What Is Ebay Sniping?
Have you ever bid on an item that you really want only to have someone sneak in with
a higher bid at the last second? Almost anyone that has spent time on eBay has fallen prey to this tactic known as eBay sniping. It's a little known fact that this sniping is technically against eBay rules, however there is little, if any, record of the internet auction giant actually taking action against anyone utilising this technique.
It doesn't matter if the item in question is a great deal that you're hoping to snap up to sell on, or simply a product that you really want, dealing with eBay sniping can still be incredibly frustrating. Fortunately there are measures that you can take to protect you and to help you to successfully win more auctions, though it usually involves playing the snipers at their own game.
The manual method
If you are interested in purchasing a product from eBay the first thing to do is note the exact time and date that the auction finishes at. The Watch tool that eBay provides will help you in that it displays a countdown to show how long is remaining in the auction, but unless you are constantly logged on to the auction site you might also like to have this information written elsewhere.
Log into your account at no less than 30 minutes before the auction is due to end. Don't worry, you won't need to sit there doing nothing but clicking refresh for half an hour but it is important to be logged on for this period of time. Place your first bid at this point in time (or multiple bids if necessary) and then walk away from the computer until ten minutes before the auction ends. Ensure you leave your computer switched on and logged in to eBay at this point.
In the last ten minutes keep a close eye on the auction, refreshing to ensure that your bid remains on top, though not necessarily placing a higher bid. Then, in the last few seconds, you can place your final amount that you are willing to pay without being penalised for sniping. This is because you have already placed bids on the item and have obviously been involved in the auction for the past thirty minutes.
The automatic method
Many online services offer you the option of paying to use a piece of inexpensive software that will bid on your auction at the very last moment. Simply inform the program how much is the most that you would be willing to pay and it will sort out the bidding for you within the very last moments of the auction.
Using this method is more likely to identify you as a sniper though, as already mentioned, eBay are unlikely to take any action. However if you feel that this method could well fall into the category of 'playing dirty' then simply ignore it and utilise the manual method. Remember, you can always send a message to the seller to ask if they have additional units in stock if you were a victim of eBay sniping.
by: Amanda O'Brien
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