I snipe. Its the only way to fly since lots of others are doing it.
I watch a lot of items. If I won everything I was watching at what I thought it was worth to me, I could get overextended.
I bid my max in the last 10 seconds, if I get it, I get it. If I'm not going to be around for the close I use a sniping service.
The soul never thinks without an image.
NZ has a site similar to ebay, which allows the auction to autoextend for two minutes if you are out bid, seems to work well and you don't have to worry about getting sniped. I think the last 10 items I have purchased from ebay were 'buy now', I just got sick of the sniping game..
I snipe -- I know I'm a bad peachButt. I don't use a website or application to snipe, I do it myself. If I am not alone in my sniping than the price goes up. If the original bidder places a high bid than the price goes up. In other words I didn't gain a lower price by sniping and the seller is not 'cheated' out of 'fair' price. What I gain by sniping is the chance to limit opportunities for other bidders. The reality is that sniping sends the price up at the end of the auction instead of throughout the auction. It is as fair as any other bidding technique and in my opinion much smarter than bidding early.
A nice side affect of snipping is that I can't get carried away. If my initial, last second, bid is too low to win the item then I have no time to bid again and pay more than the item is worth.
I have run a lot of auctions. I have seen people get into bidding wars and run the price of used item up over the retail price of new. I have seen this dozens of times.
As a seller I love it when people bid early and often, but I don't begrudge the snipers.
It is fun to sit and refresh your auctions at the end and watch the price climb and sometimes jump in the last few seconds.
Its all part of the game.
I guess I'm really unethical. :o
What I do is wait until the last minute, then bid what I'm willing to pay for it. If the amount I'm willing to pay is substantially more than the current price, going into the last few minutes, I will almost always win, because the auto-sniping programs are busy upping their bid by a dollar here and a dollar there. Given the nature of the HTTP request/response system, they eventually run out of time.
As someone said, you are only going to do this for an item you really want, and if the auction ends at a time when you can be home and otherwise unoccupied. If I can't be home, or if it's not something I'm crazy about, I just bid what I'm willing to pay, and if I win, so be it.
"What drives man to create is the compulsion to, just once in his life, comprehend and record the pure, unadorned, unvarnished truth. Not some of it; all of it."
- Fred Picker
Of course sniping hurts sellers. That's the point. They don't get bidding wars. It's harder for a shill bidder to bid against nobody.
I really don't understand the line that it hurts sellers. If you get a good deal from the corner shop do you feel bad? If you find a house you like do you jump up and down? Tell the seller how you love the house and will die if you can't have it?
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Does anybody know if you proxy bid to a certain level and two proxy's are automatically outbidding each other if a sniper can jump in with, say seconds to go and bump a proxy but run the others out of time.
In other words can a sniper jump in at the last second and run out the time for a proxy bid to go to it's top level.
I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.
No. The bids are all based on maximum amount and earliest time bid. All that happens at the end is that the highest bid wins and if two bids are the same amount, then the earliest one placed is the winner. Proxy only means that you can bid your maximum, only the amount "needed" to win is shown to the other bidders and only the amount needed to win is taken by eBay as the high bid.
Originally Posted by blansky
That would depend on how badly the ebay software is written... I would expect that once all bids are in and the time is up, ebay's back-end should then look at all bids and the times they were set in its database, ignoring all bids after the close and apply the bidding rules to decide who won and at what price. I very much doubt that it would be time critical so that a last millisecond bid would prevent a previous maximum bid from being recognized - the proxy bid is already in the database and there is no action that needs to be taken that might take up any processing time.
Of course, if the back-end had been written by Microsoft, it probably would select the lowest bid.... and then crash....
Actually not, Microsoft servers are quite robust, as are Microsoft database servers.
Originally Posted by Bob F.
I often snipe myself. Here's how I work it:
If I see an item I have a moderate interest in, say a Petzval lens in good shape, I'll make an initial bid lower than what I am willing to pay for an item, but high enough that it will discourage many bidders who think they might walk away with the item for almost nothing. I believe this part of the strategy results in fewer people bidding overall... less competition. Having a bid placed also brings the item to my attention in the "Items I'm Bidding On" section of my summary page. (While I watch some of these too, a lot of the watched items are just to see what the items eventually go for and there are a bunch that I really have no intention on bidding for. Example: I might watch an item similar to one I already own to determine its current value.)
If I really want the item, I'll snipe myself in the last few seconds. Since I can't increase my own final bid amount unless someone else snipes too, I have nothing to lose by doing so. So with about 6 seconds to go I place my real highest bid and let Jim Galli walk away with the item.