there’s an item I’m very interested in, I always snipe because it’s not “locked in.” I might change my mind. I like having the option to cancel.

If I’m manually bidding, I drop my bid just before the 5 minute mark. This way there’s no bump up of an extra 5 minutes. After that? Well, it all comes down to the competition.

Part of the reason why I make note of auction ID’s (the 3 character code), is because they tend to be consistent for accounts. And if you keep track, you see bidding histories. So I’ll know if I’m dealing with an account that’s a high bidder. My strategy is to try winning items at below average market price (based on recent history of closed auctions). But if I really want it, I’ll go a little above market. If I’m going against a high bidding account? I’ll ding them by bidding higher. But, if I see TWO or more high bidder accounts? I back out and let them have at it.


I win sniping bids suprisingly often. But generally only on pencils ive found rabbit-holing through seller’s inventory. I just got a tkmatic nos and h2003 unused for 78$ each (not sure what the going rate is for an all metal one? But h-2003 are everywhere mostly double-ish the price).

After i won i put the h-2003 i already owned on ebay for 150$ and it sold immediately. Upgraded the pencil and made a profit.

Moral of the story: sniping never hurts, just dont expect to win on popular items :smiley:


I am almost certainly the world’s greatest snipe bidder. I’ve scored hundreds of pieces with snipe bids, and when I’ve been buying for months at a time, I can usually predict prices down to the very last bid.

It’s a feel thing that develops from being deeply immersed in the game. You know the pieces; you know recent auctions and listings; you have a sense of the market heat; and eventually, you pretty much know how things are going to unfold. (But even then there are big surprises!)

One “rule” I constantly remind myself of when snipe bidding is to go a little bit higher than you’re comfortable with. In a truly competitive bidding environment, you will be tested, and therefore, you need to apply that extra bit of pressure when snipe bidding to ensure you’re playing the game at the same level as the active bidders. (But once you get good at this, you’ll end up winning many of your pieces for far less than your max bid.)


for ebay sniping, do you use gixen or a similar service?

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I use JustSnipe.


Im opposite haha. Lowball on a bunch of wants (wide net), invest ZERO care/emotion= Always come out ahead and happy.

Plus i find it hilarious to come back to a lowball bid of mine (say 50$) and the item sky-rocketed through other bidders and sells for twice the price you can find it on mecari. There IS a winner, but ARE they…?


I generally don’t bother with eBay; when I do, I just make sure I’m paying attention when the auction closes.

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Observing closing eBay auctions is useless in my opinion? In opposite to yahoo you can’t react?

PS Afraid I wrote misunderstandably … Actively observing ebay I think is pointless, but in general I bought many pencils there. Of course not Japanese pencils, but European ones.

I’ve grabbed a few deals off of eBay from time to time. When the exchange rate wasn’t so favorable, prices could be periodically competitive with YAJ. Of course right now, it’s hard to find good deals. You can see some Japan based sellers trying to cash in. I’ve seen some items I know were sold on YAJ turn up on eBay, the seller attempting to flip for 3x profit.

There are some sellers based in the USA like @Knockologist😉 and Mountain Writing co who have decent prices. But of course, for buyers outside the USA, eBay sellers in USA presents shipping and customs challenges. If there’s something I really want and have had trouble getting on YAJ, I may buy from Elton (Singapore Mechanical Pencils) if his price isn’t outrageous (but most of the time he has high prices that exceed average selling prices on YAJ).