Just to let everyone in on a secret.... I am not a fan of the "watching" feature on eBay. Plus, I have been an ebay member since well before they had that feature (11/3/98). When I see an interesting item, I bid on it. I usually just put a minimum bid on it. If it is a $200 book and the starting bid is $50, I'll bid. I only bid $50. I expect that someone will outbid me and don't usually bid again until close to the end. Usually the next day, I see that I'm outbid at $51. I bid manually, NEVER using computer "sniping" programs, as I think that is a bit unfair. If I outbid you in the last seconds, it is because I am watching the auction and have put a bid in at the end. All is fair in that, I think. My goal is not always to win items. In the case of the $200 book with a $50 bid; I'll start the bidding off as a bit of good karma. I hate listing books or other items and then having NO bids up until the last minute. That always leaves me with a sick feeling knowing that I cannot sell a signed Bukowski book for more that $50. In the end, it usually works out, but I have had to wait many times until the last 5 seconds to see if I'll even get 25% of what the book is worth.
Most of the books that I get lately are sent to me gratis. I don't buy that much off of ebay. Maybe a small book or magazine a week. I would rather put what little money I have into publishing and trying to get exposure for great and talented newer writers.
Of course, I can't pass up a deal, especially if it is a Buk or levy book that I don't have.