yup - agreed. sit back until the last minute or so and then going in at the absolute maximum you are willing to pay for it. its useful also to think about the chain reaction that follows then... eBay will send out an email to whoever was previously winning the auction, letting them know they have been outbid...however with only 1 or 2 mins left in the auction, unless they are sitting there watching it anyhow, this email likely wont be received until its too late...and if they are sitting there, the email will probably be more like a distraction to their frantic "refresh" hitting. the other issue here is that at this point, if a bidding war erupts, people are often sitting there increasing by $1 or $2 at a time - thinking 'cool i can beat this guy by a dollar' - however if you are, say $20 higher than the opening bid and happy to pay that amount, this buys you some insulation in the last few minutes - they have to bid more than 10 times in 2 minutes to catch you. and - as previously highlighted - the guy didnt beat you by 50 cents, he beat you by the maximum that he was willing to pay versus the maximum you were - eBay sides with the buyer and he only pays 50 cents more, although he may have bid much much higher than you did.