eBay Auction Sniping Overview
The term sniping, sniper or snipe with regards to auctions, specifically eBay relates to the automated bidding by a piece of software or from a website service that places a bid within a period of time from the end of the auction.
Usually sniping software aims to place a bid just seconds before the end of the eBay auction in an attempt to make the last bid possible on an auction item.
How Snipers work
There are a number of websites and software packages available that provide automated bidding services based on the end time of the auction. With eBay auctions end at a fixed time and there are no time extensions for the auction, unlike some other auction websites.
Within the software or the website you specifically need to enter a number of pieces of information to enable the snipe to take place.
This is what the free auction sniper on Goofbay asks you to enter when placing a snipe :
The ebay item number, your username and password for ebay, the number of seconds before the end of the item that you want Goofbay to place your bid and the maximum price you are willing to pay for the item.
Once you have supplied this information and submitted the data, Goofbay will attempt to place your bid automatically for you at the time before the end of the auction you specified.
To do this Goofbay needs to synchronise it’s time with the time of the eBay servers. At the specified time before the end of the auction Goofbay logs into ebay using your account details and places the bid for you.
The Risks of Using Sniping Software
There are a number of risks when using sniping software the main risks are not placing the bid in time and giving over your eBay username and password
Should the time not be synchronised between the software program or website server OR should there be a delay in logging into the eBay server your bid will not be placed in time for the end of the auction, as you try to place your bid as late as possible the risk increases.
In my experience of working with numerous snipers including “Auction Sniper” where you have to pay to place the bids it is very rare that the bid is not placed in time so long as you do not try to bid at the very last second. I always suggest 5 seconds or more before the end of the auction.
Supplying your eBay username and password to a third party piece of software or website should give cause for caution. Once you have handed over your details the software package or website potentially has access to your whole eBay account. Based on this information it is very easy to find out your Paypal email address. Should you be like most people you possibly have one password that fits all, if this is the case the third party now has access to your email account and worst of all your Paypal account.
My advice is to use only trusted third party snipers, I have used both Auction Sniper and Goofbay (I use the latter more now as it is free) these are affiliated with eBay and have signed up to the eBay API program.
Pricing Your Snipe
The price you set your snipe at should be researched carefully, in order to win the item you still have to bid more than all the proxy bids that have been placed to the point you place your snipe. You also have to bid higher than the minimum bid increment set by eBay at the time of the last published bid before your snipe. This is where sniping can actually be negative; eBay rewards early bids when it comes to sniping. For example if you set your max bid to £10 and a live bidder places a bid of £10 before your snipe then you will be outbid as you will have needed to bid £10 + the min increment.
In my experience setting your max snipe bids at odd amounts above the price you think “normal” bidders will bid works well. Most eBay users work in whole pounds or whole tens of pounds when setting manual or proxy bids, thinking cleverly about minimum increments and human nature and coupling it with bidding in the last second using a sniper “usually” gets you products at a good price.
I hope you have found this Guide Useful, if you have give it a vote, if you haven’t why not contact me to help me make it better.
Happy Sniping, Good luck