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Subject: how do ebay "sniper" programs work? rss

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Andrew Prizzi
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A while back I remember reading something on here about so called sniper programs that will watch an ebay auction for you and put in your bid at the last possible second. Well, I believe I was just beaten by one- of course it could have been some other bgger who was sitting at his computer as the clock ticked down

In either case,

Do such programs exist?
How do they work?

Are there any that are free? Are there any that come from reputable sources? I don't want to acquire a virus or viri along with the sniper program. How reliable are they? If anybody on here knows about these either from personal experience or reliable 2nd hand knowledge, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts. Thanks.
 
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Matthew Wills
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They work by looking at the auction, determing when it ends, and then putting a bid in x seconds before the end.

If you Google, you should find a pack of them. Many of them aren't free. I have used http://www.auctionstealer.com/home.cfm before - they used to be free for limited use (I assume they still are).

You are giving your ebay login details to the program / website. So by definition there is some risk involved.
 
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Scott Alden
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I've used esnipe.com to some success.
 
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Steve Bernhardt
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prizziap wrote:
A while back I remember reading something on here about so called sniper programs that will watch an ebay auction for you and put in your bid at the last possible second. Well, I believe I was just beaten by one- of course it could have been some other bgger who was sitting at his computer as the clock ticked down

In either case,

Do such programs exist?
How do they work?

Are there any that are free? Are there any that come from reputable sources? I don't want to acquire a virus or viri along with the sniper program. How reliable are they? If anybody on here knows about these either from personal experience or reliable 2nd hand knowledge, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts. Thanks.


I looked into them, and my brother has used them. Since you asked for second-hand knowledge, im piping up

I see using sniping software, or paying to snipe sort of worthless. On Ebay I enter the max I am willing to pay for it and forget about the auction. I usually get what I want, and if I dont, I just bid on the next one. IMO, sniping is just too much work.
 
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Ed
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A sniper places your bid immediately before an auction closes. It's a good way to avoid bidding wars. In this ebayer's humble opinion, it's the only way to buy. auctionstealer.com allows three free snipes per week. I've used them quite a bit and never had a problem.
 
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Matthew Wills
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wargamer66 wrote:
I see using sniping software, or paying to snipe sort of worthless. On Ebay I enter the max I am willing to pay for it and forget about the auction. I usually get what I want, and if I dont, I just bid on the next one. IMO, sniping is just too much work.


Sniping is no more work. You are crazy to bid any other way.
 
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Eddy Bee
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The best defense against a sniper program, or a sniping human bidder, is simply to ensure that your maximum bid amount is truly the absolute maximum you will pay for the item.

Prior to placing your bid, pick the maximum dollar amount you think is right for you, then ask yourself how you would truly feel if you lost the item by a bid that was just $1 over that amount. If that would truly feel horrible, then increment your bid amount appropriately and ask yourself the same same question again.

Keep doing this until you've raised your bid to an amount that you're truly not willing to exceed. This should be the actual bid amount you place. Now if you lose to sniping program, it shouldn't matter, because they paid more for the item than it was truly worth to you.

Remember, just because you enter a high bid amount, it doesn't mean you'll actually end up paying that amount. I win nearly every item I bid on, and the final winning amount rarely comes anywhere near my actual threshold.

The key is to be totally honest with yourself when evaulating how you would feel if you lost the item.

Good luck!
 
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Ben Smith
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Ebay sniping works well because the majority of bidders are not aware of it... well, they weren't until now! shake

 
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Aaron Tubb
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I just snipe auctions myself (no program). I usually wait until right before the auction ends, and then I put in my absolute maximum bid. It works; you just have to be online when the auction is ending.
 
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Aarontu wrote:
I just snipe auctions myself (no program). I usually wait until right before the auction ends, and then I put in my absolute maximum bid. It works; you just have to be online when the auction is ending.


Same here. I've been sniping since 1998 and I've never used a sniping service.
 
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Ed
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Eddy Bee wrote:
The best defense against a sniper program, or a sniping human bidder, is simply to ensure that your maximum bid amount is truly the absolute maximum you will pay for the item.

This may be a good defense, but it's not a strategy for paying lower prices, which is the purpose of sniping. A better strategy would be to place your true maximum bid via sniper as well. If all buyers sniped, the competitive aspect of eBay would be eliminated and prices would be lower.
 
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Eddy Bee wrote:
The best defense against a sniper program, or a sniping human bidder, is simply to ensure that your maximum bid amount is truly the absolute maximum you will pay for the item.


The maximum I'd pay for Dune was $60. But if I see see a high bid of $20 for it I try sniping around thr $30 mark. The thing is, I can get the game $30 cheaper this way if the person didn't put their true maximum in. And why wouldn't they? Because they want to save $30-$40! Sniping works because people never want to pay anywhere near their maximum, and if there is a steady or near-steady number of auctions for something the chance to slide through below the average price increases because enough people are devaluing the item.

This is how I got Dune for $23.00! There were 8 auctions going at once and I sniped the first one for $25.00 (highest bid was $20ish). The person didn't bid too high because they must've thought, "oh well if I don't win this cheap I can fall back on one of the other bids.
 
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Lance Wilkinson

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Aarontu wrote:
It works; you just have to be online when the auction is ending.


Sniping that way does work, but the advantage of using a service is that you *don't* have to be online.

Most services also provide a feature where you can create bid groups. Say you're trying to win a specific game called Hannibal: Up Front vs. Titan and there are three auctions ending fairly close together. You're not going to be around to check on each three. You add the three auctions to a bid group, set your price, and the sniper will place your bid on each auction. If you win one, it won't bid in the later auctions.

Usually you have to pay for these extra features. Typical fees seem to be about 1% of the winning bid.
 
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Andy K.
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Eddy Bee wrote:
The best defense against a sniper program, or a sniping human bidder, is simply to ensure that your maximum bid amount is truly the absolute maximum you will pay for the item.

Prior to placing your bid, pick the maximum dollar amount you think is right for you, then ask yourself how you would truly feel if you lost the item by a bid that was just $1 over that amount. If that would truly feel horrible, then increment your bid amount appropriately and ask yourself the same same question again.

Keep doing this until you've raised your bid to an amount that you're truly not willing to exceed. This should be the actual bid amount you place. Now if you lose to sniping program, it shouldn't matter, because they paid more for the item than it was truly worth to you.

Remember, just because you enter a high bid amount, it doesn't mean you'll actually end up paying that amount. I win nearly every item I bid on, and the final winning amount rarely comes anywhere near my actual threshold.

The key is to be totally honest with yourself when evaulating how you would feel if you lost the item.

Good luck!


Right, but a sniping program isn't about changing your behavior. It's about changing other people's behavior for them.

Here's a hypothetical:

Without a sniper

You want product X for $20. That's how much you're willing to pay and you'll never go above that. JohnQPublic is the current highest bidder at $15. You enter your bid 1 day before the auction ends, and in the process you outbid JohnQPublic's max bid of $18. The next morning JohnQPublic checks eBay and raises his bid to $22. JohnQ wins the auction for $21 (because you aren't going to raise your bid over $20.)

With a sniper

You want product X for $20. That's how much you're willing to pay and you'll never go above that. JohnQPublic is the current highest bidder at $15. (JohnQ still has a max bid of $18, although you don't know this.) You enter your bid into a sniping program 1 day before the auction ends. Seconds before the auction ends, the sniping program enters your bid of $20 over JohnQ's max bid. JohnQ has no time to respond and change his max bid to $22. You win product X for $20.

Yes, it is true that if JohnQ had entered his absolute max bid of $22, you wouldn't have won the auction either way. But bottom line?

Use a sniper.
 
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Thomas Eager
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ninja Services are redundant. I can attest that a good "personal" sniping is a very satisfying feeling, especially when you wind up paying only a few bucks (or even cents!) more than the current high-bidder offered. Like the time I sniped a Mold Spore Wah pedal for about forty bucks (retails $189); I overtrumped the leading bidder by a whole seventy-five cents. Sweet. ninja
 
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Andrew Prizzi
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I understand that sniping works because most people on ebay aren't "playing optimally"- i.e. putting in their true maxium bid. That's why I was online at the very end of the auction and took over the high bid with less than 30 seconds left....then somebody else won. So I was just trying to figure out any other way to get a competitive advatage. Thanks for all the replies.
 
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Andy K.
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On a related note, it seems to me that the employees of eBay and PayPal would be doing everything within their power to stop sniping programs because they can drive down prices, which eBay and PayPal fees are tied to.

Does anyone know if this is true?
 
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Un Streetfighter avec un doctorat
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But as a buyer, why wouldn't you want to bid exactly what the item is worth to you, since eBay will increment your bid for you? ACK ACK's scenario makes it rational to snipe, but only if the rival bidder is potentially ready to raise his initial bid. Why would anyone do that?

From what I understand, sniping extracts a rent on emotional bidders who can't resist going over their initial maximum bids.
 
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Wolfgang Kunz
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ACK ACK wrote:
Eddy Bee wrote:
The best defense against a sniper program, or a sniping human bidder, is simply to ensure that your maximum bid amount is truly the absolute maximum you will pay for the item.

Prior to placing your bid, pick the maximum dollar amount you think is right for you, then ask yourself how you would truly feel if you lost the item by a bid that was just $1 over that amount. If that would truly feel horrible, then increment your bid amount appropriately and ask yourself the same same question again.

Keep doing this until you've raised your bid to an amount that you're truly not willing to exceed. This should be the actual bid amount you place. Now if you lose to sniping program, it shouldn't matter, because they paid more for the item than it was truly worth to you.

Remember, just because you enter a high bid amount, it doesn't mean you'll actually end up paying that amount. I win nearly every item I bid on, and the final winning amount rarely comes anywhere near my actual threshold.

The key is to be totally honest with yourself when evaulating how you would feel if you lost the item.

Good luck!


Right, but a sniping program isn't about changing your behavior. It's about changing other people's behavior for them.

Here's a hypothetical:

Without a sniper

You want product X for $20. That's how much you're willing to pay and you'll never go above that. JohnQPublic is the current highest bidder at $15. You enter your bid 1 day before the auction ends, and in the process you outbid JohnQPublic's max bid of $18. The next morning JohnQPublic checks eBay and raises his bid to $22. JohnQ wins the auction for $21 (because you aren't going to raise your bid over $20.)

With a sniper

You want product X for $20. That's how much you're willing to pay and you'll never go above that. JohnQPublic is the current highest bidder at $15. (JohnQ still has a max bid of $18, although you don't know this.) You enter your bid into a sniping program 1 day before the auction ends. Seconds before the auction ends, the sniping program enters your bid of $20 over JohnQ's max bid. JohnQ has no time to respond and change his max bid to $22. You win product X for $20.

Yes, it is true that if JohnQ had entered his absolute max bid of $22, you wouldn't have won the auction either way. But bottom line?

Use a sniper.


I think this discussion will spinning around itself as in former posts.

There is no general scenario of "only snipers" or "no snipers" in ebay. As long as there are people like Eddy and me you snipers have to go over my bid if you want this item. And if I decide I'm willing to pay 50 bucks for a game I pay them. If I get it cheaper fine, if I pay 50 - fine too - if bid goes over 50 and I loose at 51: so what. That's how ebay works. And because they raise the bid by only .50 or 1.0 you always loose by a small difference. If they would raise the amount by 10.0 it might psychologically speaking more satisfying but really makes no difference.

Face it: A sniper against me has to pay big bucks to win, a sniper in a sniper only auction can make a bargain. With my method I sometimes pay my max. but I also won by paying only half or (best yet) 10 % of what I was willing to pay.

 
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Andy K.
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vialiy wrote:
ACK ACK's scenario makes it rational to snipe, but only if the rival bidder is potentially ready to raise his initial bid. Why would anyone do that?


Because we are creatures whose emotional side sometimes overtakes our rational side.

vialiy wrote:
From what I understand, sniping extracts a rent on emotional bidders who can't resist going over their initial maximum bids.


Exactly correct, vialiy, and very well put. The sniping program forces other bidders to act rationally towards your sniped bid (at least if they understand how eBay bidding works).
 
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Andy K.
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Alphawolf wrote:

I think this discussion will [be] spinning around itself as in former posts.



Yeah, you're right. We're both arguing for the same thing from different perspectives.

The first and most important key is to place your maximum bid and don't change it whether you use a sniper or not.
 
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Thomas Eager
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ninja Since you're being so gracious, I'll spill a couple of my sniping secrets to ya. Rule #1--two words: multiple windows. Use one window to jump back and forth between your "Items Watched" and "All" on "My eBay", in order to keep a close eye on the clock. Set the other window to display the bid portion of the auction's page, with your max bid already filled in. Bid with fewer than thirty seconds left, but remember you'll have to get through the "confirm" page as well.
When you're about to press the final "confirm bid" button, do a silent five-count (or more) first. This ensures you'll be one of the last few bidders. ALWAYS overbid by at least five or ten bucks (higher if you're willing to pay more for the item). The higher your "overtrump", the less-likely it is you'll be outbid. This is risky, but often pays great dividends.
If you're feeling really evil, look for items where the leading bidder has fifteen or fewer feedback. Rookies are a lot easier to snipe. ninja
 
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surprise I have encountered all of you snipers!! Or your evil devil Sniper counterparts!! Curses on you all!! I going to ebay!! arrrh

I will exact my revenge at the next rainy day auction!!! arrrh

 
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Dan Rosewater
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I learned about sniper programs only in this thread, but I feel that I did human sniping as long it was possible.
Because sniping here on the other side of the Atlantic doesn't work as you described it:
If I or a program enters a bid within the last 5 minutes before the auction ends it is automaticly extended by another 5 minutes. If this is done 4 times the auction was prolongated at least for 20 minutes.

This is a measure to protect against sniping and to give an auction potential to rise higher as without time extension.
It is crystal clear that Ebay or any other auction platform profits from higher amounts bidden due to such time extension on last minute bids.
So my advice to American bidders is: snipe as long as you can.

 
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I wonder how competing sniping programs work against each other. Sniping program A and Sniping program B, both bidding on the same item. Or how about multiple different buyers using the SAME sniping program on the same item. Just random idle thoughts. Anybody know?

I suspect in the last scenario, the program will default to the person with the higest overall bid amoungst them.

Peace
 
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