How to win on eBay? Lots of people have lots of approaches – but fundamentally you need to pay more than the second highest bidder!

Most of my collection was purchased from eBay, usually the US or UK sites.  Apart from postage being a killer, along with the exchange rates, the timezone was never friendly either.

On top of this, even searches from selecting ‘Worldwide’ will not necessarily show you all the listings actually available!  Let me give you an example, I know that at the time of this post that there are a pair of Rooney brushes listed on, the US site.

eBay Listing

OK, so let’s put that description into the search bar and search for worldwide.

The results are shown below.  These results are the same if I change my primary eBay delivery address to a US address and set a US postcode as the delivery location.  The search results still bring back –

eBay Search Results AU

Of course I could sign out, or use as private window so that my account is not active – but no joy.

You have to use the site to actually find the listing –

The odds seem really stacked against us collectors ‘Down Under’.

So I used every means possible to level the playing field!

Automated Search Tools

I used software on my computer that undertook powerful advanced searches across multiple eBay sites.  I ran it as soon as I woke up in the morning, to get UK and US East Coast listings, during my lunch break for US Mid West listings and at night for the West Coast.

While that software is no longer around, there seems to be a range of alternatives no available.  After a quick search I’ve found the following:

There also seem to be apps for your phone that have similar functionality, SeeSpotBid being one that appeared in my search.

The real bargains on eBay are Buy It Now listings, grabbing a VERY collectible razor sold by somebody getting rid of grandpa’s junk at the price they think that grubby old thing is worth.  I’ve seen some real bargains, although usually by collectors in the US – awake and active when these listings go live!


People get really cranky when beaten by a last second ‘sniper’ bid.

“Some lousy sniper beat me with a low-ball bid, I would have paid [US] $150 for that razor”

That happened to be a comment when I was the sniper!

Yes, I did win the auction for less than $US100, and it was a bargain for that razor, as my maximum snipe bid was $US200!  The other collector was not going to win if $US150 was really his limit.  I accept though that if we had be going bid for bid though he may have bid to over $US200 – would he then have been complaining about paying too much?

What really convinced me to snipe was bidding on a very collectible razor with a mismatched description and poor pictures.  I went to bed having put my maximum bid on the razor, $US300, reasonable content that I was at that stage winning at $US30.  Overnight another bidder putting in increasing bids over the time I was asleep beat me.  Sure, maybe they would have anyway, but I’m not convinced!

I’ve had a paid subscription and used for many years.  Solid, reliable and relatively inexpensive.

Local Parcel Forwarding

A parcel forwarding service may not only save you money – it may allow you to convince sellers who really DON’T want to ship to Australia to sell to you in the first place.  Alternatively, it may provide a solution for those times when you win an auction only to be told by the seller that they are not prepared to ship overseas!

There are MANY of these around with free and paid plans.  At present I’m using Planet Express, but this may not suit your buying needs – search for them, check reviews and look at prices.

Find a Friend (or two)

Despite all these best efforts, there can still be times when as an Australian based account you cannot see listings or cannot bid on them.  Fellow collectors, or family or friends overseas can sometimes be a Godsend in these situations.

For a number of years I *may* have been running my searches using a US-based account – it seemed to provide a whole lot more in the results!

Note: the Planet Express link is an affiliate link, no other links or products provide any benefits to me.

In case you are wondering – I didn’t bid on those Rooney brushes!

I hope that these tips may help a little if you are a collector ‘Down Under’.

Happy hunting.

Be a wet shaving evangelist, spread the word!