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Buying Cars on Ebay: Understanding Buy It Now & Reserve Prices

I’ll let you in on a little known secret about the relationship between the Buy It Now and Reserve Prices for eBay Motors auctions, the Reserve Price is usually around $500-$1000 under the Buy It Now price, based on empirical evidence. You can safely ignore the current price because most cars worth anything will not be listed without a reserve price (there are exceptions of course) and so unless the reserve has been met, it won’t be sold.

If you see that the Buy It Now for the car is more than a grand over what you want to pay for it, chances are you won’t be able to get the car for that price this time around. My suggestion? Watch the auction, if it doesn’t sell then the seller will likely drop the Buy It Now price a few hundred bucks and relist. You may even want to call him up and ask him how much he is looking to get for the car and, if you’ve done your homework, may be able to suggest to him that the price he is waiting for is a little too high given your research. Unless you are low-balling the seller, he or she will likely hear what you have to say and may be willing to sell it to you outright.

Remember, if you buy it off eBay, you have no protection from eBay.