eBay and sniping
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 1:13 pm 
 

Seeing that the subject of sniping has become rather hot in the "Interesting items..." thread, I thought I would bump this old thread up so that the issue can be discussed here instead. BTW, my opinion from a year ago remains unchanged.

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 4:58 pm 
 

dathon wrote:I used to think the same thing, until someone pointed out that this would make shill bidding spiral out of control.  Just imagine unscrupulous sellers shilling the bid up by $5 or $10 every few minutes against the "real" bidders who just gotta have this particular item.  

It'd get ugly real fast.


Huh... I rebutted my current argument over a year ago and didn't even realize it.  
A "catch" rule would lead to big shill bidding problems with unscrupulous sellers.  Seems sniping will be here to stay.    8)

  

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 5:02 pm 
 

Mkman wrote:Does anyone know the ebay bidder burntwire? I'd like to find out who he is. He seems to have a lot of money as he bought a ton of stuff lately......


And how the board turns... Burntwire is now a regular contributor and Mkman has disappeared into the sands of time...
What will the board look like a year from now?

  

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 6:47 pm 
 

Like I said, One Shot, One Kill.

Sniping is completely legit. Said that, I only use the tactic occassionally. Usually, when I am looking at something that  is woefully underpriced and figure there several other guys lurking in the woodline... 8O

Now, I am also an old-fashioned kinda sniper. I refuse to use some sort of software. Push button warfare is for the Air Force and Navy (wimps) 8)

If I can't be online to snipe, then I am out and I will bid the conventional way and see what happens. Besides, I always bid my limit on the first bid. Like mentioned earlier on this string, there are too many eyes...and not much is gonna slip through.

The easiest way to beat guys like me is to list your items with an expiration in the middle of the night or even day. I bet most sniped items get hammered between 7 p.m. and midnight EST...Just a guess, though.


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 10:05 pm 
 

For those that think items that are sniped don't go for as much as items bid on using the "granny method" I offer the following example:

eBay.com Item Bid History

Tripled the sale price with less than ten seconds to go!  I rest my case...

  

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 11:22 pm 
 

dbartman wrote:For those that think items that are sniped don't go for as much as items bid on using the "granny method" I offer the following example:

eBay.com Item Bid History

Tripled the sale price with less than ten seconds to go!  I rest my case...


Impressive, but to be a valid case there would have to be another control experiment of the same item using a "catch" granny method during the same time period.  Even if the seller doesn't shill (and in the case of burntwire we can assume he wouldn't), I think the final price would have gone even higher for the granny method.  Emotion would probably drive the three end snipers crazy to even higher final bids.  There might have been other snipers also bidding but their bids got rejected since they had already been superceded.  They may have also placed more bids if there had been more time added.  
I'm far from convinced that sniping helps sellers more than a "catch" method would.  It's a zero-sum game and sniping favors the buyers, hence sellers will lose.  The interest of seller and buyer are diametrically opposed.  But I also don't see any viable "fix" for sniping to help sellers so it's here to stay and I'm joining in gleefully as a buyer.   8)

  

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 11:55 pm 
 

Sniping, in my opinion, usually results in higher final prices.  I don't have any definitive data to support this but I've seen plenty of auctions and sold quite a few items, and, almost always the snipers exceed the maximum price that an ebayer using the granny method would have bid.  That's how snipers win!

Here are some additional comments:

If the item isn't being bid on it doesn't matter if a sniper snags it in the last few seconds or not.  Bottom line, NO ONE WAS BIDDING so what does it matter how it was won.

eBay is based on a simple principle, the highest bid wins.  Time is only relative with respect to when the auction ends.  If a person loses out on an item, they have no one to blame but themselves.  Just like if you don't raise up your number during a traditional auction prior to the auctioneer saying "Sold!", you don't win either.

Emotions and split second decisions are a volatile mix.

Snipers will sometimes bid more than they expect to pay, or the going market price, to eliminate other snipers from beating them by a few cents.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 8:14 am 
 

dbartman: you nailed it.

Remember, it doesn't matter who brings the prom queen to the dance; only who takes her home 8O


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Post Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 12:41 pm 
 

Just to further the cause of sniping...

I have lost ALOT of auctions sniping because I didn't bid high enough.

I *typically* will snipe at what I think will win, or what I'm willing to pay for an item.

Very often, I'm beat.  One could argue that my chances of success are greater if I just bid my max bid out and left it alone.  I say 'NO'.

proxy bidding encourages shillers to bid you up to your max.

It invites people to know your bid limits (and let's face it, ebaying is a competitive sport... almost like poker!)

That being said, Extending the auction time by a minute would be fair in my opinion, to give those who aren't tech savvy enough to run a sniping program time to type in a counter bid.  That would require anti-snipers to at least be paying attention to the auction at hand.

Snipe on people!


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Post Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 1:29 pm 
 

I snipe for most things I buy on ebay. I have been out sniped many times because my high bid wasn't high enough. I have also manually sniped. Is that any diferent that computer sniping?(By manually sniping I mean I was online refreshing the page then bidding in the last few seconds) I don't think there is much difference. It comes down to the rules. Snipping is within the rules and so is waiting to the last few seconds to bid. I have had people email me after sniping them and they are unhappy at times. However, they almost all say they would have gone higher than what I won the item for. So I ask them, why didn't you bid that? You would have won then. Well it all come down to wanting to save money. I have bought and sold on ebay for a long time.(I have been a member since 12/96) I know many of you have sold to/purchased from me. Sniping is a great tool and everyone can use it. I really don't see a problem with it. You can use Auctionstealer for three snipes a week for free and EZ Sniper gives you three free snipes to try their service out. I suggest those against it give it a try and see if it is just a good tool or an unfair advantage.
I think I will now go back into lurking mode,
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 3:01 pm 
 

Ah, the returning of the funniest thread on the Acaeum.
:D

As a buyer, I snipe occasionally, it's a valid tactic that results in sporadic bargains (and sporadic over-spending!).

As a seller, I can say that it both hurts and helps sellers overall.

It helps because it increases the winning bid, end of story.

It hurts because it makes dissatisfied customers out of the people who "almost" won.  Try explaining to someone who is new to eBay why they lost in the last 10 seconds to a veteran, as they reloaded their page on dialup; it's not fun.

You could argue that those people should just bid their maximum earlier; the problem there is that early bids can be tested by smart counter-bidders, gauged, and then worked around, inflated, or ignored.  (I won't go into the exact tactics; suffice it to say that eBay is fully aware of the shortcomings here that allow exploitation, and this is why you see things such as the Bid Cancellation and Bid Retraction policies.)  So early bidding-to-maximum is not the best option.

The solution, of course, is for the "burned" bidders to become snipers too.  Which is fine, but it creates a ripple effect in which more newbies are alienated as even more sniping occurs.

When people e-mail me to express disappointment at these kinds of losses, I usually just tell them that that's part of the painful learning process involved in understanding the intricacies of eBay.  Some get pissed off, others turn into notorious snipers.

Good?  Bad?  Irrelevant, it's reality.  And eBay hasn't shown any interest in changing the status quo.

  


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Post Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:45 pm 
 

I am an occasional sniper - usually because I can't be bothered to wait a whole week to see if I win something.

At least 75% of the time I bid in the last few hours (ok, so a poor sniper), only to have been previously outbid .. and think "oh well, never mind".

Sniping is only a problem if you havn't realised this isn't a conventional auction, think about it ...

  

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 12:19 am 
 

I do not mind sniping, I think it adds a bit of excitment to the final minutes of some auctions.  I am both a seller and a buyer of stuff and as a seller it can be entertaining to watch the final minutes of your auction to watch what the item goes for.  I had one item (a shrunkwrapped copy of Hellbound) going for about $30.00, in the last 5 minutes or so it was bid up to just over $130.00.  Watching this was very entertaining to say the least.  

For items I really want I usually put a nambi-pambi bid on them early and then watch closely at the end to put in my real bid, this works about half the time, usually another sniper will outbid me but rarely does the proxy bid I am sniping get the item.

Sniping is fun, just go with it. :lol:


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2004 10:54 pm 
 

Mkman wrote:
Does anyone know the ebay bidder burntwire? I'd like to find out who he is. He seems to have a lot of money as he bought a ton of stuff lately.......

Dathon wrote:
And how the board turns... Burntwire is now a regular contributor and Mkman has disappeared into the sands of time...
What will the board look like a year from now?




Howdy Mcwillie! I haven't faded into the sands of time, just lurking around. After being kicked out of the inner circle (an exclusive private forum on this board) I see no need to continue posting within Scotts website. It was fun but it is fun no more, so much for UNMODERATED forums.

Futures Bright
Mkman

  


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 12:47 am 
 

Mkman wrote:Futures Bright
Mkman


Hey! That's my line! You can't just take a guy's line like that... sheesh.


Futures Bright,

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Post Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 2:22 pm 
 

I didn't know there was an "inner circle". How did you get kicked out? Was there a vote or something? Jesus, sounds kind of like the U.N.


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 2:40 pm 
 

After being kicked out of the inner circle (an exclusive private forum on this board)


Cool.  An "inner circle"  8) !



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Post Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 5:09 pm 
 

Don't get me started on the U.N. 8O


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 7:51 pm 
 

I thought this forum was about sniping???


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 9:13 pm 
 

Times change. Forum revolution is in the air! Down with Forum! Up with Free Speech!!

Uh, well, I guess it IS free speech. Ah well.
Lessee, forum about sniping. How about this? If the U.N. had a spine and helped enforce world peace like the rest of the world expects the U.S. to (until they actually do it), my fellow Marines wouldn't be getting *SNIPED* at on a daily basis.
Do Iraqi kids play Cowboys and Muslims?


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