Snipping on auctions

eBay is a fantastic place to get bargains (or to be ripped off if not careful) and is especially useful for obtaining things that can not be bought new. The eBay feature that lets you put in your bid limit and then leave it to the system to make sure you always come out on top of any further bids until your limit is reached (assuming people keep topping your bids) is also pretty useful.

Most experienced eBay users though wait until near the end of an auction before placing their final bids. Given that other people may have faster connections than you, or the auction end time might be really inconvenient, others use automated snipping tools.

There are those that complain about the use of snipping tools though. There consider it to be cheating. However, using a snipping tool will NOT let you beat someone who gave eBay the right to bid for you to a higher limit. The highest bid will still win.

Also, as eBay is not running an open auction where the auctioneer keeps bidding going until there is no more interest, but is a time-boxed auction with no more bids accepted after the deadline, I think it is fair-game for using technology to enhance your chances of winning.

One of the disadvantages of leaving it to eBay to continually trump bids up to your limit is that you contribute to “auction excitement” – that is you create activity in an auction which attracts interest and potentially more bidders. This is why many bidders only bid close to the deadline. Using snipping software means you bid only once, near the end, using the eBay automated max bid feature to ensure you only pay the most you need to, not necessarily your limit.

There are snipping tools that you can download to your own computer, but that means you have to leave your computer and the application running, and you are still at the mercy of the quality of service of your internet connection at the time the auction ends. I prefer to use internet based services. Specifically, I used auctionsniper, use the link below to give it a try.

3 thoughts on “Snipping on auctions

  1. Most of the time these days I tend to purchase buy it now items on ebay, or manually bid towards the end of the auction (but the number of times I forget to do so you wouldn’t believe).

    For really important things I want to buy off ebay I snipe as well using <a href="http://hammersnipe.com (powered by the auctionstealer network). It works fine and for occasional users like me has the advantage that you can snipe 3 times a week for free. If you want to use the service more often you will need to pay for a subscription.

  2. I have to admit to tending to buy buy it now items most of the time these days, or manually bidding near the end of the auction. Sniping is useful though when you really don’t want to miss out on getting something important off ebay, and then I use hammersnipe.com (which is powered by the auctionstealer network).

    For occasional users like me hammersnipe is free as you can lodge 3 ‘snipe’ bids per week without paying for the service, or if you want more then you have to subscribe.

    Geoffrey

    1. I just cannot be bothered to stick around near the end of an auction, especially knowing that I may lose out just because of network delays… as I said, it is not like a real auction, and anyone with a higher limit will be me anyway. Not heard of hammersnipe.com.

      I do buy a lot of things on buyitnow though, just like you do. It tends to be for high value used items (e.g. camera lenses) that I use the auction tools.

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