Snipe an Ebay auction, save a fortune.

By Paul Michael on 8 January 2007 (Updated 21 January 2007) 9 comments

MP3 player in crosshairs

Ebay is a fabulous resource for so many people. Not only can you find almost anything, but you can usually get it a whole lot cheaper. Usually.
There are, of course, many ways for the savvy shopper to turn that ‘usually’ into an ‘always’ and in the case of Ebay, it’s sniping an auction using Bidnip.com.

So, what is sniping? Well, it’s a nasty word but the explanation is simple. In a regular Ebay auction you place a bid (up to your max) and Ebay will bid on your behalf up to that amount. If other parties are interested in that item, you get into something called a bidding war. And for the frugal shopper, that’s your basic nightmare. The price rockets, and before you know it, you’re almost paying the cost of retail. Ouch.

With sniping, you place a bid on a proxy client, like bidnip.com , stating the maximum amount you want to pay and the time you’d like the bid to be placed. I usually choose 3 seconds before the close of the auction. Then, you sit back and relax. As far as Ebay is concerned, you haven’t yet placed a bid. You bid doesn’t appear in the system. Thus, no bidding war. And 3 seconds before the close of the auction, your bid sneaks in at the last second and you pay a whole lot less for it than on a regular Ebay auction. The opposing bidder has no time to place a new bid on the item and bingo, it’s all yours.

Sneaky? Well, yes. But this technology is out there for everyone, so I’m certainly not the only one using it. I recently won an auction for 99 cents, on an item that usually goes for $20-$25. How much does it cost to snipe an auction? Just 25 cents per snipe, and ONLY if you win the auction. If you lose (and it can happen, but it’s very rare) then you don’t use a snipe credit. And on average, you’ll save around 25-35% on every auction.

Bidnip.com gives everyone 5 free snipes when they open an account, and it’s free to sign up and use. No credit card details, none of that hassle at the start. Once you’re happy with the service, you just buy extra snipes and add them to your account. Easy.

Do yourself a big favor, and learn the art of sniping. It’ll save you a ton of money, and you can avoid the bidding wars forever. Happy sniping.

Tagged: Shopping, eBay, Sniping.
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Guest's picture
Diane

I began using sniping software several years ago after putting in too many bids on items that appeared to have no one interested in them (no bidding activity) but within 60 seconds of me placing a bid, all of a sudden there was another bidder on that item.  I began to suspect at that time that I was falling prey to shill bidders (unscrupulous sellers who have a friend bid up on item to increase their selling price. )  I think sniping is the only way to absolutely prevent this type of behavior. 

Another time I actually had someone watching my bidding and every time I placed a bid on an item, no matter how obscure and different the item, they would bid on the same item.  I'm not sure of their motivation, but sniping put an end to this and that person must have moved on to find another seller/buyer to follow.  

Thanks for the article!!

Guest's picture

I cannot tell you how many countless times I have lost my bid due to being at work where EBAY is blocked internally. I go home and realize I lost it to a penny or something. Sniping is great if you are the one on the receiving end, but terrible if not.

Guest's picture
Steven

I had the misfortune of buying what I believed was a car from a private seller on eBay but it turned out to be a dealer who had eBay accounts all over the place and after being conned I managed to connect the accounts to eight other accounts using telephone numbers and different cars he had sold and soon discovered other people were also looking for the same scam artist

In the first instance DO NOT CONTACT eBay as they are particularly keen to hide such activities from the public in an attempt to reassure members that it’s safe on eBay and will hide behind the data protection act if asked for detail needed in order to take action yourself.

DO REMEMBER TO SAVE OR PRINT the pages relating to any wrong doing before eBay removed them and changes the data in order to claim that you were not in fact the winning bidder as happened in my case and don’t be put off perusing eBay when they suddenly start replying to you complaints in a foreign language such as Flemish.

You can be sure eBay collected it fees from the person who conned me and have access to IP Addresses and bank details to stop these people opening a new account so from a commercial perspective they are on the side of the criminals however help is at hand with site such as www.Ebusters.co.uk, www.GoofBay.com which helps monitor and catch these criminals.

If your not convince that eBay are involved in such illegal activities then see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/02/24/ebay_shill_lawsuit/ that will maybe change your mind.

Shill bidder are rewarded by eBay and just in case they go too far in pushing the price up then eBay comes to the rescue with second chance offer so get it out your head about eBay helping protect members as they are not the solution when they are part of the problem and remember that the next time you suddenly find you won after all.

One last little tip is to save your time from complaining on eBay forums as you will soon discover such unfriendly topics are weighted to quickly disappear off the bottom of the screen and don’t believe all them cars that went unsold with no reserve at £0.99 with no bids as it’s a clear manipulation of the data by eBay as I have witnessed this myself.

Guest's picture
Ebayer

The way I was raised, we'd call this *cheating* - and that is exactly what it is.

Guest's picture

Does it work for ebay UK as well?

Guest's picture
Guest

I stopped using eBay because of the sniping.

Guest's picture
love

bless this post with love,peace,respect and success.

just let love be

Guest's picture
kerry

I dont know why people say this is cheating, many people sit there waiting till the last 30 seconds to put in their bid. This not onlysaves you waiting but it stops yo getting dragged in to a bidding war.

Guest's picture
acg.chicago

This is little more than an ad for a sniping service. Do-it-yourself sniping is trivially easy to master: Plug in the single, highest bid that you are willing to pay, but don't click the Confirm button until the final few seconds. (If you're on a slower connection, such as a cellphone, give yourself a slightly bigger cushion, such as 10 seconds.)

The auction goes to the highest bidder, not the quickest (except in the case of an exact tie, in which case the earlier bid wins). There is no point in bidding on Tuesday for an auction that doesn't end until Thursday, and waiting for the final seconds if possible achieves two goals:

1) It prevents you from getting carried away and overbidding, in case your bid is not sufficient to win, and

2) It prevents someone with deeper pockets from outbidding you, in case you take the lead; they will not have enough time to rebid for more than you were willing to pay. Ergo, you win; they don't.

Save your money; don't pay a sniping service unless you know you won't be near the keyboard at the end of the auction.