How do I avoid snipers on my eBay auctions?
Selling my stuff via auction on eBay used to be really fun, but now everyone waits until the very last second to bid, which means that I have this constant anxiety that my products aren't going to sell at all and then, just before the timer runs out, there are suddenly a flurry of bids. I'm sick of it. eBay isn't any fun any more because of all these snipers. How do I avoid having them ruin my auctions??
While I completely understand your issue with snipers (people who bid at the last minute in the hopes of getting a great bargain by preventing others from counter-bidding and raising the price of the auction), I am surprised at your hostility towards the practice on eBay!
The way I figure it, as long as the auction ends with a successful bid that's higher than the reserve, you've accomplished your goal of making money through your eBay sales. It's not as fun as watching a week-long drawn out bidding war between a few buyers, as your item goes up, up, up, in price, but I would suggest that this still happens today, just in a much more compressed period of time at the very end of the auction.
By the way, I think that one way you can get a sense of whether people are going to "snipe" your auction by looking at the "Watchers" column in your My eBay view. Here's what I see with my recent auction, for example:
Click to see full-size view
You can see here that in less than 24 hours (they're 7 day auctions) I've picked up four watchers for the mixer and 3 watchers for the inline patch, my two higher ticket auctions. I could say "oh man, they're going to wait until the last second and end up getting a better price on the item by sniping" but instead I see it as "hurray! People are paying attention and I bet at least one of them will go wild bidding up the price in the last few hours".
If you check the eBay help system, you'll find that they say "Placing a high bid in the closing seconds of an auction-style listing is called "sniping" within the eBay Community. Sniping is part of the eBay experience, and all bids placed before a listing ends are valid - even if they're placed one second before the listing ends. To help avoid disappointment, ensure that the maximum bid you enter on the item page is the highest price that you're willing to pay. The eBay bidding system automatically increases your bid up to the maximum price you specify, so entering a higher maximum may help prevent you from being outbid in the closing seconds of a listing."
Sniping isn't a violation of any rules on eBay, and with the rise in slick sniping tools like BidRobot.com, I think it's rather inevitable that this practice will just increase in the future too. On the other hand, these sniping sites do recognize that the practice is at least a bit controversial. BidRobot, again, from its help FAQ:
"Do sellers hate last-minute-bidding? Many do. For one thing, sellers are unable to gauge the interest in ongoing auctions because last-minute bidders are delaying their bids until the flurry of bids at very last moment. For another thing, last minute bidding often forces sellers to sell items for less than what they would like. There is nothing a seller likes more than to see a several day long bidding war at the expense of several bidders. In the early days, sellers unsuccessfully lobbied eBay to prohibit last minute bidding. Some sellers understand that while BidRobot may keep the prices of items down, it also attracts last-minute bidders who might not otherwise bid for an item. Whether sellers like it or not, last minute bidding wins more auctions and is here to stay."
I have to echo that last line: if you are going to continue as an eBay seller, I think it's just inevitable that you're going to see more effects of sniping software on how auctions transpire and the closing price. I can't possibly see how it can be avoided, frankly. Sooo.....
Hope your auctions all end well nonetheless, and do remember that's really why you might want to have a reserve price or consider starting your auctions at a higher opening bid, to circumvent the "bargain hunter snipers".
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Reader Comments To Date: 63
As a buyer the one thing that bothers me is the really low opening price, but a high reserve. I just leave the auction rather than worry with it.
Personally I always use snipe tools to bid on auctions 3 seconds before the close. As a buyer, the last thing you want to do is get into a bidding war with another buyer. I setup my bids often days in advance and it serves two purposes. 1. It stops you getting carried away bidding more than you would want to just because you want to win and 2. You often get the item cheaper because you have avoided the bidding war in the first place. Is that fair on sellers? Of course it is. It's an auction and that's the risk you take. If you can take it you should be looking elsewhere to sell your goods.
As a buyer, I guess I am considered a sniper. It's really raises the blood pressure. Quite a high. My husband uses a sniper program that puts a bid in during the last few seconds. It's just smart buying. Why bid once during the duration of the auction...just to have someone bid over you...then you have to raise the price again on yourself. I guess a good rule of thumb is to bid your maximum that you want to pay...early or sniper. I have three noobs right now in a bidding war on a bracelet. Gotta love the uneducated.
As a seller, that's the way the game is played. I dont care to see zero bids all week...but I cant fault people for smart bidding...especially when I do the exact same thing!
I also snipe. YOu have to or you won't win anything worth winning. That is the thing. There is no other choice. One way ebay could end this is to give sellers an option (with an additional fee) to add a auction extension. Allow any bidder who have bid in a designated time period to continue bidding. Then, when no additional bids have been made, the auction closes. For example, Bidder 1 bids on an item with 2 minutes left. Bidder 2 ups the bid with 1 minute left. Bidder 3 comes in and tries to snipe at 30 seconds... the auction does not close. Bidder 1 or 2 can come in and bid for 2 more minutes (or whatever designated by seller). When 2 minutes has passed with no additional bids then the auction closes. This is like a real auction. An real live auction will not close while a last minute bidding war is going on. Problem solved. Seller makes more money possibly. Thus ebay makes more in fees by the additional fee for listing with this service and the additional % from the higher sale.
For the first time i think I will snipe as an Ebay buyer.... Those of you Ebay buyers who snipe with 3 seconds remaining in an auction, is there a sniping site you have found to work better than others?
There is a fix I can think of. Why doesn't eBay have a random finish time where the auction will finish *somewhere* in the last hour. For example if an auction is listed to finish at 7:00 pm it might finish at 6:05 or it might go til 6:59.
People would have to bid earlier to be sure their bid would register and snipers would be much less effective.
Hello! I agree so very much with the OP. I stumbled across this while looking for another auction site that does not allow sniping. I have heard they exist and am hoping to find a good one. I have been with eBay as both a buyer and seller since 1998. That is a long time. I have watched it evolve, volunteered for various things over the years and even made true friends that carried over into my everyday life. It has been a wonderful experience but like the OP said, it is not fun any longer. I have a 100% pos feedback and have shipped all over the world. Before the snipers and the sniping software an auction was enjoyable. It was sort of like a competition that brought several strangers together for a brief time. Perhaps I am naive, perhaps I am getting senile, but snipers have taken any joy out of it for me as well as for the bidders who do not like sniping or even know what it is. But that does not seem to concern snipers. Only the win is important. That too makes me sad.
One thing people that snipe fail to realize is on eBay it is the earliest bid that wins an auction in case of a tie.
So I bid $125 on Monday for an item starting @ $2.50
Come the last day the 4 or 5 people that have snipped the auction, must have a higher bid than $125 or the item will go to the bid that was placed the earliest in the day or the week.
Or better yet, why not have the auction automatically extended for ten to thirty minutes from the time the last bid was placed?
Wouldn't THAT solve everything?
And if ebay wanted to be asinine about it, then they could charge a quarter for every bid happening in overtime...
I guess it all just makes sense to ME.
I think the best way to go is to put auction for 1 or 3 days only, not for 7 or 10 days like some people do.
Sniper or not, you will receive your bids within last few hours and don't need to wait and see your bids to be the same every day.
As an additional bonus for putting your item for 1 or 3 days is that you will sell your item faster.
If you are still afraid then you can put a reserve price on your auction. However, that will drive attention out of your auction to similar ones without reserve.
On another position..
I personally love snipers. They actually put the price my item worth and thanks to them I'm always getting a fair value without having to put a reserve price.
I snipe myself when I buy also, because some seller do shill bidding on their auctions (and they think it's fair!) and sniping protects me most of the time from shill bidding.
So, sellers think sniping is unfair??? But it is fair for people to get into emotional bidding and then bid till the item is way over retail price just to win? I think that is unfair to buyers, and I am quite perplexed of how many people still over bid and bid very early. I have been sniping since, I joined ebay in 1999. It seemed like common sense to me. Don't forget that snipers don't always win. We have to put our maximum price, and sometimes we have already been outbid, so we don't get another chance to bid.
Personally, I shop at ebay to get a good price. Otherwise I would go to a known retail store and pay retail prices, and I can actually touch & see my item and have an actual warranty through a reputable company just incase something is wrong with my item.I take the risk by buying on ebay.
If the seller is so scared, put a reserve price. It is the sellers who put $1 starting price just so that people can compete and then pay way more. By the way, I am a seller too, and I am fine with sniping. I just have to be smart on the pricing of my items, thats all!
You don't get bid sniping and last second bids in time limited autions in the real world so why should we put up with it online? I believe if a bid is made, the auction end time should get increased by 5 mins.
Bid sniping is unfair to buyers AND sellers. Most people I know have no idea how to do it and how the person who gesumped them at the last second managed it. In short they are annoyed and frustrated and many aren't geeky or obsessed enough to be able to do it themselves.
For sellers it means you're item has almost certainly sold for less than it might have. That might sound great to you, but that sure as hell doesn't to me. If you'd rather your item sold for £50 istead of £100 then you're away with the fairies my friend.
'The way I figure it, as long as the auction ends with a successful bid that's higher than the reserve, you've accomplished your goal of making money through your eBay sales.'
OMG how nieve can you be! Yes some people just want to make a bit of money, hell some people just want to get rid of something, even if it costs them a bit.
But a vast majority of us aren't rolling in money and when we put something on ebay we go through a lot of effort to make sure our auction is as attractive and informative as possible to make as much money from it as possible.
We're not after success and living with the pixies with a happy smile and skipping everywhere saying 'oooh I had a lovely sucessful auction today!' We're after cash, cold and simple and that's the reason why ebay is around in the first place.
Sellers aren't scared at all. We just want the best price for our auctions. I think the snipe bidders are the ones who are scared, losing their unfair grip on the service and having to do a bit of effort for a change instead of essentially cheating at what used to be an enjoyable experience.
Snipers cut out the competition by not allowing others to bid. Any system that eliminates competition like this is detrimental to the seller. If snipers it didn't give them an advantage, they wouldn't snipe.
It's as simple as that.
Man I don't care how mad you people get over snipers if you have problems with it then stop selling your stuff on ebay and just sell them somewhere else. I have never sniped before but I have been sniped, it wasn't a cool feeling but I learned my lesson I'll never sell anything on ebay again that's for sure.
Can't believe all these complaints! Sniping can work to buyer and seller's advantage. The snipers don't know who else is watching and planning to snipe as well. Auctions often jump drastically in the last 30 seconds....why would any seller complain about that? I agree with some of the others: put a reserve on your item or sell it elsewhere. You could try a garage sale and see how that goes.
Someone else mentioned "only the win is important". Duh, it's an auction!
As a buyer and seller on Ebay, I have been sniped, by another buyer, and when I sell, I see snipers come in the last few seconds.
As a buyer, I normally try to look for buy it now auctions, or auctions ending soon that I can try to snipe out another sniper, if I can. An easy way to allivate this, is if buyers are truely interested, then they should have a higher MAX bid. Simple as that.
As a seller, I try to adapt to snipe bids by strategically setting up my auctions. I set a minimum amount that I would be comfortable selling an item at, and normally increase my shipping costs slightly to make a small profit from that as well. As a seller, you have to be just as strategic as a sniper.
It would be nice if Ebay would change their auctions around, but introducing a program that would extend an auction a few extra minutes for last minute bidding. That would alleivate the snipe bidding, but don't count on it. It doesnt seem like Ebay is interested in doing that.
Great comments here. I am a sniper because I don't want to commit ahead of time to an item and be outbid and then decide to increase my bid to compensate. Also, maybe I can take advantage of a more tentative buyer who hasn't thought out his/her maximum bid and is bidding reactively. My sniping them will teach them to enter their maximum bid. I'm not saying this in a mean way, I'm just saying that learning will make them a better bidder. Better bidder = less bitter better bidder.
Why should a bidder be expected to tie up his money in a bid for days when he might decide to change his mind in the meantime and want to pull out of a bid. In this way, it's better to be a sniper, then there's no bid retraction, just a cancelled sniping attempt. How many sellers are willing to see their bidders retract? Zero, that's how many.
Sellers should be able to give buyers the opportunity to have a rough idea of when the auction ends, and still make it hard for the buyers to snipe.
Instead of a
5m 42s "
There should be a
"May end anytime between
25th Dec 7.00pm- 25th Dec 11.00pm"
Sniping doesn't 'prevent others from bidding' as someone had suggested above. If they had actually bid the maximum they wanted to pay for the item in the first place, a snipe would be either below or above that. The problem is that people get emotional about it and start putting small incremental bids in, and watching the end of the auction. This is a sure way to end up paying over the odds.
Basically - when you make your first bid, make it the true amount you are willing to pay for the item!
I always add an edit to my items at the beginning of the last hour stating how many people are watching!
It doesn’t stop the sniping but it lets buyers know that they are not the only ones watching so they might go that bit higher to beat the other watchers.
If I am a buyer and I place a maximum bid amount with ebay, can the seller see the maximum bid that I have placed?
I am bidding on something. Someone else placed the first bid for $20. I placed the second bid for $20.50. I suspect that the other person has not bid again because they plan on sniping in the last minute. I would like to place a maximum bid of $27.95 because I am willing to pay that much for the item it need be. But I am afraid that the seller can see my max bid and will therefore have a shill place a bid of $27. I want to place my max bid now so that I have the earlier bid in if the other person bids the same as me at the end. But if no one is going to ever bid on it again then I don't want to pay more than $20.50 if I didn't have to.
Please tell me if the seller can see my max bid.
it's because ebay is a crummy (YES! its!) site for doing auctions. If they would really want to mimic real life auctions, they would be extending auction end time by 10 seconds from last places bid. Solution is so simple, yet they can't figure out this on their own
@nb: no, the seller cannot see you maximum bid.
Sniping is just a nasty term developed by people who got upset things didn't go their way and instead of comming up with a better solution within the current rules decided it would be much more productive to just complain about it.
People who shop at eBay are looking for a deal. If you post an item for less than you want with no reserve and it sells for less than you wanted, that is your fault, not sniping. If you bid on an auction and you lose to a sniper that is also your fault as either they were willing to pay more than you (fyi this really is a benefit to the seller) or you for some reason didn’t enter the max amount you were willing to pay which again is clearly your fault.
I have won auctions by bidding at the last second before. In some cases it is because I noticed the auction just before it ended and rushed to get a bid in at the last second! I have also won auctions by bidding early with my max bid. People bid against me all the way through and it still ended up less than my max bid.
Long story short, if you are going to list an item, research it on eBay, see how similar stuff sells and what it sells for, list it at a price you are comfortable with and that the bidders will be comfortable with, use a reserve if need be, and sit back and see what happens. If you get zero bids until the last 10 seconds on the account, don’t blame snipers, it is much more likely it is due to poor initial pricing, item choice, etc. You have a lot of control in eBay, just learn how to use it and you will do just fine.
SIMPLE SOLUTION TO DETER SNIPER-BOTS...
"If there is no biding near the end of the sale, we may end the auction early at a random time in the last 5 minutes of the sale to avoid sniper-bots and ensure fair bidding. Thanks."
This is the same solution as extending the sale. Remember, time is relative :) Good luck.
I've found this very interesting as until tonight i didn't even know what sniping was, and it appears I myself have been one on ebay. FACT the seller doesn't always lose out and the buyer doesn't always get the bargain he/she was hoping for!! I have just won an auction where (I think) I actually beat a sniper too... GET IN THERE, however as you have mentioned.. about a half hour before the end the price was at £36 had been all day as I kept checking. Then in the last 5/10 mins or so it jumped up to £72 (approx) with a few more bids then SUDDENLY in the closing seconds I put what I thought was my last minute final bid £75 (fortunately I put in the final amount I was willing to pay also) when hey presto I was almost outbid in the last couple of seconds by a sniper (I assume) - came in with £111 bid thankfully I got it for just over that due to my thinking ahead. So as you can see where the SELLER was only going to get £36 he ended up with over £100 and I as the BUYER I ended up paying £30+ more pounds for my item (but I'm still happy as I got what I wanted...I REST MY CASE Milud :-)
Buyers who are upset by snipers are the ones being unfair.
They were hoping to get that item originally listed at 99p for(say) £5 when it is worth a lot more.
Along comes a sniper who has ONE chance in the closing seconds to put his HIGHEST bid (say) £20 knowing there are other snipers doing the same.
The seller now gets the highest price - here it would be a minimum of £20 with me (or more if another sniper valued it higher).
So, the item goes to the highest bidder ..... which kinda is the whole point of an auction isn't it?
first experience losing to a sniper was really painful. I couldn't sleep the whole night.
I can see how sniping may make a seller worry, when there's 30 minutes left in the auction and their item that is worth $500 is at $25, but sniping is the smart way to bid.
Some bidders probably wouldn't bid at all if they couldn't snipe, as early bidding really makes no sense.
As far as other bidders complaining, sniping is available to you as well, use it. Also, sniping isn't magic. You still have to have the highest bid to win.
I`ve been a member on ebay for a number of years but until the last few weeks had bought but never sold anything. I finally decided to have a clear out at home as the family were getting overwhelmed by clutter!
So far I`ve had mixed results.I sold some Enid Blyton books(including a 1st edition)that went for a lot less than I was expecting.I also sold some vintage cycling gear that went for far too low and a price and was bitterly disappointed.I put the starting to price at £4.99 when I had seen similar items of similar vintage sell for £25-35.I put 10 days on the items and sat back and waited for the bids to roll in...and I waited... and waited and it got to the last day with no bids so I started to panic a bit! I saw that the pages for both items had had around 200 views and there was between 6 and 10 people watching both items,so why no bids??? I came home from work on the final day of the auctions,turned on my PC and saw that both items had sold for £4.99,with just one bid(a late one!)on each.I was absolutely sick!
I guess in future I will just have to set my opening bid higher at a price I`m comfortable to see an item go for,but set it too high and it puts people off altogether.It`s a fine balancing act I guess!
On another note I made an absolute killing on a designer hat that I found at a car boot for 50p.The item finally sold for over £40,so I guess I can`t complain TOO much!!!
It`s a learning curve and after reading people`s comments on here has given me much food for thought.
Personally, I feel sniping is very self-centered, covetousness and greedy. I rarely bid anymore. I prefer to just "buy now." I feel I still get a good deal. If I do bid. I put a price I feel is worth it to the seller(I want to respect the seller with a fair deal). I leave it at that. If I win: great, if I don't: no big deal. There will be other chances out their. Most of the time if I do loose a bid I'll find the same item cheaper if it is "buy now." Just my two cents.
The only fair way to have the auctions available would be to only let people who have previously bid on the item "snipe" in the last few minutes. So there is a cut off point at 15 minutes before the item ends, and only interested bidders who have previously bid are allowed to keep pushing it up.
Sniping might be great for buyers, but I have a VERY disappointed 7-year-old who was SO excited about watching the countdown so she could Finally get her item, but is now extremely SAD because of the sniping.
I recently joined ebay and though I didn't realise this method had a name, I found it on google as a way to get good deals on ebay.
Personally I feel that bidding earlier often leads to a war with one person trying to outdo the other one. Even if someone had decided to pay a maximum of say 25, just seeing another person pay more will prompt them to hike up their max, which is kind of annoying. And sometimes you may end up paying more than you would for a new item, just to win!
We all have to have a max we're willing to pay and know that we do commit to this even at the last moment, else the higher bidder from before will win.
I don't see anything wrong with that. Just my two bits
Oh my GOD! All this arguing over snipers! I have always gone in at the last minute to place my bid,and often it hasn't been enough to outdo someone else's max bid and I've not won. Therefore, recently I took to using a sniper site, and I will always do it that way now! Sniping is all part of Ebay, as is shill-bidding (when a seller gets friends to bid on an item to push the price up and make the item look more popular), it works both ways! At the end of the day, this is an auction site, the bidders want a bargin, and if this is a way to do it, and is permitted, then we'll do it! You still sell your item... if you hate it that much, sell on Amazon or somewhere. I hope Ebay never makes it against their rules, because tbh I would probably not bother buying on Ebay anymore!
The thing about buying on eBay is... it's commerce. People selling stuff and us buying it.
Commerce is competition and competition is enjoyable to those of us who are good at it: we use tactics and sniping is a tactic used by buyers to get a good price at auction-end.
Because it's commerce, the end is what is enjoyable to snipers, not the means. Some people see the act of using eBay as being similar to some sort of video-game version of a real-life auction - they enjoy the slow rise of price, bid and counter-bid - but they'll be beaten by snipers 8 times (maybe even 9) out of 10 because snipers understand that eBay isn't like a real-life auction.
Snipers only want the item (at the right price) and since we're using computers already it's only natural that we use the speed of computers to assist us (it would be silly not to, in fact) either by using software or by waiting until 5 seconds before auction-end to enter our maximum bid.
It's just tactics, because it's just commerce.
It's is supposed to be an auction. What ever happened to "Going once, going twice..." That is the way auctions are supposed to work. Buyers who get emotional about winning and wind up paying more than they should is part of the deal. Ever hear of "Caveat emptor"? It is latin for "Let the buyer beware".
The different options people are coming up with to "fix" the ebay business model only serve to benefit the seller. As a buyer, I want an item at the lowest possible price. This is why I use Ebay. If I wanted a long, drawn out bidding war that goes on forever with another Ebay user... well let's just say I'll lose interest and buy elsewhere. Then the sellers also lose. So, when you are a buyer, you want it cheap, when you are a seller, you want the long bidding war (unless of course you want to know exactly when your auctions are going to end... as many do for business reasons. As a buyer, it usually best to wait as long as possible, put in your biggest willing to pay bid and if you are sniped, who cares. Someone else thought the item was worth more than you did and perhaps over paid. This is no different than any other auction... how much are you willing to pay? Who cares when you bid that amount?? The ebay model follows the free market. The item will sell for whatever the market will bear. Ebay is successful because it strikes a balance between favoring the buyers, as well as the sellers pretty much equally. My opinon, this system is not broken. Don't change a thing. Sniping is not a 4 letter word, and many feel it is the only way to have a shot at winning an item.
Sniping or not Sniping, what is best? I think the seller has to be in control of whether sniping should be allowed for the item that he is selling or not. In real life an auction often sells to the buyer that offers the most, and the auction ends after a period of x amount of seconds that the last bid was heard. New ebuyers can be willing to pay best price, but experienced ones can snipe the item off their hands by placing their best bet in the last second. I used to be poor neophyte ebayer until after a few missed auctions I learned about sniping. I didn't know it was called like this until I saw this thread. I really have fun going for auctions when trying to snipe the item. Some times the auctions go higher than the max price I want to pay that I end up with the window and the price on my textbox that when I try to submit, the ebay robot rejects my bid. I see sniping as fun way to attract buyers, but I also believe that sellers should be given an options if they will allow snipers to pull items out of novice buyers or they should be allowed to set a designated time to end an auction after so many seconds of receiving the last bid. In other words if the sellers sets a 20 secs extension and the auction ends at 1:00:00 and the last bidder placed a bid at 12:59:55, the auction end time should extend to 1:00:15 and if somebody else bids again before that time, the auction should extend for another 20 seconds until there are no more bidders willing to pay more. Going Once, Going Twice... Gone!!!
I think one poster made a good point of letting bidders know that you will end auction 15 mins before if still zero bid at that time.
On the other hand another poster made a good point that snipers could trigger a higher price at the last couple mins.
I have one right now listed for sale with 30 watchers. LOL. But I listed starting bid at my comfy price so Im not bothered at all. Its my first sale too! Well see what happens. Im excited so I guess there is still excitement on ebay despite snipers.
ok its proven that snipers could trigger a higher price for the seller. Just sold an item where it was stuck at $35 for 3 days. At the last 5 seconds snipers went to action and winning bid ended at $62. :)
Thanks for all the LOLs everyone! Sniping benefits both buyers and sellers.
To the buyers who don't like it, I laugh in your faces. If you got beat by a sniper, you should have bid more to begin with. Putting in measly little incremental bids on an eBay auction is the surest way to LOSE. You bid the max amount you are willing to pay. If not, you are asking to LOSE. Smart bidders wait until the final minute (or seconds).
To the sellers who don't like it, wake up! Snipers drive up the price of your item! If you don't like your auctions' ending price, NEWS FLASH, raise the starting price or use the "Buy it now" option! Reserve prices are stupid. They just keep people away. The only auctions that make sense are the ones that A) start low, but are popular items that are guaranteed to end high, or B) start at the minimum price you are willing to sell at.
I continue to win at eBay because I take advantage of everyone who doesn't get it.
Only one sniper can win, but all snipers could lose.
Think about that for a moment.
48 hours into a 5 day auction and I have 21 watchers, and only 1 bid. I already know how my item sells from past auctions by others of the same item. I suspect that at least 6 of those 21 will snipe.
I set a reserve that guarantees I will get at least the amount that I want. As I could use the money ASAP, I also have Buy It Now set at a reasonably high price with an incentive (a free gift) for anyone who uses that feature.
Buy It Now remains an option for as long as no one bids more than my reserve. That is key! I set a low starting price with which ordinary bidders can play, but my Buy It Now stays open.
If that single bid I have now remains until the last minute, then several things could happen. First, someone snipes with a bid greater than my reserve. I'm happy. Second, someone may get nervous about losing the whole thing and decides to Buy It Now before the reserve is met. I'm very happy.
Finally, no one bids more than my reserve. All the snipers lose! I'm not happy but I keep my item and I only lose my Reserve fee.
With that in mind, I will turn around and relist with a regular auction and a high opening price, no Buy It Now, and limit it to 3 days. Those watchers will still be haunting ebay looking for my item, so not to worry.
Can I use different sniper programs at one and the same auction? Does eBay system and sniper programs algorithm allow to use couple or more different sniper services to place a bid? I mean won't eBay account reject such a multi login process at the last seconds of auction? All I want to be sure that my free sniper services will not hinder each other.
With the suspicions I have regarding shilling on Ebay I will not bid using anything but a sniping robot.
As far as the idea of extending auctions for some time period after the last bid, that is horrible to bidders because it forces them to be physically present at the close of each auction they wish to participate in for an unknown period of time. I used to participate in an auction site that did this and boy was it annoying to have to sit watching a post close bid process go on for an hour or more.
Personally I really like the current Ebay process. It is the best I have seen for only auctions.
How do I deal with snipers as a seller.
I list items close to what I want to get for them, often times, if a bidder bids early in the auction I will send him a note asking if he would like me to end the auction early and sell to him.
I would much rather sell to him, loosing a dollar, then to sell to a sniper.
I will even state that in my in my ad.
if someone bids early and the price seems fair to me, they win the item.
Early bidding is stupid. Watching people battle it out for the top spot when there's still hours or even DAYS on the clock frustrates me. It's a really dumb thing to do and if you're an early bidder and you're reading this...please be offended. It makes zero sense.
I don't think there is anything wrong with sniping. Plently of times if sniped when i know i won't have access to Ebay but i can still win something if i want.
Anyone here who said that snipes have taken the joy away should realise that their joy basically comes from watching stupid people...and you should be ashamed of yourselves. I bet you like reality TV too.
GOOD AND FUNNY BOTH... Sounds like a bunch of spoiled kids complaining. And good advice to the wise.
In real LIVE auctions, you can still snipe to a limited degree by NOT bidding until the end. But you need either a loud voice, or known to the auctioneer, or watch the auctioneer's style very closely or you can also loose out, i.e. fail to get in your bid. Likewise with trying to snipe in too close to the end time. I've lost items because of a sniper / or ebay malfunction. so it doesn't ALWAYS work, either. For you cry babies that hate sniper bidders.
Secondly, ebay as an electronic auction is based more on the level of a SEALED BID AUCTION with a deadline to enter your highest AND BEST offer. Therefore, there isn't any overtime, is there? NO
And in the LIVE auctions, the single loud last bidder, after the battling has been done and the higher bidder THINKS he's got it... He is caught by surprise and many times is unwilling to rise his bid. The veteran bidder always knows WHAT HE'S willing to pay and there wasn't any hesitation from the beginning. So what's the problem with snipers?
Snipers take all the baby fun out of it for those that do not really understand auctions. LIVE AUCTIONS happen in only minutes or seconds PER ITEM boys.... do you understand that?
But ebay is not the place where people who really understand auctions go... no, it's more like a place where people that are gamers, nerds, and surfers go to see if they can play with their emotions there for a while.... these are the complainers
The business man goes there because of massive EXPOSURE (nation wide or world wide) and to sell (at a profit) or he goes somewhere else.
Now what ticks me off is... those lying by saying their product is in the USA and then it's a week getting here from hong-kong. granted they usually sell cheaper. But time is money and this has caused me problems in the past also.
But if the product is coming from outside the USA, it should be made known, honestly upfront instead of "well the free shipping will take one to three weeks" AFTER YOU PAID FOR THE ITEM, because it’s really coming from China. Ebay should STOP that, but they are the ones with 10000000000 feedback, roger? Ebay isn’t going to shoot themselves in the foot, while honesty can be shot and left for dead. Unfortunately that’s what BIG BUSINESS has become today. Ask GM, Chev VOLT, and Obama (are you in?) NO, I’m out and being shot at….
OH, and if sellers don't like auction style, then just sell BUY IT NOW.... While I snipe, I buy a LOT OF THINGS ---- BUY IT NOW... so does the fact that I snipe auctions, but buy it now, NOW, make me a good buyer or a bad buyer because of my method of bidding???? go figure...
Oh, I forgot the cry babies can't figure
Sniping does reduce the sale price of items because of the limited time the bids take place. Just make sure that you set your starting price at a comfortable place or set a reserve. I know it is expensive to set reserves so I never use them.
The best way to beat snipers on your items is to fight fire with fire. Get a friend to sign up for a sniping service with his/her ebay account and set the snipe to go off say 15 seconds before the end of the auction. That way the price will be higher when the other customer's sniping begins. Just make sure that you set the max bid on your friend's sniping site to just lower than what you think it will go for. If you expect to sell the item for $100 then set their snipe to max out at $80 or $85. Then the other snipers will win and everyone is happy.
Just make sure that your friend doesn't live in the same town as you, or have him setup a bogus account from another zip code like 90210. You can also change the item location in your listing to reflect the item is in a different city just don't say the item is states away, just a few cities/towns away.
I was losing out big time due to snipers. My items would have many watchers and the snipers would set the snipe to go off at 1 to 3 seconds before the auction ended. Only so many bids can happen in 3 seconds. The final sale price of my items has risen 40%-60% by doing this and I am no longer just breaking even. I am actually making money like I used to. All it took was to have the thought one day "What would these snipers do if they were selling" and that is when I came up with this solution.
I know snipers will get mad about this but it is only fair. In a way they are cheating so it is only fair to cheat back or get fleeced out of your items every time. Occasionally you might win your own item. Depending on the price of the item you can either go through with the purchase that way it appears that it was a valid transaction but this is only good for small ticket items b/c you will have to pay fees to ebay. You can avoid paypal fees by claiming a money order was sent and that you shipped it without tracking.
If you happen to win a big ticket item you can cancel the transaction but just don't use that account again to snipe the same seller account you were using.
Hope this helps and remember what Metallica always said:
Fight fire with Fire!!
Just go with BUYNOW option or MAKE an OFFER. you have the control ! either pay or dont buy. and prevent person who can not pay ofr it bidding on your item. CK off that box REQUIRES IMMEDIAGE PAY!. this way who buys with out having funds(like peole after winning try to sell off their item to pay yours ) will be weed out! NO money dont buy it. I hate auction format as waiting waiting then nothign happens unless you ahve item that will draw alot of attention for sure its pure dumb idea to leave it to chance. bidding is effected by many things. timing of listing , timing of ending, How they are bidding and other factors why bother take chance. BUYNOW is the best option!
I have no idea why so much angst about placing bids at the end of the auction, or what people are calling 'sniping'. As a buyer, if you don't want to snipe then just bid the max you willing to pay, and just let the auction play out.
Of course there's no such thing as 'sniping' in real-world auctions, because the rules for these auctions are different. I don't think it makes any sense to try to duplicate real-world auction system on EBay, there's internet and network latency that could cut out bidders trying to bid. You also have bidders worldwide that may not even be awake when an auction ends. So EBay set it up so that anyone can place whatever bid they want, at any time while the auction is active.
Automatically extending auctions by a few minutes when there is a bid near the end is a good idea, people will still snipe but I guess you get a chance to increase your bid in the 'overtime' period. But if you simply bid your max price then it won't matter anyway.
sniping took much of the fun out. Ebay is a terrible place comapared to what it was. Might as well just shop Amazon now. Ebay killed itself trying to be amazon which they will never be and in the progress lost its identity completey. Its all fraud and generic poop now.
The only way to prevent this is to treat the auction as an actual auction and that mean to look for a bid from a buyer that meets a criteria.
Starting Bid $100
Once the bid is met by proxy of at least $100 then the next bid should increment to say $110 and so on. This way unless you are willing to meet the next bid you are out and the snipers have nothing to snipe at. This practice of sniping while legal is IMHO equivalent to walking into a casino and counting cards. It allows buyers an unfair advantage over the seller getting the best possible price for their item. Don't think so buyer then try being a seller and watch what happens. Snipers will increment by a dollar or so until they have the high bid. Unless you have a bidding war, you cannot be sure you will get a fair amount for you item and with a reserve this only turns snipers etc. towards auctions with no reserve. Ebay has destroyed itself and I agree with Tim.
'Sniping' is pretty annoying. I joined ebay only this year, and I got outbid a few times at the last minute by these 'snipers'.
As a result, I've become a bit more like them, but I still try to play fair. So i'll place my bids early in the auction, but if there are more bidders, sometimes I'll wait till 15-30 minutes before auction ends, and place a higer bid.
This way, I stop myself from inflating the price too much, but I still give other buyers the chance to counterbid. If I have time, I stay online for those last 30 minutes or so, to try to win the item by upping my bid if necessary.
This way, I think it's good for myself, but also fair to the seller and to other buyers. It's like soft mini-sniping, or something :)
I've won most of my items by what you call 'sniping' within the last 10 seconds. You have to be one major dumb ass if you place a maximum bid and hope that you win. People are stupid, you can place a maximum and someone will come along and bid it up to that amount 6 days before the auction finishes. I've also seen people get into emotional bidding. A second hand desk I was interested in went to £150 it had 24 watchers and two idiots were bidding against each other everyday, no one else bothered bidding. Anyhow, the same desk came up two weeks later as a Buy It Now for £35.00 and well done me. How on earth are you going to get a bargain otherwise? Not to mention unscrupulous sellers shilling it up as well especially when bidders are private otherwise known as "shill by invisible method." If you don't want snipers offer Buy It Now Best Offer. I hope eBay never bring in the method of extending the auction time, if that day happens I will stop using eBay as who wants to pay loads of money for second hand goods.
The poor guy/gal in the article may have an anxiety disorder. He/she also may not take the ebay experience seriously. It may be that,for him/her, the ebay experience is more like a video game. Well there are video games out there that won't dissapoint your gameing desired experience.
If you are a serious seller on ebay, post it and forget it. Analyze your sales at the end of each month--you will see if you made enough money for your effort or not! Selling on eBay is not meant to be fun and games. It's a very good tool for people who really need it make a few extra bucks to survive as well as a comple online packaged, full time business opportunity. Where else in the world can you go and make money without a huge capital investment or getting ripped off by some criminal who offers "free" business opportunities that you have to pay for only to find out that the only opportunity was for the seller of the "free" business. I'm going to go get another cup of coffee now.I'm not hyperactive enough yet this fine Sunday morning in November.
I have never met a self confessed sniper who was not also a jerk who loves being anonymous.
I've been working in the Auction Field long before there was an internet and remember sealed bids well. I doubt if any of the self confessed snipers here would show up at a live auction. I know of one larger Virginia Auctioneer who lost most of his bidding base before he adopted a delayed ending. I have never ever seen the delayed ending go past twenty-five minutes, so the "the bidding would go on forever" is very, very weak. Eventually the E-Bay sellers move on to Amazon.
Simple suggestion, to the sellers list your item at the minimum YOU want for it. Buyers since there is a good chance there maybe dozens of like products ending in that same hour pick one that is nearing its end and place (just once) your max bid. Why is because your goal is to win the auction paying a fair price.
I am irritated and insulted that it is assumed that all snipers use software or hacks, and that we are all underhanded jerks. I am a frequent buyer on eBay and yes, I place my bids within the last 10 seconds usually, and no, I don't use any software, hacks, or other assistance to do it. I wait patiently starting at the minute mark, and place my bid manually as the timer hits the single-digits. Don't be mad if you don't have the skills or patience to do whatever it takes to win an item you've been watching for weeks, and don't be mad if you only want to bid the very minimum of what you're willing to pay and I beat you by a few cents. If you want it that badly, put the money up for it. When I bid, I go all in, sometimes up to retail or higher if I'm bent on having it. That's my prerogative. Get over yourselves.
What most non-snipers don't get is that sniping is fun! And it's perfectly fine. You don't like snipers coz you want to get an item for pennies on a dollar. Otherwise, if you tender your maximum bid, and it's high enough, snipers can't steal it from you.
I would buy at Amazon if they take sniping out and believe me, if you don't snipe, chances are you're better off with Amazon and you'll save.
Sniping combined with Ebay getting rid of the Reserve (how can you have a realistic auction without a reserve?) has effectively ruined Ebay auctions. I sell rare collectible items, years ago it was fine - interested parties used to bid on them and somtimes they went cheap, other times the price went up, it worked out on balance. Now what I see happening over and over again is that the items have dozens of watchers and no bids. Then the sniping bids come in but as often as not they don't come in because the bidders have forgotten to snipe/not used a snipe-bot/are at the pub and have forgotten about the auction and I keep getting emails after the auction has ended from people saying "oh i really wanted this item and would have paid $x, do you have another one?"
Setting the start price at the minimum you want is not how auctions work/have worked for the last 100s of years. It fails to generate interest and you may aswell just set everything buy it now which is what I do but which means buyers no longer get bargains.
This however is what Ebay seem to be intending as they seem to want to be nothing more than a shopping portal these days.
I also hate snippers. As a seller I want the opportunity to check the bidder's feedback.
As a remedy I cancel fast bids that come in the last few minutes. Snippers may get away with this tactic, after that it's time to block them.
I do have a lot to say, and questions of my own for that matter, but first I'd like to say thank you, Dave, for all your helpful information by
buying you a cup of coffee!||
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