Item title and number: The title and number identify the item. Keep track of this info for inquiries later. Some sellers also use a subtitle to pass on more information about their items. If you’re interested in a particular type of item, take note of the keywords used in the title(you’re likely to see them again in future titles). Doing so helps you narrow down your searches.

Watch this item: Click this link, and the item is magically added to the Watching area of your My eBay All Buying page so you can keep an eye on the progress of the auction – without bidding. If you haven’t signed in, you have to type your user ID and password actually before you can save the auction to your My eBay page.

Starting bid or Current bid: This is the dollar amount that the bidding has reached. The amount changes throughout the auction as people place bids. If no bids havebeen placed on the item, it will read Starting bid.

Sometimes, next to the current dollar amount, you see Reserve not met or Reserve met. This means the seller hasset a reserve price for the item – a secret price that must be reached before the seller will sell the item. Most auctions do not have reserve prices.

Time left: Although the clock never stops ticking on eBay, you must continue to refresh your browser to see the time remaining on the official clock. When the item gets down to the last hour of the auction, you’ll see the time expressedin minutes and seconds. Timing is the key in an eBay bidding strategy, so don’t forget that eBay uses pacific standard time or Pacific day-light time as the standard, depending on the season.

History: This field tells you how many bids have been placed. The start- ing bid is listed in light gray next to the number of bids. When the listing is live, you can click the number of bids to find out who is bidding and when bids were placed. (In some circumstances, only the seller and buyer can access this data.)

Information for Your Life