Like many Ebayers I found early on the only way to win a bid is to wait until the last minute and bid the maximum I am willing to pay and hope no one bids after me. It may seem somehow unfair to do that, but that’s the reality of Ebay. It is also a pain in the rear to adjust my schedule around whenever the auction ends.
This is called ‘Auction Sniping’. Wikipedia has this to say on the Ebay page:
Auction sniping is the process of watching a timed online auction, and placing a winning bid at the last possible moment (often literally seconds before the end of the auction), giving the other bidders no time to outbid the sniper. Some bidders do this manually, and others use online services and software designed for the purpose. While disliked by many eBay users, sniping is not against eBay rules.
I had heard about software that did this, but I was a little suspicious. Today, an acquaintance recommended a service he uses called Auction Sniper. It is an automated sniping service that allows the bidder to find an auction of interest, add it to the sniping list, set a maximum bid and then literally forget about it. No more staying up until midnight and then missing the bid by mere seconds because you had to check on the french fries in the oven.
I tried it out and already won an auction using it. It is totally web based which means no software to download and it isn’t dependent on your computer being on to do its job. Auction Sniper gives you three free ‘snipes’ to start. After that the charge is a very reasonable 1% of the final price with a minimum of .25 and a maximum charge of $9.95. If the auction ends as $1, you pay .25. If it ends as $100,000,000, you pay $9.95. Pretty nice.
I was especially impressed they didn’t demand a credit card to try out the three free snipes. Plus when it needs funding, PayPal is a choice. Anyway, I will report back here after using it for a few days, but if this is something you are looking for, do me a favor and use this link which will give me (and you) three free snipes!
UPDATE: I totally forgot to mention one important aspect with this service. You do have to give them your Ebay information. It’s obvious they have to have it in order for it to work, but that is one security concern. I didn’t think much of it since I had a friend who had used this service extensively and Auction Sniper seems to have a pretty good reputation on forums and review sites.
Here are two independent reviews:
Also one other buying tip that you probably know all about. I always add .01 to the highest price I would be willing to pay. Today (using the above sniping service) I won an auction literally by that .01! Someone had placed a bid for a maximum of $10.00 even. I told the software to bid a few seconds before the auction ended for a maximum of $10.01. I believe this is the first time the .01 trick worked, but it was the difference between winning and losing!