There are auctions happening across the country nearly every week. Among the regular items going on the block are art, cars and cattle. There are also movie and sports memorabilia auctions that generate some amazing prices. Recently Charlie Chaplin’s cane used in the classic Modern Times fetched $420,000 while a lot of costumes from The Sound of Music brought in $1.56 million. Yes, this is the big leagues of auctions where the competition is fierce. This doesn’t mean you can’t win there you just have to have deep pockets.

On the other hand, you could become a savvy eBay bidder where the auctions are a bit more manageable. Here are some expert tips on how to be an eBay auction winner:

Do You Research First

Before you place your first bid on an item do a little research. This is especially important if you’re bidding on collectibles. Just because there is a minimum bid doesn’t mean that item is worth that amount. Go to your pricing guides for confirmation. Also see if the same item is being auction on another page. That could be your plan “B.” Be sure to check out who else is bidding on the bidding history of that item. It’s a good way to size up the potential competition.

Go Low and Aim High

When you first zero in on an object you want to add to your collection make a low bid to test the waters. You don’t want to blow your cash by posting your maximum bid especially if you end up being the only one bidding. You can set up proxy bidding that lets eBay automatically outbid someone as long as they don’t pass your maximum bid.

Keep a Watchful Eye

Every eBay auction has a ticking clock. If this is something you really want, then you’re going to need to keep an eye out on that item. You can set up alerts for when you’re outbid. Thanks to eBay apps, you can also go mobile with your bidding. This will come in handy if you’re close to closing and you have to go out. No different than following the World Series on your iPhone!

Embrace Sniping

In eBay circles, “sniping” is when you come in at the very last second and jack up the bids to score a win. This might seem a little cutthroat but it’s a strategy you should adopt because every serious eBay bidder will be doing the same thing. Also, bid in odd amounts. Instead of $9.99 go for $10.17. It could throw off the competition.

Buy It Now

There is always the opportunity to buy something on eBay instantaneously. The “buy it now” button has been a big help for collectors and sellers. If this is something you really want and can “buy it now,” then don’t take the chance: Make the deal.