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Monday, February 3, 2014

A Watch List is Coming but First, Your Guide to...

your basic Gixen setup

The first step to using www.gixen.com is signing in using your eBay credentials.  Gixen will not use any of your information, they just need this so they can place bids for you automatically.

Your basic setup will show you the items you currently have snipes set for, as well as those that have completed in the past day or two.  As you can see on mine, I lost the top three items because my big was under the asking price; this doesn't mean Gixen doesn't work because I lost, in fact I think it means Gixen does.

Before I used Gixen, I would try to snipe things myself.  In the last minute of an auction, I would put in my price and typically, because people would still have time to bid again, be outbid.  The adrenaline would then kick in - what I thought this item was worth was no longer relevant because I now needed it.  This is similar to how when you pick up a sweater in a store and consider it for a bit, then putting it down after deciding it wasn't worth the price.  Once you see someone pick up that sweater though, primal instincts kick in and suddenly that was a great price and you regret ever putting it down, hounding the person until they either feel thoroughly uncomfortable and leave or give you a smug grin as they buy the sweater you once left behind.  That sweater, the one you didn't even want in the first place, is now "the one that got away".  This goes for boyfriends too, actually, now that I think of it.

What Gixen does is force you to decide your maximum price beforehand and won't let you get caught up in the adrenaline rush of bidding, being the high bidder, and then suddenly being outbid.  I didn't want to spend more than $37.00 on that blazer but I guarantee that if I was sitting there bidding, I likely would have doubled that and tried to get the jacket at any cost.  Am I sad I lost it? Sure, but since I put in a low snipe as something of a long shot, it isn't "the one that got away" for me.

Gixen shows you the time left on your item, the current bid, your max bid, and the current status.  If a current bid exceeds your max bid before the auction time is over, this box will turn yellow so you can notice this quickly and decide, hopefully with a saner and less adrenaline clouded mind, whether or not to raise your maximum bid a bit.  Note that sometimes the current bid on Gixen is below the actual current bid due to some delays in update times.

Okay so this is how your Gixen will look once you've put some things in.  But how do you get them in?

The first step is finding the "Item Number" of the eBay listing.  On the computer this number will be found just above the Item Specifics section, shown here:

it's small.

I always wondered if they kept it small to hinder services like this, but that's where you'll find it.  On the eBay app, it will be in the "Item Specifics" section.

You'll have to copy this number and put it in the Gixen section at the bottom of your current set up snipes for adding new items.


Just paste your item number and put in your maximum bid and select add!  Remember that maximum bid really means maximum bid: when you bid on eBay you tend to put the minimum bid because putting a bid much higher than the current price when the auction still has time left seems silly, but also because people want things for as cheap as they can get them so they think putting in the minimum bid will keep their price low.  Since Gixen is bidding for you in the last seconds, you need to put in what the most you are willing to pay is and remember that if the current bid is significantly below that, you will only pay what the next allowed bid is.

For example, if you put your maximum bid for an item at $26.00 and the current bid with 5 seconds left is $10.50, Gixen will submit your $26.00 bid but if no one else bids on this during that time, you will only pay $11.00 (the next available bid).  Putting in a higher bid does not mean you will be paying more than the cheapest amount allowed by eBay.

You'll notice I put in random cent numbers in my bids.  This is because eBay has minimum bid increase requirements; if an item is $10.50 you may only be able to bid $11.00 or more, not just $10.51 or $10.60.  By putting in these unusual cent numbers, you increase the chance that someone won't be able to win by bidding nearly the same amount.  If I put in $26.60 and someone else puts in $27.00 right after me, and the minimum bid increase in 50 cents, that person will lose to me even though they bid more because their bid did not exceed the next minimum bid of $27.10.  Some auctions have no minimum increase, and some have $1, so since it's hard to tell sometimes I just try to put in a not even dollar amount because hey, it might help.

Gixen offers a service called "Grouping".  Basically, what this means is that if you really want a specific thing and there are multiple auctions for that specific thing, you can put them into a group so that if you win one the rest are automatically canceled.

Let's say you really want some coated J. Brand jeans.  By utilizing the "Group" function seen above where you add a new snipe, you can put in multiple auctions for coated J. Brand jeans and put them all into the same group, here Group 1.

under the item number is the group number

Now let's say you lose the first one: nothing will happen and the rest will remain the same and go one to snipe regularly.  If you continue losing the auctions, the snipes will continue to evaluate normally.

But what if you lost the first one and won the second?  The difference in time between this auction and the next is very small and so you may not get another chance to go through and delete snipes you don't want from Gixen, but you definitely don't want two pairs of the same coated jeans.  When this happens, since these are grouped together, Gixen automatically disables the final snipe so you don't end up with two of the same thing.  They say to try to make sure your items end within no less than two minutes of each other to ensure that the program doesn't accidentally bid on both items.  This should be easy enough to do, and I have never tempted fate with it.

This feature is one that I use pretty rarely - it's infrequent that I want something super specific and that my available options to get that item end in the same short time period, but it does happen and it's worked wonderfully any time I've used it.

Since I started using eBay avidly, I now like to evaluate my Watch List and Gixen snipes every day or every other day.  It takes a short amount of time and I can keep better mental track of how much money I might be spending.

Since I've started using Gixen I've been getting much better deals - spending less and even though I do lose more auctions, it's rare that I really regret not putting in a higher maximum bid.  Keep in mind that I try for a bunch of things at once (as you can see up at the time!) so even if I lose three quarters of them I'm still getting plenty, and I know that I am getting things cheaply from an objective standpoint and not an auction bidding war induce adrenaline clouded one.

It's simple to use too, despite the old school Web 1.0 appearance.  If I could teach my mom how to get dollar nail polishes using this, I think pretty much anyone could use it.

Has anyone else tried using this program?  Have you had success with it?

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