Five Ways to Buy on eBay Without Bidding

You don't have to feel like you're trapped in the mayhem of an auction

••• If bidding is not your cup of tea, don't do it. Shop eBay without bidding and realize many of the same advantages. Photo: Ia64 / Dreamstime

Many non-eBay shoppers say that they avoid eBay simply because they don't like auctions and all of the strange mental games and bidding wars that go along with them, not to mention the pain of waiting for the auction to end.


Though the eBay marketplace was once known specifically as the world's premiere online auction venue, today auction format sales are a shrinking part of the eBay marketplace and the larger eBay landscape.

Here are five ways to shop and buy on eBay without having to monitor an item and repeatedly bid in order to win it.

  • Shop Only "Buy It Now" Items. Most of the items for sale on these days are in fact available for immediate purchase, no bidding required. To shop eBay only for these items, use the advanced search tool (accessible from the eBay home page by clicking the word "Advanced" next to the search box) and check the "Buy It Now" box about halfway down the page after typing in your search terms. All of the items you see this way are available for immediate purchase and payment simply by clicking the "Buy It Now" button.
  • Shop eBay Classifieds. Formerly known as Kijiji, eBay now also hosts a classified ads network with local and regional hubs not unlike Craigslist, only with better images and ease of use, at Everything on eBay Classifieds is available to you now, no bidding required.
  • Shop As a go-to site for book buyers, movie and DVD buyers, music buyers, and video game and consumer electronics buyers, operates very much like any other retail store you'll find online—but for the fact that the prices are more like eBay prices and the website is owned and operated by eBay
  • Shop eBay is often typecast as a low-rent marketplace, more flea market than fabulous, with little to offer the discriminating buyer. This isn't the case for, certainly, but it's even less the case for the truly distinguished eBay World of Good online store where you can buy spectacular goods from around the world without ever placing a single bid.
  • Use the eBay Proxy Bidding System. Yes, you can shop and buy eBay auctions without bidding wars and without spending any extra time beyond what you'd spend shopping anywhere else. A basic yet little-known and poorly understood eBay feature called the proxy bidding system enables you enter a single price, once, with nothing more for you to do. Either you pay your price, you pay less than your price, or the item is unavailable to you—and eBay will tell you this without your having to lift an additional finger. Yes, there is a small learning curve, but once you understand proxy bidding, you'll be able to shop all of those deliciously cheap auctions on eBay without needing third-party tools and without ever feeling as though you're shopping by auction. Isn't that what it's all about?