View Full Version : Auction Sniping - ebay users please read

09-02-2002, 07:55 AM
Hi all.
This morning I recieved the following email from an Ebay seller who sells loose star wars figures. I urge ebay users to read it.


Going on Holiday?
Cant get to the Computer?
Not at home when the auction finishes?
The auction finishes in the middle of the night?
Cant refresh your browser quick enough, to get that last second bid?
You've got a slow connection and miss that bid?

If YES, please read on!

You've seen it happen: Your bid is still the highest as the auction is
to close. You wait excitedly by your computer expecting to be notified
you've won, but...somehow you've lost. In the last seconds of the
auction a
new bid has appeared, too late for you to respond. You've been sniped.

Auction Sniper is an eBay sniper that automates the process of placing
bid in the closing seconds of any eBay auction, dramatically increasing
chance of winning. We keep it simple: you tell us what you want to win,
we snipe eBay for you. Best of all, Auction Sniper is free to try.
After you
win your first auction with our help, you'll never bid the same way

Click the following link to join or just for more information:

Everybody does it! Its cheap and I use it all the time now, no more
that alarm clock! You might still get out bid! But give yourself a



This is the first time that I've heard of 'sniping' an auction, although it has happened to me several times. I find the idea that a website is offering this service absolutely dispicable. It negates the whole idea of online auctions.

What do you guys think?

If you would like to complain to ebay about this, please copy and paste the following message into an email and send it to uksuggest@ebay.com (UK users). Can someone please tell me how to contact the USA suggestion box on ebay? - I'll edit into this post.

"I am becoming increasingly annoyed by websites offering "Auction Sniper" services to ebay users. These websites offer to bid for an item in the closing minute of an auction's allotted time, therefore negating the whole of ebay's auction system.
In a real-world auction, 'Sniping' is not possible because the auctioneer allows other parties an oppurtunity to counter-bid after a bid has been placed. I think that Ebay should incorporate a similar system, whereby any bid placed during the closing 60 seconds of an auction extends the auction's alloted time by a further 60 seconds. This process should continue until no bids have been placed for a period of 60 seconds."

If anyone could re-word that to make it more readable i'd appreciate it.

I encourage you to pass these sentiments on to any other relevant message boards you frequent.

Eternal Padawan
09-02-2002, 08:15 AM
Does it really matter? if you want something bad enough on e-bay, your blind bid will be high enough whether anyone comes in at the last moment or not. If they want to outbid you, they can do it hours in advance or at the last minute. It just means they were willing to spend more money than you.

What really bugs me (and there's no way around this) is being second highest bidder. Because no matter what the winner bid, he only has to pay like 50 cents or $1 more than what you bid. That is darn frustrating... :(


09-02-2002, 08:32 AM
I understand the point you're making, but in a real life auction people don't bid their highest amount straight away - there is oppurtunity for back-and-forth bidding in an attempt to get a better deal.

I hate being second highest bidder too. But I can't really complain because I won a Simpsons playset by 10p a couple of weeks ago. I would not like to meet the person I out bid.

09-02-2002, 11:59 AM
-which is exactly why i've no ethical problem whatsoever with sniping: it helps keep prices down, which in turn not only reduces ebay's earnings (boo HOO :p ), but also the scalper's :happy:
but sniping's an art (my personal best: winning by $0.01 with 1 second to go :cool: ) so i'd never let some sniping service have all my fun :p

09-02-2002, 12:07 PM
I too enjoy the odd snipe (giving, not receiving), and I think it evens out over time. I know for sure that I've been heartily victimized more than twice for each successful attempt. Most painful is the re-snipe, where you snipe a guy seemingly at the very end, GET the "Congratualations...you are the high bidder" message but STILL lose. How embarrassing....how em-bare-***-ing!

09-02-2002, 02:11 PM
I don't care about auction snipers, if I really see something I want I just e-mail the seller with an offer and ask them if they can end the auction early, I've gotten some good deals that way.

Or I just wait until it's the ending time for the auction, put in my max bid and if I get outbid oh well. What's the point of worrying if a sniper is watching if they're just gonna go over your max bid in the last few seconds, if they go over my max bid then it was just in vain wasting that time on an auction when I could've been searching for any new ones with possible buy-it-nows.

09-02-2002, 02:59 PM
I'll admit it, I've sniped a couple of items off of ebay, but those mostly consist of auctions that have recieved 0 bids with a starting bid considerably lower than their Buy It Now price. I got a Masterpiece Edition Anakin Skywalker for $13.50 by bidding $14 in the last 30 seconds, the sellers Buy It Now price was $30. The seller wasn't too happy about that obviously since he charged me like $13 for overnight shipping and sent it Priority Mail two weeks later.:mad:

09-02-2002, 06:18 PM
BigB, things like that need to be reported to ebay...did you report it?

09-02-2002, 09:53 PM
The real problem with the above email is this: The sender of that email is offering a service that is UNNECESSARY! Why pay someone else to do what you can do yourself. What this person is doing is preying upon the vast majority of eBay buyers who do not know how to use eBay.

eBay offers what they call Proxy Bidding, esentially, placing a bid that is your MAXIMUM and as long as the existing maximum bid (if there is already a high bidder) will superscede any incoming bids that are less than your maximum. What this sniping service proposes is to do the same, only at the last moment. In the end, if the high bidders Proxy Bid is higher than the highest bid you are willing to make, it matters not at all when you place your bid, even if it is at the last minute! And if your Proxy Bid is higher than anyone else is willing to pay, it does not matter if they bid at the last minute, you will still win.

The dubious part of this is that the email references a common occurance - getting outbid in the last seconds. This is a phenomenon not of "last second bidding" but of the fact that most bidders don't discover the auctions they want to bid on until the last seconds of said auctions. You see, many of us, if we are looking for something specific on eBay will do a search with keywords. But most people tend to just enter the section of eBay (like Toys & Hobbies) and scroll through page after page after page until they find something they want. As the auctions automatically list from those the closest to closing to those that won't close for days, it is only natural that such buyers tend to bid at the last minute.

As I said, this "service" is merely an attempt to get people to pay for what is already there. And it attempts to disguise this fact by presenting "last second bidding" as some kind of sure-fire means to win auctions by those who have the timing to employ such practices. The reality is that no matter when you bid, if your maximum bid is $20.00 and someone else is willing to pay $25.00, even if they simply win by 50 cents, it is a product of their willingness to pay at least $20.50 for the same item.

09-02-2002, 09:56 PM
Originally posted by bigbarada
the sellers Buy It Now price was $30. The seller wasn't too happy about that obviously since he charged me like $13 for overnight shipping and sent it Priority Mail two weeks later.:mad:

Barada, your experience is the reason I refuse to deal with those who don't post either the actual shipping charges or at least their shipping policies to their auctions. What you are describing is simply FRAUD. However, the seller has a loophole in being able to claim the balance falls into the pervue of "and handling". The bottom line is that a good number of sellers try to boost their auction income by gouging on shipping. It is important to report this by saying as much in the feedback, even if possitive. Give others a warning (if they bother to look) to let them know you don't agree with thier shipping gouging practices!