Research the item's value by searching for completed listings on eBay. To do this, click the “Advanced Search” link at the top of any eBay page. Enter your search keywords, select the “Completed listings only” checkbox, and click the “Search” button.
Ensure that the maximum bid you enter is the absolute highest price that you're willing to pay. This may help prevent you from being outbid in the closing seconds of a listing.
Check your email regularly to see if you’ve been outbid on an item.
Near the end of the listing, check your status in My eBay to make sure you’re still the high bidder.
Use the eBay Toolbar to monitor items even when you’re not on eBay. You can choose to receive the following desktop alerts:
Outbid Alerts when you're no longer the high bidder.
Bidding Alerts for items you're bidding on that are ending soon.
Watch Alerts for items you're watching that are ending soon.
Second Chance Offers for items you didn't win.